The Bach Choir
"Working with Diaz Inclusion Consulting has provided a common language for The Bach Choir’s Board and Staff to continue our journey in EDIA. In our 2021-2022 season, The Bach Choir and Bel Canto Youth Chorus performed 32 musical pieces composed by women and Black composers." - The Bach Choir
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem continues our journey in this 125th anniversary season with the Greg Funfgeld Family Concert
February 19 at 3:00 pm. Under the direction of Christopher Jackson and dedicated Choral Directors, this Bach Choir collaboration invites youth choirs – The Bel Canto Youth Chorus, Lehigh Valley Charter High School for the Arts Touring Choir, Nazareth High School Chorus and the J.R. Masterman High School Choir perform with The Bach Choir and members of The Bach Festival Orchestra. Combining the music of Bach and contemporary composers, the finale of some 200 voices sharing this exquisite music is a testament to our commitment to our community. In early March, we will continue our Bach to School concerts that benefit 5,000 students a year throughout the Lehigh Valley including all 5th graders in Allentown, 3rd graders in Easton, and 4th graders in Bethlehem.
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem continues to spend 40% of its total budget on education and community engagement programming. The journey continues with specific emphasis on Access, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion throughout all programming and organizationally. Dr. Christopher Jackson, the newly appointed 7th Artistic Director & Conductor offers a fresh new outlook on education and community engagement programming through innovative interactive experiences.
The Bach Choir is committed to expanding access, overcoming perceived and physical barriers, and bridging cultural divides through innovative arts programs focused on education, music in hospice, live-streaming, and peer leadership in underserved communities. The Bach Choir brings together people from all walks of life lifting their voices up in song. This year, we widened the circle to include teens and youth in Culture Conversations program, people near death and their families in A Musical Heart hospice program, people who are not able to come to concerts due to geography, health, or physical limitations in our high-quality livestreaming programs, and underserved communities in our Bach to School and Bel Canto Youth Chorus programs.
Witnessing the multitude of Choir members, Orchestra members, Bel Canto choristers, and soloists coming together in the face of adversity – through masks, vaccinations, infection spikes, and testing - was each time nothing short of a miracle. The organization and its activities are indeed a well-spring of radical hope, and we are grateful to all our audiences and supporters.
Executive Director, Leela Breithaupt, has prioritized strengthening the organization and leadership's understanding of and embracing anti-racism and racial equity. An Asian-American woman having taught Leadership and Organizational Behavior honors courses at IU Kelley School of Business with a core EDIA unit, Leela is committed to broadening and strengthening this important work. Leela will serve as a mentor in Chorus America’s newly created Choral Executive Leadership Academy, an intensive leadership development program for early-to-mid career choral leaders who have been marginalized because of race and ethnicity.
“I am honored and humbled to be a part of such a warm, supportive, and giving organization that places the needs of its community at the forefront of it creative work.” Leela Breithaupt about The Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Working with Diaz Inclusion Consulting has provided a common language for The Bach Choir’s Board and Staff to continue our journey in EDIA. In our 2021-2022 season, The Bach Choir and Bel Canto Youth Chorus performed 32 musical pieces composed by women and Black composers.
The Executive Committee and Board Development Committee have led efforts to build buy-in from Board and Staff members in our Board Retreat. The Bach Choir's recent searches fully embrace racial equity, anti-racism, and an equitable process with a strong pool of diverse applicants. 3 out of 4 new staff identify as black, Asian, or hearing impaired. Our Bel Canto Youth Choir AD has long incorporated anti-racism and racial equity, weaving in lessons through projects and exploring how we use our voices in song to change our world for the better.