Mezzo soprano Carmen Leon is one of Clarke's collaborators for the Bayview Musicales.
Mezzo soprano Carmen Leon is one of Clarke's collaborators for the Bayview Musicales.

Bill Clarke loves Johann Sebastian Bach, but after seven years directing contatas and sopranos for Bayview residents, with too many collaborators lost, he ended the program in 2016.

Bach is back at Bayview, but there’s more to hear and see with Clarke’s new monthly musicale program.

The first Bayview Musicale took place in the senior living community’s Albertson Hall back in October, and included live music, singing and a musical sketch.

A Nov. 3 concert included Bach to Bach performances (Carl Phillipp Emanuel Bach, and then Johan Sebastian).

“I’m a nut about Bach,” Clarke said.

There were also pieces by Tchaikovsky, Felix Mendelssohn, and Rogers and Hammerstein, as well as an encore reading of resident William Jordan’s poem, “A Leaf in the Wind,” and audience sing-alongs.

“Last time, they had to bring in more chairs,” Clarke said. “It was a mob.”

Clarke led the musicale on piano, bringing in friends to help, including Bernard Shapiro, who was principal oboe for Seattle Symphony for 43 years. The two have performed together at a number of area churches, and Shapiro now performs with the Federal Way Symphony.

Cellist Kate Barker performs with Clarke at Bethany Presbyterian Church in Queen Anne.

“I play with Bill a lot, which is fun,” Barker said. “I first started working with Bill when we wrote a musicale.”

Mezzo soprano Carmen Leon sang part-time with the Seattle Opera for 10 years. She sang “Getting to Know You” from “The King and I” and “My Favorite Things” from “The Sound of Music” during the Nov. 3 Bayview Musicale.

She also sang “Autumn Leaves,” a song Clarke told the audience had been a favorite of former resident Mia Papadopoulos. He passed a photo of Papadopoulos around the audience while speaking of her fondness for the piece, and also for knitting. Leon said the story added to the intimacy of the performance.

It’s not just professionals who put on the Bayview Musicales. The Bayview Balladeers meet every Saturday to practice, and is comprised of residents of varying skills. None of that really matters, Clarke said.

“It’s a matter of convincing people not to be afraid of who they are,” he said.

Clarke and company are working on a holiday musicale to take place 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 1.

After the success of resident Ted Rodgers’ “Songs of Liberty” musical sketch in October, he’s putting together a December skit that pokes fun at elevator music.