A look back....an unforgettable close to a season like no other!
STAND UP: Singing the Underground Railroad
Traditional African-American spirituals and chorales from J.S. Bach with spoken word / poetry, our Bel Canto Youth Chorus, led by Founder and Artistic Director Joy Hirokawa, presents this moving and significant program.
Chamber Music: Bach, Handel and Vivaldi
Virtual 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival: Four Seasons featuring Elizabeth Field, violin; and one instrument to a part; soloists Paul Miller, viola and Greg Funfgeld, piano perform the music of Bach and Handel.
“Blessings and Benedictions:” Four Bach Cantatas
Members of the Bach Choir, Bach Festival Orchestra and soloists Sherezade Panthaki, Meg Bragle, Lawrence Jones and Dashon Burton present four Cantatas at our Virtual Festival, from St. John’s Lutheran Church.
2022-2023 Season At-A-Glance:
As we begin our 125th Anniversary season, we look forward to celebrating our legacy of excellence, welcoming our newly appointed Artistic Director and Conductor and sharing all the blessings found in the music of J.S. Bach with our beloved audience.
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem
ANNOUNCES NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR AND CONDUCTOR: CHRISTOPHER JACKSON
Dr. Christopher Jackson will be the 7th Artistic Director and Conductor in its 125-year history.
Dr. Jackson is a specialist in choral conducting with expertise in early music, performance practice, and community engagement. He is currently the Director of Choral and Vocal Activities at Muhlenberg College, where he teaches and conducts several ensembles. He is a member of Skylark Vocal Ensemble, a professional choral ensemble where he also serves as Director of Education, and The Thirteen, a Washington D.C. based choral ensemble. Dr. Jackson was the Conductor and Co-Founder of the Lycoming Baroque Choir and Orchestra where he conducted works by Bach and others. Over the course of his career, he has led international choir tours on several continents.
In addition to his work as both an ensemble and solo vocalist, Dr. Jackson has been a conducting fellow at Norfolk Festival (Yale Institute of Sacred Music) and at Tafelmusik Baroque Summer Institute. He is a member of Chorus America, National Collegiate Choral Organizations, Early Music America and American Choral Directors Association.
Dr. Jackson received his BA in voice performance from Oklahoma State University, and his Master in choral conducting from Westminster Choir College, and his doctorate in choral conducting from the University of North Texas.
Board President Harold Black commented, “We were encouraged by the number and the quality of applicants for the position. Chris Jackson was a standout from the start. He made a very favorable impression on our choristers young and old as well as our orchestra members. He received an enthusiastic recommendation from the committee, which the Board endorsed. Besides his musical talents, Chris displayed a deep understanding of our mission, our community, and the culture of our organization. He shares our commitment to the legacy built by Greg Funfgeld. We are excited about our future with Chris as our artistic leader.”
Leela Breithaupt, The Bach Choir’s Executive Director, is also looking forward to welcoming Chris. “The Bach Choir is enormously fortunate to have Dr. Chris Jackson as our 7th Artistic Director and Conductor. Our search spanned several countries, and we are delighted to have found Dr. Jackson in our own backyard. He brings not only an outstanding conducting craft, musicality, and leadership, but also his intimate knowledge of the Lehigh Valley and The Bach Choir’s unique place in history and the world. We are excited to embark on our journey into the future under the baton of such a gifted and communicative artist.”
The international search for an artistic director and conductor began in October 2019, under the direction of Board member Dr. Larry Lipkis and Board President, Harold Black. The search was interrupted for several months when COVID emerged in March, 2020 but was completed earlier this year as finalists were invited to visit Bethlehem and perform with The Choir and Orchestra.
125th Anniversary Season | Tickets on sale this summer!
Bach at Noon | Second Tuesdays 12:10 – 1pm Central Moravian Church, Historic Downtown Bethlehem, PA
2022 September 13 | October 11 | November 8
2023 January 10 | February 7 | March 7 | April 11
2023 June 13 | July 11 | August 8 Summer series at St. John’s Lutheran Church, Allentown
The Bel Canto Youth Chorus
Sunday, December 4 at 4pm | Wesley United Methodist Church of Bethlehem
Bel Canto Alumni Recital
Thursday, December 29 at 7pm
Please check bach.org/BelCanto for details & location
Christmas Concerts | Bach’s Christmas Oratorio Parts 4, 5 & 6
Saturday December 10, 2021 at 4pm | First Presbyterian Church of Allentown – new time!
Sunday, December 11, 2021 at 4pm | First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem
VIRTUAL Christmas Concert, live from Bethlehem Sunday, December 11 at 4 pm
Greg Funfgeld Family Concert | Youth Choirs Festival
Sunday, February 19, 2023 at 3pm | Zoellner Arts Center, Lehigh University
Spring Concert | Bach & Handel
Easter Oratorio | Messiah Part Three
Sunday, March 26, 2023 at 4pm | First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem
The Bel Canto Youth Chorus
Saturday, May 6 at 4pm | Wesley United Methodist Church of Bethlehem
115th Bethlehem Bach Festival
May 12-13 & May 19-20*, 2023 | Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
* In addition to the in-person performance, we will Live-Stream the Mass in B Minor on Saturday, May 20, 2023.
Bach at Noon
Initiated in 2005, this free concert series, designed as a community and economic development initiative, educates new audiences about Bach’s music. It includes seven performances 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!”
Bach at Noon welcomes back our in-person audience to our performances in the 2022-2023 season.
Bach at Noon concerts will are broadcast by WWFM, the Classical Network. This award-winning classical music station is listener supported, and has offered a number of Bach Choir concerts in previous seasons. We’re delighted that they’ll be sharing our joyous Bach at Noon concerts with listeners near and far each month!
2021 and 2022 Broadcast dates below – Tune in to WWFM on any of the broadcast stations listed on the chart.
CONCERT DATE | BROADCAST DATE
September 14 | October 11
October 12 | November 8
November 9 |
April 12 | June 13
June 14 | July 11
July 12 | August 8
August 9 | September 12
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.
Initiated in 2000, the annual Greg Funfgeld 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 Greg Funfgeld 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.
114th 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.
Gala Event & 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, Roomful of Teeth, Thomanerchor, Peter Serkin and Theatre of Early Music, 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.
Now is the perfect time to purchase gift certificates for the coming season! Just click SHOP and choose a certificate, available at $25, $50 and $100.
Certificates may be redeemed for tickets to Bach Choir concerts or merchandise. (Not valid toward Gala or fundraising events.)
Thank you! We look forward to seeing you soon !
Upcoming and Recent Concerts
Virtual Bach at Noon concerts are back! Our latest concert was on Tuesday, April 13.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the program.
Mark your JUNE calendar –
Bach at Noon from Allentown returns on June 15!
Sharing our Bach at Noon concerts virtually and looking forward to the day we gather again to experience this music together!
Please click the image above to enjoy our April Bach at Noon concert, featuring Elizabeth Field, violin, Robin Kani, flute, Mary Watt, oboe, Greg Funfgeld, keyboard and Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano, which premiered at noon on April 13!
A gallery of our season to come.
Click on an image below to learn more and buy your tickets. We look forward to sharing this beautiful music with you.