Young American Singer's Competition - UPDATED



PLEASE NOTE: Because of the coronavirus, the audition materials due date and the date of the final competition have been revised. See below for additional information. We will continue to update this as dates and locations are confirmed. 

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and the American Bach Society announce the eleventh biennial competition for American singers with special interest in the music of J. S. Bach.
Recent Winners include: Gabriela Estephani Solis, 2018, Nola Richardson and Christopher Edwards, 2016, Janna Critz, 2014, Dashon Burton, 2012.

The final competition for up to ten singers will take place in the fall of 2020 (date to be determined), appearing before a panel of distinguished judges and a live audience in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The First Prize winner chosen by the judges on that day will receive a career development grant of $3,000 and a solo performing opportunity with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem in a future season.

In addition to the first prize, up to three additional cash awards of $500 may be awarded to other finalists, at the judges’ discretion.

Judges at the Finals will include

  • Greg Funfgeld, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem
  • Other distinguished Bach performers and specialists, to be announced


The Competition is open to citizens of the United States who were born after May 17, 1989.
(As of the finals competition, participants must not yet have reached their 31st birthday.)



  • Preliminary application is by audio or video recording of one secco recitative and two J.S. Bach arias uploaded via the online portal
  • From these preliminary applications, up to ten finalists will be chosen.
  • Application Deadline Wednesday, July 1, 2020.
  • All applications must be received by the Competition Administrator on or before this date.
  • All applicants will be notified via email regarding the final competition.


  • The finalists will sing in Bethlehem, PA, in the fall of 2020.
  • Location: Peter Hall, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA 18018 (or TBD.)
  • At the finals, each singer will present one secco recitative and two arias by J.S. Bach, (not necessarily those in the preliminary application). Piano accompanist will be provided. Finalists are welcome to bring their own accompanist if they wish.
  • Finalists must make their own travel arrangements. By car, Bethlehem is 90 minutes north of Philadelphia and ca. 2 hours west of New York City. (Google Map)
  • Bethlehem is about five miles from the Lehigh Valley Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Airport website opens in new window)


Application is via which charges a $30 application fee.

Applications will close at midnight July 1, 2020.

About the Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The roots of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, the oldest Bach Choir in America, go back to Colonial times and to the Moravians who settled Bethlehem in 1712. The Choir was founded in 1898 by its first conductor John Frederick Wolle, an organist at Central Moravian Church, and gave the first complete performances in America of the Mass in B Minor (1900) and Christmas Oratorio (1901). Since its founding in 1898, The Choir has been attracting thousands of visitors to the annual Bethlehem Bach Festival, now held on the campus of Lehigh University.

Greg Funfgeld, the sixth conductor of The Choir, has been artistic director and conductor since 1983 and is now in his 37th season. He has expanded the programs of The Bach Choir beyond the annual Bach Festivals to become a year-round season of more than 40 concerts and educational programs with an audience of more than 22,000.

Please visit the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s website for the Festival schedule or email to request a Festival ticket brochure.


Zimmermann's Coffee House

Auditions for Zimmermann’s Coffee House have concluded and we are pleased to be offering such talented and dedicated musicians to our Festival audience this year.

Should you have any questions about Zimmermann’s, please contact Mike DeCrosta, Administrative Assistant, 610-866-4382, Ext 110, or

Click HERE for a PDF summary of Zimmermann’s Coffee House

Final audition: Saturday, April 25 , 2020 – 10am – noon

113th Bethlehem Bach Festival:
Zimmermann’s Coffee House, 7-9:30 pm on May 9 & 16, 2020


The Chaconne Project

Bach Choir Chaconne project 2020

Students selected to participate in The Chaccone Project will perform their compositions on Saturday, May 9 and Saturday, May 16, 10:30am, Baker Hall, Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University.  This opportunity is modeled on the successful project facilitated by Dr. Larry Lipkis, Professor of Music and Composer in Residence at Moravian College,  as part of our 2013 Family Concert and at our 2015 Bethlehem Bach Festival.

To view our Chaconne video, please click HERE

Click HERE for a PDF Summary of the Chaconne project.

Under the direction of Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld, the students will perform their variations on Bach’s famous Chaconne in D Minor at the May 9 and 16 Festival concerts with the Bach Festival Orchestra playing the ground bass. Following the variations, the Chaconne will be played in its original form by the Festival’s Artist-in-Residence guitarist Eliot Fisk.