100 Concerts with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem

Since 1898, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem has been a vital and dynamic part of the city’s – and the region’s – cultural landscape. The annual Bethlehem Bach Festival is the heart of the season but the Choir performs year round, including in schools and in the community – no tickets required. 

But why “Bach at Noon?” Where did the idea come from? Early in his tenure with the Bach Choir of Bethlehem, Greg Funfgeld, artistic director and conductor, studied with Helmuth Rilling at the BachAcademi in Stuttgart, Germany.

Helmuth used to present a Gesprachskonzert (“Conversation concert”) where he gave an introduction to each piece, which helped the audience understand more fully and appreciate the music to come. At that time, Greg thought, “We should be doing something like this in Bethlehem!” and inaugurated Bach at Noon in January 2005 to do just that.  By offering brief remarks and examples of the music to come, Greg enables the audience to gain more insight into the compositions being performed. Bach at Noon includes ten concerts each season (seven in Bethlehem and three in Allentown) and follows the format of one choral work and one instrumental work, with music performed by members of the Bach Choir and Bach Festival Orchestra.

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem is honored to present our 100th Bach at Noon concert on Tuesday, March 12.  It’s been a pleasure to present these free performances to the appreciative audience that gathers each month at Central Moravian Church. At this special 100th performance, we’ll welcome back Choir alumni, and include one of Bach’s most familiar and well-loved works, Cantata 140 Wachet Auf! (known as Sleepers Wake!)  Add this concert to your Tuesday afternoon and share the joy!