Concerts, COVID and Comfort
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Virtual Bethlehem Bach Festival

113th Bethlehem Bach Festival is coming – virtually! 

Join us online this year, when we’ll stream our Festival concerts and events on Friday & Saturday, May 14 & 15, on WFMZ.com.
*** PLEASE NOTE!  The Festival will be LIVE-STREAMED ONLINE;
it is NOT on Channel 69. ***

Click on WFMZ.com to reach the Festival.

FREE Registration contributions to our Festival gratefully received!

The music of Johann Sebastian Bach has been performed at the Bethlehem Bach Festival for more than 100 years. When the pandemic forced us to cancel the event in May, 2020, we were unable to present the Festival for the first time in many years. We are thrilled to be back this year, with a modified but no less enthusiastic program planned for our Virtual Festival, which we hope you will view and enjoy. Although we won’t be together, we know that Bach’s eternal messages of hope, comfort, faith, and peace will touch us in a very special way this year.

Registration is FREE to All – please join us! Our Virtual Festival is outlined in full on our Festival page. We’ve very pleased to welcome Paul Taylor Dance Company as our Artist-in-Residence, The Barnette Distinguished Scholar Lecture from Leipzig’s Bach Archiv Director Peter Wollny, coming to us from Germany, along with soloists who will join members of The Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra to present four Bach Cantatas:
Sherezade Panthaki, soprano, Meg Bragle, mezzo-soprano, Lawrence Jones, tenor and Dashon Burton, bass-baritone.

Conducted by Greg Funfgeld, the Festival will be streamed from Bethlehem and Allentown on WFMZ.com, all produced according to COVID-19 protocol.

Read more about the Virtual Festival and register to join us! Click HERE for Festival Information

 

 

2020-2021 Season:

  • VIRTUAL CHRISTMAS PERFORMANCE  Sunday, December 13, 2020:  Opening our hearts: Music and Inspiration of Christmas
    • FREE Registration – contributions welcome and gratefully received!   Click HERE for more information
      • J.S. Bach – Arias from the Christmas Oratorio
      • Robert Parsons – Ave Maria
      • Franz Xaver Gruber – Silent Night
  • Sunday, February 28, 2021: The Greg Funfgeld Family Concert –  Canceled: CLICK HERE for more information
    • Including Benjamin Britten – Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, in a Bach Choir collaboration with Lehigh University Philharmonic, the Dance Department of Lehigh Valley Charter High School of the Performing Arts and members of the Bach Festival Orchestra
  • Sunday, March 21, 2021: Spring Concert – Canceled: CLICK HERE for more information
    •   Durufle  – Requiem  & Handel  – Messiah, Part Two
  • ONE WEEKEND ONLY: Friday & Saturday, May 14 – 15,  2021 – VIRTUAL 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival
    Includes our Distinguished Scholar Lecture, Bach & Vivaldi Chamber Music Concert, “Blessings & Benediction:” A Program of Four Bach Cantatas, and Paul Taylor Dance Company as our Festival Artist-in-Residence and more.  CLICK HERE for more information and to register!
  • PLEASE NOTE: Our special event with Yo-Yo Ma has been POSTPONED.  For more information , please click HERE. 

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 MAY calendar –
Virtual 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival – May 14 & 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!

Support the Choir

PLEASE NOTE: Beginning on Wednesday, November 25, 2020, in-person recordings and/or rehearsals For “Bach at Noon” concerts will include no more than 12 musicians until further notice. 

With abundant caution, we are following our COVID-19 protocol for these concerts:

Summer 2021  Bach at Noon concert series (see below)

Our Allentown “Bach at Noon | Bach Together” virtual concerts will be recorded this summer, conducted by Greg Funfgeld as he leads a small group of musicians, with no audience present. Each concert will be posted on You Tube, facebook  and on each “Bach at Noon” calendar event here on our website.   On concert days, go to our event on this website, our  YOU TUBE channel or our facebook page to view the concert.  All from the comfort of your own home!  (You can also watch anytime you like once the concert has premiered.)

We  will post information about our first “open to the public” concert as soon as it is confirmed.

Bach at Noon concerts may be heard on WWFM (detailed schedule below in the Bach at Noon section).

Listen online at wwfm.org or on one of their regional broadcast stations. 

 

113th 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.

More! Full Festival Info

Our Pledge to You

Gift Certificates

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 !

Ready to Attend?
Buy Tickets

Bach at Noon

“I liked the piece when we were asked to sit with our hands folded. I closed my eyes and I could picture a bird gliding over a beautiful green grassy meadow. I felt like the bird gliding over the meadow as I listen to the music.”   ~  Grade 7 Student, Strayer Middle School, following a ‘Bach to School’ assembly. 

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!”

This season, we’re thrilled to announce that our Bach at Noon concerts will be again 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!

Bach at Noon concerts air at 1 PM on the second Monday of the month (Please note the multiple broadcasts in the month of February; schedule subject to change).  

2020 Allentown Concerts: Broadcast dates ~
June 9 concert on November 9
July 14 concert on December 7
August 11 concert on January 25, 2021

2020 Bethlehem Concerts: Broadcast dates ~
September 15 concert on February 1, 2021
October 13 concert on February 8, 2021
November 10 concert on February 15, 2021

2021 Bethlehem Concerts: Broadcast dates subject to change ~
January 19 concert on March 8
February 16 concert on March 15
March 9 concert on April 26
April 13 concert on May 10

Spring Concerts

Update:  Our Spring Concert for the 2020-2021 season has been canceled.

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.

Gala Event & Fundraiser

UPDATE:  Our Gala event for this season has been postponed.  We will share updates on rescheduling Yo-Yo Ma as soon as a date is confirmed.

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 and Peter Serkin, 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.

 

Christmas Concerts


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.

 

Family Concerts

Noah’s Flood (Noyes Fludde) masks, created by the students who played our Ark of animals in our 2020 Greg Funfgeld Family Concert.

Update:  Our Family Concert for the 2020-2021 season has been canceled.

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.