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October 2021

Bach at Noon October

October 12 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Central Moravian Church, 73 West Church St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018 United States
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  We are delighted to continue our fall Bach at Noon concerts in our downtown Bethlehem home, Central Moravian Church. We will present Bach at Noon live and in-person throughout our season in Bethlehem. Please note: All members of our audience, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a face mask while attending a Bach Choir concert. Doors open at 11:30 am and we will monitor the number of people entering the Church. Thank you for your cooperation to help keep the community safe. See additional information in the…

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November 2021

Bach at Noon November

November 9 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Central Moravian Church, 73 West Church St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018 United States
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Bach at Noon continues in Central Moravian Church in downtown Bethlehem this month, as we present our last midday concert of the 2021 fall season.   We'll be back in January! Our plans are to be live and in-person throughout our Bach at Noon season in Bethlehem. Please note: All members of our audience, regardless of vaccination status, are required to wear a face mask while attending a Bach Choir concert. Doors open at 11:30 am and we will monitor the number of people entering the Church. Thank…

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December 2021

Christmas Oratorio, Parts 1, 2 and 3 (Allentown performance)

December 11 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Allentown, 3231 W. Tilghman Street
Allentown, PA 18104 United States
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$38

The Christmas Oratorio tells the story of the Nativity with some of Bach's most evocative music. In Parts 1-3, an opening chorus of irresistible rhythmic drive and remarkable invention, trilling flutes and oboes, heraldic trumpets, thundering drums, and lightning-fast strings are our entrée into Bach’s remarkable fusion of music, narrative, and theology. We also hear impossibly joyful choruses, tender, intimate arias, and a stunning evocation of the shepherds pipes dialoguing across a pastoral scene, with each part scored for soprano, alto, tenor…

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Christmas Oratorio Parts 1, 2 and 3 (Bethlehem Concert)

December 12 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem, 2344 Center St.
Bethlehem, PA 18017 United States
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$38

The Christmas Oratorio tells the story of the Nativity with some of Bach's most evocative music. In Parts 1-3, an opening chorus of irresistible rhythmic drive and remarkable invention, trilling flutes and oboes, heraldic trumpets, thundering drums, and lightning-fast strings are our entrée into Bach’s remarkable fusion of music, narrative, and theology. We also hear impossibly joyful choruses, tender, intimate arias, and a stunning evocation of the shepherds pipes dialoguing across a pastoral scene, with each part scored for soprano, alto, tenor…

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February 2022

Greg Funfgeld Family Concert | “Dancing with Bach”

February 27, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem, 420 E. Packer Ave.
Bethlehem, PA 18015 United States
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Join us for our collaboration with the Dance Department of The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts as we present "Dancing with Bach." A very special concert, as The Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra offers the exquisite music of J.S. Bach, and students interpret it visually through movement. This energetic and visually stunning concert showcases students from The Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts as they dance to the music of Bach and Bolling, offering captivating interpretations…

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March 2022

Spring Concert | Duruflé and Handel

March 27, 2022 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
First Presbyterian Church, Bethlehem, 2344 Center St.
Bethlehem, PA 18017 United States
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$39

Join us for our Spring Concert, where we will present  Duruflé’s Requiem, his longest and most substantial work, composed at the end of World War II, in 1947.   Coupled with this piece is the Choir's much anticipated and glorious performance of Handel's Messiah, Part 2. The long-delayed continuation of our exploration of Handel’s Messiah continues with Part II of this baroque masterpiece.  After our much-acclaimed performances of the Christmas portion (part one) in 2019, we now turn to the Easter…

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April 2022

Yo-Yo Ma & Kathryn Stott ~ Gala Event and Fundraiser

April 30, 2022 @ 8:00 pm
Central Moravian Church, 73 West Church St.
Bethlehem, PA 18018 United States

 8 pm Saturday, April 30, 2022   Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem Reserved Tickets • $95 / $70 / $50 / Student: $9 ** On sale starting November 1, 2021 ** The Bach Choir of Bethlehem is thrilled to present YO-YO MA and KATHRYN STOTT for a very special Gala Concert and Fundraiser, to help celebrate Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld’s final season with The Bach Choir. The concert presents an exquisite program of music from beloved cellist Yo-Yo Ma and…

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May 2022

Bach Outdoors

May 13, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Payrow Plaza, 10 East Church Street
Bethlehem, PA 18018 United States
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Paul Miller, Electric violin Kick off your Festival experience with us on Friday at noon.  Fair weather will have us enjoying blue skies as we hear a very special FREE concert by Paul Miller and friends, as they perform on electric violin along with other “modern” instruments to offer some classic pieces. ** Rain location: The Old Chapel, 412 Heckewelder Place, behind the Moravian Museum on Church Street **

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The Barnette Distinguished Scholar Lecture – George Stauffer, Ph.D.

