It’s a true Lehigh Valley community of music.
Angel-voiced Bel Canto youth singers join with the playful and raucous Jakopa’s Punch band; hip-hop-inspired body percussion punctuates a group of elite high school chorale singers, and a New Orleans-style brass band adds a swinging vibe to the spiritual sounds of a Baptist church choir.
A multicultural program featuring outstanding soloists will mark the Allentown Band’s concert, 3 p.m. Sept. 29, St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, 37 S. Fifth St, Allentown as part of the “Arts at St. John’s” series.
A Curtis Institute trained trumpet player, an Allentown mezzo-soprano who has performed internationally and St. John’s cantor highlight the program that includes selections from eight different countries, says Ronald Demkee, conductor of the Allentown Band.
“Mer hoffe mer sehn eich datt.” (“We hope to see you there.”)
The oldest continuously-operating folk-life festival in the United States celebrates its 70th year when the Kutztown Folk Festival opens June 29 and continues through July 7 at the Kutztown Fairgrounds with all the great traditional foods and displays visitors have come to expect, plus some exciting new features.
The Great Pennsylvania Music & Arts Celebration returns with its focus on veterans and music with local roots, May 25-27, Allentown Fairgrounds.
Highlighting the second annual festival is veterans-related programming Memorial Day, including “The USO Tribute Show,” featuring Bob Hope impersonator Bill Johnson, and Michele DelaFave, who performed with Hope on his USO tours in Vietnam and was one of The Golddiggers dancers on “The Dean Martin Show” TV show (1965-1974).
A newly-invigorated Mayfair returns to Cedar Crest College for its second year with twice as many artists and food vendors, expanded hours and some new faces.
After more than 22,000 filled the Allentown campus for the three-day festival last year, Lauren Condon, director of Student Union and Engagement for Cedar Crest, says organizers were “empowered” to move ahead with this year’s festival.
“The feedback was overwhelmingly positive about bringing back this beloved tradition to our beautiful campus,” she says. “We are hoping to build on last year’s numbers.”
On April 23, two days after Easter, the Emmaus High School Chorale will become one of the select few choirs to sing at the renowned Sistine Chapel, Vatican City, Italy.
The rare opportunity will take place during the Chorale’s concert tour to Italy during Holy Week.
“There is not a place in Italy that is more significant,” says Chorale director Rita Cortez. “You’re not even supposed to talk when you go there because it’s such a holy place and it’s visually stunning. I can’t wait for the Chorale to sing in there.”
The move to a new home and a remembrance of the late founding director is the focus of Community Music School Lehigh Valley & Berks’ (CMS) annual Spring Brunch and Silent Auction fundraiser, noon-3 p.m. April 28, Lehigh Country Club, Lower Macungie Township.
CMS will present an afternoon of music and reflections on the transformational move to the school’s new location, 1544 Hamilton St., Allentown, and honoring the memory of Martha Maletz, the inspirational founding director of the school, who died March 22.
A locally-produced film, inspired by a 1982 billboard-sitting contest in Whitehall Township, is getting its national release.
Forks Township filmmaker Zeke Zelker’s “Billboard,” more than 10 years in the making, opened April 5 at Frank Banko Cinemas, Steelstacks, Bethlehem, as part of the Greater Lehigh Valley Filmmaker Festival, where it’s scheduled to continue through April 11, and at Movie Tavern, Trexlertown, Upper Macungie Township, where it’s scheduled to continue through April 10.
The renowned Dali Quartet accompanies the Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra in the ensembles’ first-ever collaboration, “Dazzling Dalí,” 7:30 p.m. April 6, First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Crest Boulevard and Tilghman Street, Allentown.
It is the first time the two organizations have worked together, according to Bethlehem native and Dali first violinist Domenic Salerni.
Internationally-renowned choral-music clinician Dr. Rollo Dilworth will work with Allentown School District teachers and other area choral directors in a “Choral Music Teacher Workshop,” presented by the Bel Canto Youth Chorus of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem.
“In the choral music field, everyone knows Rollo [Dilworth],” says Joy Hirokawa, artistic director of Bel Canto. “He is a leader in choral music education. We are really excited about him coming.”