Bach in B Minor

The Helios Ensemble is performing an hour of Bach's two-hour B Minor Mass on Saturday, Nov. 10. 


Heliios Ensemble founder Benjamin Hansen.

Back when he was just forming his Helios Ensemble as a community choir, founder and conductor Benjamin Hansen waded into some pretty heady waters.

He had the group, just months old, perform a few little movements of Bach's extraordinary B Minor Mass.

On Saturday, Nov. 10, the group will take a bigger dive, performing an hour of the nearly two-hour Mass including the virtuosic choruses at Catalina United Methodist Church, 2700 E. Speedway. Tickets are $18 to $40, $8 for students here.

The ensemble will include 55 choristers — 25 more than the number who performed the piece with the group in November 2014 — and a full orchestra; Guy Whatley will perform harpsichord and basso continuo.

“We’ve never stopped believing that choristers can do anything if they connect their hearts to their voices," said Hansen, music director of Catalina United Methodist Church. "We have grown quickly, expanding our audiences, and delivering great performances of major choral works."

Bach's B Minor Mass, a musical setting of the Latin Mass, is largely regarded as one of the greatest works of Western music. 

Next year, Helios will perform Brahms’ Requiem.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch