Christmas Concerts: December 9 and 10
- Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols
- O Holy Night
- “A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem“
- Favorite carols and stories from around the world
In this incredible and memorable “season of musical milestones” at the Choir, we offer you a beautiful path to peace: our annual Christmas Concerts, this year including the very first live performance of our beloved CD A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem. Through these concerts, you’ll rediscover the wonder and delight of Christmas with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem under the director of Greg Funfgeld, joined by the voices of The Bel Canto Children’s Chorus, led by Joy Hirokawa.
Along with the Choir, the children offer both spoken word and uplifting choral music from many centuries and cultures centered on the story of the Nativity that creates a beautiful meditation on the meaning of Christmas. The spoken word selections, compiled by Bridget George, are directed by Jenny Gilrain.
“It glitters with carols spanning five centuries in five languages all bound together with stories and poems telling the story of Christmas….akin to unwrapping a Christmas present, opening as it does with the hushed voices of children expressing delights and awe.” ~ Steve Siegel, The Morning Call, 2013
The program also offers traditional favorites including Noёl Novelet and Ding Dong Merrily on High, Tom Goeman’s beautiful arrangement of O Holy Night and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with David Newman, baritone soloist, the Native American Huron Carol and English The Gentyle Storcke. The Bach Choir’s Christmas concerts offer a delightful program of holiday music and messages you and your family will cherish.
Add this to your holiday celebration this year! We look forward to seeing you!
Bach at Noon
Initiated in 2005, this free concert series was designed as a community and economic development initiative educating new audiences about Bach’s music. It includes seven performances throughout the year at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem and three summer concerts at St. John’s Lutheran Church in downtown Allentown. Greg Funfgeld introduces each program with an engaging, informal talk. Bach at Noon has been a phenomenal success attracting audiences of all ages totaling more than 8,000 a year. A frequent response from audience members is, “This is such a blessing!”
Gala Concert & Fundraiser
Building on the successful presentation of such high profile artists as Yo-Yo Ma, Dave Brubeck, Emma Kirkby, Tiempo Libre, Hilary Hahn, the Swingle Singers, Eliot Fisk, the American Boychoir, Bach Collegium Japan, and Roomful of Teeth, the annual Gala is a fundraiser and a fun musical and social event featuring Bach connections in different genres with guest artists at the top of their field.
The Choir’s long tradition of offering Christmas music concerts began with the first complete performance of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio in the United States in 1901. Since then, the Choir has continued to bring Bach’s music, along with the sacred Christmas music of other composers, including more contemporary pieces, to the community with its annual December concerts in Allentown and Bethlehem.
From A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem on the Analekta label, 2013
Initiated in 2000, the annual Family Concerts are imaginative, collaborative, interactive concerts that feature professional and student artists in the fields of music, dance, theater, visual arts, and poetry, performing with the full Bach Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra. For many parents, the Family Concert offers the perfect opportunity to introduce their children to Bach, classical music and a live performance.
Welcoming the spring and celebrating the sacred Easter season with the music of J.S. Bach has been a long been a tradition of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Centerpieces of these performances over the years have included Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude and The Passion According to Saint John, along with the works of more contemporary composers including Leonard Bernstein, Benjamin Britten and Morten Lauridsen.
111th Bethlehem Bach Festival
Our largest event of the year takes place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on the campus of Lehigh University and on the historic grounds of the Moravian community. The Festival is a glorious tradition treasured by thousands of people from throughout the United States and beyond since the American premiere of Bach’s monumental Mass at the first Bethlehem Bach Festival in 1900. The Festival is presented each year over two weekends in May, and includes guest artists-in-residence, featured young musicians, lectures and chorale sings with the audience.