May 13, 2022 @ 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Zoellner Arts Center, Bethlehem, 420 E. Packer Ave.
Bethlehem, PA 18015 United States
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Great Expectations: Bach in Leipzig We are delighted to welcome back Dr. George Stauffer to present our lecture at this year's Festival.  Dr. Stauffer is a Distinguished Professor of Music History and Dean Emeritus, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Educated at Dartmouth College, Bryn Mawr College, and Columbia University, he is well known for his writings on the music and culture of the Baroque Era and the life and works of Johann Sebastian Bach, in particular.…

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Saint Matthew Passion

May 13, 2022 @ 4:00 pm
Packer Memorial Church, 18 University Drive
Bethlehem, PA 18015 United States
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Part 1 • 4pm - 6pm Part 2 • 8pm - 10pm The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Bach Festival Orchestra and distinguished soloists ONE TICKET is good for both Part 1 and Part 2 of this performance. This year’s Festival includes two of Bach’s towering choral masterpieces, Everest and K2, alongside one another.  The Saint Matthew Passion is cosmic, operatic in its scope, making use of three choirs, two orchestras, and a wealth of soloists, and yet, moments of stunning intimacy shock listeners…

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"From anguish to elation, and just about everything in between, pretty much describes the vast emotional landscape covered in Friday evening’s concert at Packer Memorial Church presented by the Bach Choir of Bethlehem. Splendid musicianship, rousing choruses, and the sublime voices of the soloists turned grief into joy and sorrow into triumph."

—The Morning Call, May 2018

"The oft-quoted phrase 'a drumroll, please' aptly applies to the opening of Rutter’s exultant Gloria, which provided a dramatic finale to the program. What a thrill to hear those punchy, syncopated brass lines accompanying some really polished and vibrant singing. The “Domine Deus” section sported some lovely soprano voices in addition to many demanding, multi-part choruses –— some with up to eight parts. There was a miraculous blend of tone and balance throughout."

—The Morning Call, March 2018

"The performance was one of integrity, movement, passion and weight. The effortless virtuosity and stylistic homogeneity of the combined forces in the chapel's stone sanctity, allowed Bach's music to sing out with infectious, exhilarating enthusiasm."

—The Huffington Post, 2017

"The audience was thrilled by this outstanding performance of a Bach Cantata by seasoned experts immersed in the composer and informed by Greg Funfgeld's wisdom and enthusiasm...The Bachs [J.S.B and C.P.E] could not have been better served, not to mention two English Renaissances, as well as our own time. It went beyond mere intelligent programming and committed performance, enriched by a deep sense of the mutual nourishment of music and faith."

—New York Arts, 2015

"Nestled in the Pennsylvania countryside, on and around the bucolic campus of Lehigh University, the Bethlehem Bach Festival, under the artistic direction of conductor Greg Funfgeld, is in its 108th season and going strong. If it has flaws, they are like those that distinguish a fine emerald from the perfect clarity of a fake...their choral sonority is so rich you can feel it in your bones."

—The Wall Street Journal, May 2015

"Two days later I am Newark bound again, with a head full of the history of a town I previously had no awareness of, and with a heart full of the music of Bach, presented in a context that felt less like a festival than a glorious friendship between a great composer and the orchestra, conductor and choir at the heart of an extraordinary town."

—The Whole-Note - Toronto, June 2015

"The Bach Choir of Bethlehem, founded in the 19th century, has gained international recognition through its annual Bach Festival, tours and recordings. The more than 100 vocalists displayed clean tone, excellent pitch and blend, and kept good tempo even in the most stressful numbers…outstanding, energetic and crisp. The orchestra was a collection of top freelancers from around the Eastern Seaboard including several from Washington… baritone Dashon Burton, was the standout. He has a clarion instrument that projects well throughout his range…a splendid dramatic performance. Soprano Rosa Lamoreaux was also excellent, expertly modulating her silvery tone for the various roles she took…This was the choir’s big night, though, and it gave great pleasure…”

—The Washington Post, March 2013

“A handsome account of Bach’s St. John Passion on this new release confirms that the Bach Choir of Bethlehem doesn’t rest on anything resembling laurels. Greg Funfgeld has trained his singers to articulate words crisply, dance lightly when the music must move and blend elegantly. Funfgeld brings a sure sense of phrasing, texture and pacing to the narrative, and the Bach Festival Orchestra—mostly modern instruments, with viola da gamba, violas d’amore and portative organ supplying period flavors—are cohesive and nimble. Charles Daniels stands out as a poetic and powerful Evangelist, William Sharp as a warmly inflected Jesus and Julia Doyle as a shining champion of the soprano arias.”

