Bethlehem Press

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Broadway legends: Allentown Symphony Pops salutes Sondheim, Webber

Saturday, October 12, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Two of the greatest living composers of Broadway theater music will be honored by the Allentown Symphony Pops by featuring three musical veterans, including a Tony winner and the actor who portrayed the Phantom in “The Phantom of the Opera” more than 2,000 times.

The “ASO Pops Series,” with the orchestra conducted by Ronald Demkee, presents “The Best of Broadway: A Tribute to Sondheim & Lloyd Webber,” 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Bach Choir, soloists bring ‘Joyful’ to Festival Unbound

Thursday, October 3, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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.

Soloists, Allentown Band, in multicultural ‘Arts at St. John’s’ concert

Friday, September 27, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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.

‘Everything ready to go’

Tuesday, August 27, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Local News

Developers for Dave & Buster’s eager to begin construction at MacArthur Rd. site

Dave & Buster’s, the popular family-friendly chain that features a sports bar and arcade games, could be opening its first Lehigh Valley location in Whitehall Township by the holidays, township officials said last week.

The 4.5-acre site next to the Lehigh Valley Mall, along MacArthur Road, just past the exit of Route 22, has already been razed.

Developers are eager to start construction on the 30,000-plus-square-foot entertainment/dining complex, said Lee Rackus, bureau chief of the township’s planning, zoning and development.

‘Mer hoffe mer sehn eich datt’: Kutztown Folk Festival celebrates its 70th year

Saturday, June 29, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

“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.

Pa. Music & Arts Celebration back at Allentown Fairgrounds

Friday, May 24, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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).

Growing Mayfair: Festival builds on success in second year at Cedar Crest College

Thursday, May 23, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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.”

Emmaus High School Chorale to sing in Sistine Chapel

Friday, April 12, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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.”

Lona Farr, David Voellinger chair Community Music School Gala

Friday, April 12, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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.

‘Billboard’ going national

Friday, April 12, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

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.