Featuring solo performances by acclaimed violinist, Rachell Ellen Wong – winner of the first annual Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition, organist Mark T. Engelhardt, the Island Symphony Orchestra, and the Long Island Symphonic Choral Association. The audience is invited to a post-concert reception featuring traditional German sweets.

It all happens Sunday Jan. 26, at 2 p.m. at St. Peter’s By-the -Sea Episcopal Church at 500 South Country Road in Bay Shore. Admission is free. The snow date is Feb. 2.

press announcement |

On Sunday, Jan. 26, musicians from across Long Island will gather in the beautiful sanctuary of St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church to celebrate the glory of Johann Sebastien Bach, and Bach’s great advocate, composer Felix Mendelssohn.

The highlight of the afternoon will be a performance by violinist Rachell Ellen Wong, winner of the first annual Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition.

Wong will perform the Sonata No. 3 in C major, BWV 1005, one of J.S. Bach’s most demanding pieces for unaccompanied violin.

“We are excited to inaugurate this new annual music festival which is sure to become a major event on Long Island’s cultural calendar,” said Island Symphony Orchestra and Long Island Symphonic Choral Association conductor Eric Stewart:

“Music lovers of all ages will have the opportunity to hear a program devoted to the incomparable J.S. Bach and his advocate Felix Mendelssohn.  We are particularly excited to share the concert with the superb violinist, Rachell Ellen Wong, winner of the first annual Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition and with St. Peter’s own, organist Mark T. Engelhardt.”

“St Peter’s, which has a 50-year tradition of presenting world-class musical programs, is proud to host this exciting cultural event,” added Mark Engelhardt, St. Peter’s organist and Associate for Administration, Liturgy, and Music. “I am personally honored to have been asked to play one of Bach’s organ masterworks on St. Peter’s world-famous Gress-Miles organ.” 

About the featured artists:

Violinist Rachell Ellen Wong, winner of the first annual Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition

Performing with “unerring beauty” (The Classical Music Network), international prize-winning violinist Rachell Ellen Wong is recognized as an “emerging artist to watch and seek out” (Early Music America).

Wong was a prize winner in the XXI International J.S. Bach Competition, and won grand prizes in the Sorantin International String Competition, and the inaugural Next Generation Competition.

She has degrees from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a full scholarship Starling Distinguished Violinist recipient, and from Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music where she was a Jacobs Fellow.

Wong graduated in 2019 with a Master of Music in Historical Performance from The Juilliard School, where she was a Kovner Fellow. 

Organist Mark T. Engelhardt, Associate for Administration, Liturgy, and Music at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church

A prizewinner in numerous organ competitions, Engelhardt has been heard in concert throughout the U.S.

From 1989 through 2005, he served as organist and Director of Music at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Boston and was music consultant for the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.

From 2005 through 2012, he was Director of Music and Lay Associate to the Rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Salem, Mass. He has served as Associate for Administration, Liturgy, and Music at St. Peter’s since. He has been heard on the American Guild of Organists Sunday morning radio broadcast and was heard regularly on the “Sunday at St. Paul’s” broadcast every Sunday on Boston’s Classical station WCRB.

He has served as Associate for Administration, Liturgy, and Music at St. Peter’s By-the-Sea Episcopal Church since 2013.

Conductor Eric R. Stewart

Stewart serves as Music Director of the Island Symphony Orchestra, Music Director of the Long Island Symphonic Choral Association, and Conductor of the Tzu Chi Youth Orchestra Long Island.

He has appeared at such venues as Carnegie Hall (Zankel Hall), the Four Seasons Centre of the Canadian Opera Company (Bradshaw Amphitheatre), and has been broadcast by the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC). 

Stewart was a finalist in the International Antonin Dvorak Composition Competition, as well as for the ASCAP Morton Gould Award.

Born in 1985, Eric grew up in Buffalo. His academic studies took place at the Peabody Conservatory of Music (B.M., M.M.) and the University of Toronto (D.M.A.).

For more information about the Lillian and Maurice Barbash J.S. Bach Competition visit: https://jsbachcompetition.org. For information about future Island Symphony Orchestra concerts visit: https://islandsymphony.org/