—Gramophone, November 2012

“The Bach Choir of Bethlehem sang a Brahms motet (“Lass Dich Nur Nichts”) with all the polish and fervor it brought to cantatas by its namesake.”

—New York Times, September 2011

“..inspired program of hope, optimism and comfort …disarmingly powerful…overflows with jubilation”

—The Morning Call, October 2011

“America’s venerable Bach Choir of Bethlehem makes its Analekta debut on a disc brimming-over with festive D major trumpets-and-drums brilliance…Julia Doyle and Daniel Taylor heading up a distinguished solo line-up.”

—BBC Music Magazine, May 2010

“Conductor Greg Funfgeld coaxed a lovely rich chamber orchestra sound from the Bach Festival Orchestra strings...The hauntingly beautiful voices of Taylor and Zsigovics—she in her festival debut—melted together like two precious metals, hers of bell-like clarity, his a more complex alchemy, with a sheen like liquid mercury.”

—The Morning Call, May 2010

“As I listen to The Bach Choir of Bethlehem with Greg Funfgeld conducting…I find it hard to believe this is an all-volunteer choir but it’s true…a well polished vocal ensemble, and a true level of musicianship and understanding of the choral music of Bach.”

—Minnesota Public Radio Review, December 2009

“…an American musical treasure… they sing with a fervor and a level of musicianship that carries one away—from bass to soprano, the supple strength and solidly integrated tone of this amateur choir reflects the most admirable qualities of the European-American tradition of choral song.”

—Wall Street Journal May, 2007

“By all accounts the chorus remains as vital an institution as ever…The B-Minor Mass performance was rousing, committed and touching…Bach’s ‘St. Matthew Passion’ too was ardently and lovingly performed…”

—New York Times, May 2007

“This is Bach at its finest. The conductor, orchestra, soloists, and chorus are eminently capable of the nuances of the rich harmonic texts …spirited and vivacious…It is not likely to get any better than this on this side of the Atlantic.”

—The American Organist, January, 2004

“America’s venerable Bach Choir of Bethlehem sang Bach and Mendelssohn with good-natured and ruddy-cheeked elation. And their centerpiece was a BBC/Bach Choir co-commission, the world premiere of Libby Larsen’s I It Am, a jubilant cantata based on the writings of Julian of Norwich…this highly coloured and disarmingly unsophisticated work came from, and went straight to, the heart.”

—The Times, London, July 2003

“The Bach Choir of Bethlehem…had their audience enthralled…The choir knows and loves this work – and it shows…transatlantic magic.”

—The Scotsman, Edinburgh, July 2003

“Nearly one hundred strong, the Bach Choir of Bethlehem tempers its power and energy with the intimacy of a much smaller group. It also blends seamlessly with the excellent modern-instrument Festival orchestra which Greg Funfgeld conducts with an obvious knowledge of, and sensitivity to, modern performance practice.”

—Early Music News, California, October/November 2002

“…the Choir and Festival Orchestra, under their director, Greg Funfgeld, perform these three cantatas beautifully and convincingly. The work of the soloists is excellent, too…Excitement, dedication, power—all things that we hear more and more seldom in Bach cantatas—lend distinction to this beautiful and well-produced recording.”

—American Record Guide, November/December 2002

“Sheer jubilance…exceptional elegance and grace…radiant performance…Having heard the Bethlehem Bach Choir pour its heart into the master’s vocal music, one will never listen to it in quite the same way again.”

—Musical America, May 2001

“The Bethlehem Bach Festival is one of the most venerable musical institutions in the USA, with an unmatched tradition of introducing Bach’s music to our shores. Greg Funfgeld…has revitalized this Pennsylvania institution, and Dorian is doing well to document its vibrancy in a recording series… genuine honesty and intelligence informs this performance…Funfgeld has forged a fine body of singers and players…tightly disciplined ensemble …rousing spirit and sacred joy aplenty. This recording will not disappoint.”

—American Record Guide, November/December 2000

“…intoxicating but precise choral sound that reminds you why choruses grew this large in the first place. The elemental power is startling…the Bethlehem approach under Greg Funfgeld isn’t anachronistic, but meets the historically enlightened approach halfway…We know from Bach’s often irritable correspondence that he campaigned for more singers. The Bach Choir of Bethlehem gives him all he could have wanted. Maybe this is “in-his-dreams” Bach.”

—Philadelphia Inquirer, December 2000

“…a performance that confirmed my belief that this is one of the finest large amateur choruses in the United States.”

—The Washington Post, May 1999

The Bach Choir gratefully acknowledges and thanks our sponsors and media partners for supporting our organization and the arts.
The Choir is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

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