Religious Arts Festival

2022 Annual Religious Arts Festival

January 30 - February 6

The 51st Annual Religious Arts Festival at IPC begins Sunday, January 30, with events running through Sunday, February 6. This year we are planning to return to an in-person format both in the church buildings and at the Clubhouse on Highland, and we will focus on the rich cultural traditions of 18th-century Germany and Johann Sebastian Bach in the areas of music, food, and literature. 

Please watch for communications from IPC communications for any changes to the Festival's schedule of events.

Sunday, Jan. 30

Sanctuary • 1-5 p.m.

We begin our festival with the music of Bach played by numerous organists from churches in the metropolis of Birmingham. This come-and-go recital will range from the smallest to the largest of Bach’s music for the organ. What a wonderful way to spend a few minutes or all afternoon – a true “Bach-a-Thon” event!

Download Program • Watch Livestream

Monday, Jan. 31

Lecture: "Cinderella, Rapunzel, and the Brothers Grimm" by Dr. Jennifer L. Geer, Professor of English at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Great Hall • 7 p.m.

Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm did not invent famous fairy tale characters such as Cinderella and Rapunzel. They adapted earlier tales from France and Italy. Discover more about the men who became the Brothers Grimm and how they reworked Cinderella and Rapunzel's stories to appeal to a mostly middle-class and Christian German audience.

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Tuesday, Feb. 1

Clubhouse on Highland • 7 p.m. • $20

Tuesday will feature an olfactory and gustatory test as sommelier Janet Ort guides us through the Bavarian region with a pairing of wine, beer, and food. Live classical music will crown the evening. Prost! Reservations are now closed.

Thursday, Feb. 3

Banquet • Great Hall • 6:30 p.m. • $25

Food by Kim Martin; Décor by Sonny Williams; Music by Cory “C Pez” Pesaturo, Accordion Virtuoso

We will continue the culinary tradition of Germany as the Annual Religious Arts Festival Banquet turns into an Oktoberfest in the Great Hall. Don your lederhosen and join us for an evening of great food, colorful décor, and a performance by the world-class award-winning jazz accordionist Cory “C Pez” Pesaturo. You will want to make your reservations early.

Cory Pesaturo (“C Pez”) is revolutionizing the Accordion. He is the only person ever to win the trio of World Championships on Acoustic, Digital, and Jazz Accordion as well as the only Accordion graduate of the prestigious New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. In 2017, Pesaturo became a Guinness World Record Holder by playing for 32 hours and 14minutes. His performances at all three of his World Championships were played on accordions that were not his and were generally 90% improvised; both aspects are unheard of in the accordion world. C Pez has given two TED Talks, and as a child, he became the youngest person to perform at a White House state dinner.

Update: Reservations are now closed. Thank you for your interest, and we look forward to seeing you there!

Download Program

Friday, Feb. 4

Early Music Concert featuring Chatham Baroque
Sanctuary • 7:00 p.m.

We will continue the tradition of “Early Music on Fridays” with a return performance of the instrumental ensemble Chatham Baroque from Pittsburgh. Performing on instruments replicated from the 18th century, they will present the stunning Gloria by George Frideric Handel, featuring soprano Pascale Beaudin, strings, and harpsichord. Other works on the program include trio sonatas for two violins and basso continuo by Handel and Dietrich Buxtehude; the rousing “Rejoice Greatly” from Handel’s Messiah; and a set of chorales by Baroque master, Johann Sebastian Bach, arranged by Chatham Baroque.

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Sunday, Feb. 6

Music of J.S. Bach on organ and harpsichord featuring Organist Wolfgang Rubsam
Sanctuary • 4:00 p.m.

A return to the organ music of Bach will close the festival on Sunday with a concert by the German legend Wolfgang Rubsam. Beginning in childhood, Mr. Rubsam was trained in the music of this tradition and will bring to us a wealth of knowledge and experience on both the organ and harpsichord that is rarely heard.

Watch Livestream

In Response to COVID-19

Please watch for communications from IPC communications for any changes to the Festival's schedule of events. For further information, please call the Music Office at 205 933-3700 or view IPC's current COVID-19 guidelines» 

Watch on Online

Events held in the sanctuary will be available via livestream. 


If you are interested in helping to secure the future of the Religious Arts Festival at IPC, donate online to The Religious Arts Festival Endowment Fund. Please call the Music Office (205-933-3700) for further information.