By Daniel Buckwalter

Two of my most favorite things converged on March 5 at The Shedd: My growing love for the season of Lent (Easter this year is April 9) and my adoration of Baroque music.

The two played off each other beautifully for an hour-plus late Sunday afternoon in soft, delicate melodies before an appreciative audience inside Jaqua Concert Hall.

It was microphilharmonic’s annual tribute to Baroque-period instruments (From Bach to Haydn), and you need to be at tonight’s (March 6) final performance to absorb the tenderness of the three composers whose works are played by the eight musicians with period instruments and four vocalists — soprano Emma Rose Lynn, alto Alyse Jamieson, tenor Cole Blume and bass Dylan Bunten.

Led by Alice Blankenship — the co-artistic director and lead violinist — microphilharmonic takes the audience through the last days on earth for Jesus as well as his last hours and his final declaration, according to the Gospel of Luke: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”

Compositions from Johann Sebastian Bach, Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach and Franz Joseph Hayden laid the groundwork for the musicians to showcase their talents.

My favorite piece performed in Sunday’s concert was J.S. Bach’s cantata, Christ Lay in Death’s Bonds. It plays out in its entirety at more than two hours, and Blankenship, rightfully, chose eight movements for microphilharmonic, but all were lovely.

The mesmerizing movements for me had organ support from William Crane and zealous play from Baroque violoncellist Annabeth Shirley and Dylan Bunten on bass.

I found myself letting go of the vocals of Lynn, Jamieson and Blume in two of the movements played because I couldn’t take my eyes off the work of Shirley and Bunten, in particular. It was controlled fury with precision, and they were a joy to watch.

By all means, go to tonight’s (Monday, March 6) final performance of the program, From Bach to Haydn, at 7:30 p.m. at The Shedd, 868 High St. in downtown Eugene.

It is a joy to absorb.

(Tickets range from $24 to $38, with student and other discounts available. A pre-concert Dinner At Six is available by reservation. For tickets and information, go online to or call 541-434-7000.)