Parkland Press

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Coronavirus impact: 113th Bach Festival canceled in Bethlehem

Saturday, April 4, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

The 113th Bethlehem Bach Festival will not take place in May 2020 because of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Bach Choir of Bethlehem officials announced the decision to cancel the internationally-recognized May 8, 9 and May 15, 16 festival, described as “The Heart of Our Season,” in an email to patrons, on its website and in an April 3 press release to the media.

Akropolis Reed Quintet to play in ‘Chamber on Stage’ concert

Friday, March 13, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A program of American music from the last century played on oboe, clarinet, saxophone and bassoon highlights the next concert in Allentown Symphony’s two-year-old “Chamber on Stage” series.

The award-winning Akropolis Reed Quintet performs, 3 p.m. March 15, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Akropolis Reed Quintet will present its “These American Stories,” which features Gershwin’s famous “American in Paris” arranged for reed quintet, as well as an arrangement of Nina Simone’s “For All We Know.”

Bach Choir of Bethlehem brings community on board for ‘Noah’s Flood’

Friday, February 28, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A seldom-performed Benjamin Britten one-act opera based on the Biblical story of Noah is the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s inaugural “Greg Funfgeld Family Concert.”

In collaboration with Pennsylvania Youth Theatre, the Bach Choir presents “Noah’s Flood,” 3 p.m. Feb. 29 and March 1, Packer Memorial Chapel, 18 University Drive, Lehigh University, Bethlehem.

“I’ve always loved ‘Noah’s Flood,’” says Bach Choir of Bethlehem Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld. “It is such an amazing piece.

21st Lehigh Valley Music Awards March 1

Friday, February 28, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It’s a big night for the local music scene as local musicians, music schools and students will be honored at the 21st Annual Lehigh Valley Music Awards (LVMA), 4 p.m. March 1, Musikfest Cafe, SteelStacks, Bethlehem.

“We’re very excited,” says Gloria Domina, LVMA co-director. “Everything has just fallen into place his year and we have a wonderful line-up.”

A partnership between the nonprofit Greater Lehigh Valley Music Association and ArtsQuest, the LVMA was created to celebrate the region’s music scene.

22nd annual Schadt String Competition sets finals, free and open to the public

Friday, February 28, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Some of the best young cellists in the United States have traveled to the Lehigh Valley to compete for a prestigious national award given by Allentown Symphony Orchestra.

Nine cellists vie for the $12,000 grand prize and the opportunity to perform a solo concert with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO).

The finals of the 23rd Annual Schadt String Competition are at 2 p.m. March 1, Miller Symphony Hall, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown. The finals are free and open to the public.

Call of the Wildlands: ASO notes Earth Day 50th year

Friday, February 21, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Fifty years ago, it was proposed that the United States designate a day to celebrate the earth and support environmental protection.

Today, Earth Day is recognized in more than 193 nations.

The Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO) holds an annual “Youth Concert” and “Family Concert.”

This year, ASO Music Director and Conductor Diane Wittry decided to combine the two.

“With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, when Diane was picking the theme, she decided to go green,” says Norma Nunez-Ruch, ASO education director.

Mozart. Haydn works well-suited to Pennsylvania Sinfonia

Thursday, February 20, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Spend a Sunday afternoon with two of the premier composers from the 18th century Vienna when Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra presents “A Viennese Afternoon,” 4 p.m. Feb. 23, Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown.

Enjoy the music of classical composers Mozart and Haydn in an intimate program that marks the Sinfonia debut of Bethlehem native and Lehigh Valley Charter Arts High School graduate Fiona Gillespie singing the soprano solo on Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165.”

Review: Disney on Ice ‘Memories’ has amazing ice-skating, eye-popping visuals

Friday, January 31, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

As if ice skaters dressed as Disney characters doing Salchow jumps and spins isn’t enough, Disney On Ice has piled on the spectacle for some eye-popping visuals in “Disney on Ice presents Celebrate Memories,” through Feb. 2, PPL Center, Allentown.

Skaters not only glide on the ice but they fly in the air. And not only does snow fall on the ice, but for one act, a section of the ice explodes in flames. Sparks fly, elaborate seaweed decorations fall from the ceiling and an outrigger “sails” across the ice.

Father Duggan back for Bach at Pa. Sinfonia ‘Winter Vivaldi’

Thursday, January 23, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Nothing promises to warm up a cold January afternoon like the return of Father Sean Duggan, whose guest performance of a Bach concerto on piano is a highlight of Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra’s “Winter Vivaldi” concert Jan. 26.

It will be the 14th year that Duggan has come to Bethlehem to perform in what is his only appearance with Sinfonia this season.

Sports Classics: Allentown Symphony Pops concert got game with scores connection

Friday, January 17, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

From Quidditch to Queen, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra explores the relationship between sports and music at the next “Pops Concert,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18, led by guest conductor Carl Topilow of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

“Music and Sports” looks at how music captures the emotional impact of sports, from the unforgettable theme (“Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti) to “Rocky” (1976) with Rocky Balboa running up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, to the inspirational theme from Vangelis that is the backdrop for the Olympic runners in “Chariots of Fire” (1981).