Bach Week is devoted to the performance and exploration of the music of Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. Events range from chamber music performed on period instruments to the collaborative performance of large vocal and instrumental works by students and professionals. Free demonstrations and lectures provide additional context for these performances.

In 2011, Thomas Davies and David Arrivée established Bach in the Mission as an annual, collaborative concert that would give Cal Poly student musicians the opportunity to rehearse and perform with faculty and local professionals the vocal and instrumental music of Bach. The two had long wanted to apply their shared interest and experience to such an educational project, and since its inception, the final, collaborative concert has grown each year.

Since 2015, new events have been added and Bach Week — no longer a single concert — has grown to include multiple performances, a master class and lectures, all serving to explore Bach’s music and its context. With the retirement of Davies from Cal Poly in 2017, Scott Glysson joined the faculty as director of choral activities and took on the role of Bach Week’s co-director.