Northampton Press

Saturday, December 14, 2019

‘Singing Policeman’ at home with the Allentown Band

Friday, December 13, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It is the fifth time “The Singing Policeman” returns to sing with the Allentown Band for the its annual holiday veterans’ concert.

Daniel Rodriguez, known internationally as “The Singing Policeman,” says Allentown is a place he “keeps coming back to.”

Rodriguez, also known as “America’s Tenor,” accompanies the Allentown Band, El Sistema Lehigh Valley Children’s Chorus and guest musician, Michael Mergen, a cornet player with the U.S. Marine Band, for the “Americans We Tribute to Veterans-Holiday Concert,” 3 p.m. Dec. 15, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

‘Messiah’ meets ‘Magnificat’ is a first for Bach Choir of Bethlehem concert

Friday, December 6, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

It’s a performance not to be missed.

And you will have two opportunties to experience it.

For the first time in the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s 122-year history, the renowned singers are performing Handel’s “Messiah.”

The first part of the monumental choral masterpiece will be performed along with Bach’s “Magnificat” at the Bach Choir’s Christmas concerts Dec. 7 and 8 in Allentown and Bethlehem.

The three-part oratorio about the life of Christ is a beloved holiday favorite with familiar movements, including “Comfort Ye, My People” and “For Unto Us a Child Is Born.”

Christmas tree inspires book

Friday, December 6, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Have you ever gone to the Christmas tree farm and cut down a tree, only to find when you got it home, there was a little eight-legged stowaway among the branches?

Erin Ferguson and her two daughters have. “We’ve been cutting down live trees for years and we always got a spider in our Christmas tree,” Ferguson says.

“One year, we named one Earl and joked about it all season. He became a part of our family and it started a yearly Christmas tradition of welcoming Earl back into our home.”

Bel Canto concert theme peace for holiday season

Friday, December 6, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

In addition to the Bach Choir of Bethlehem’s Dec. 7 and 8 concerts, Bel Canto, the youth choir affiliated with the Bach Choir, is holding its winter concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 7, St. John Windish Church, Bethlehem.

“Patrons can do a double-header,” says Joy Hirokawa, Bel Canto director. “The can go to the Bel Canto concert at 2, go out to dinner and then go to the Bach Choir concert.”

Hirokawa says Bel Canto’s program is eclectic and she’s very excited about it.

She says one of the focuses of the concert is “finding and seeking peace.”

‘That’s not all, folks’: Queen’s Cartoonists animate jazz for classic film comedies

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Like most children, Joel Pierson grew up watching cartoons. From the wacky antics of Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd to the seductive exploits of flapper Betty Boop, he noticed that the cartoons’ accompanying music soundtrack drew heavily from the jazz canon.

Pierson leads The Queen’s Cartoonists, a classically-trained sextet whose unique performances include jazz compositions synchronized to video projections of the original classic cartoons on a screen behind the band.

For Dover Quartet, music is a bond for decade-plus

Thursday, November 21, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

The Dover Quartet is somewhat unique among classical quartets, in that its four members have been playing together for nearly 11 years.

Violinists Joel Link and Bryan Lee, violist Milena Pajaro-van de Stadt and cellist Camden Shaw have been together since they met as students at Curtis Institute, Philadelphia.

“That we have the same membership since we formed is a notable thing,” says de Stadt. “We have such an intensive chemistry. It really feels like a family. And when it comes to playing in a quartet, it really is about the chemical reaction between four people.”

Civic Theatre launches $1.1-mllion ‘Kapital for Kids’ campaign

Friday, November 1, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Civic Theatre of Allentown patrons heard Broadway tunes from Civic’s brand-new Civic Show Choir and took tours of the second floor of the Nineteenth Street Theatre Oct. 21 when the nonprofit theater kicked off the third and final phase of its capital campaign.

“Kapital for Kids” aims to raise $1.1 million to replace second-floor windows, renovate and modernize the classroom-rehearsal studios and the costume shop, and preserve and weatherize the Ninteenth Street Theatre façade.

Allentown Band to present German music concert for Oktoberfest benefit at Christ Lutheran Church

Friday, October 25, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

A day after performing at Miller Symphony Hall, the Allentown Band presents a concert of German music as part of an Oktoberfest celebration at Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown.

“It will be be whole afternoon of music by 19th-century German composers,” says Allentown Band conductor Ronald Demkee. “It will be quite a variety of masterworks.”

The band performs a free concert, 3 p.m. Oct. 27, Christ Lutheran Church, 1245 Hamilton St, Allentown, with a festive Oktoberfest of German food, music and other activities following at 5 p.m. Oct. 27.

Allentown Band member Stephen Reisteter composes original score to accompany silent film classic ‘Nosferatu’ screening at Miller Hall

Friday, October 25, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

See Oktoberfest concert: Page B5

With perfect timing, just five days before Halloween, “Nosferatu” the original vampire film, comes to Miller Symphony Hall at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26.

The Allentown Band will play an original score composed by one of their own to accompany the classic silent film that introduced the concept of a vampire inspired by Bram Stoker’s gothic horror novel “Dracula.”

Universally recognized as one of the greatest horror movies ever made, the 1922 German silent film brings Count Orlok, a terrifying vampire, to the big screen.

Vienna Boys Choir brings centuries of tradition to Miller Symphony Hall

Friday, October 25, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

They’ve sung for kings and emperors and worked with famous composers from Mozart to Britten. They’re been featured in films, released dozens of CDs and graced notable venues like Carnegie Hall.

Now the Vienna Boys Choir, world-renowned for their angelic voices, will perform Oct. 25 in Allentown.

The choir of boys age 10-14 who sing exquisite harmonies in unchanged voices, will bring “Journey Through the Americas,” a program of eclectic music from the middle ages to the present, to Miller Symphony Hall.