East Penn Press

Saturday, February 22, 2020

Call of the Wildlands: ASO notes Earth Day 50th year

Friday, February 21, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Fifty years ago, it was proposed that the United States designate a day to celebrate the earth and support environmental protection.

Today, Earth Day is recognized in more than 193 nations.

The Allentown Symphony Orchestra (ASO) holds an annual “Youth Concert” and “Family Concert.”

This year, ASO Music Director and Conductor Diane Wittry decided to combine the two.

“With the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, when Diane was picking the theme, she decided to go green,” says Norma Nunez-Ruch, ASO education director.

Mozart. Haydn works well-suited to Pennsylvania Sinfonia

Thursday, February 20, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Spend a Sunday afternoon with two of the premier composers from the 18th century Vienna when Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra presents “A Viennese Afternoon,” 4 p.m. Feb. 23, Christ Lutheran Church, Allentown.

Enjoy the music of classical composers Mozart and Haydn in an intimate program that marks the Sinfonia debut of Bethlehem native and Lehigh Valley Charter Arts High School graduate Fiona Gillespie singing the soprano solo on Mozart’s “Exsultate, Jubilate, K. 165.”

Review: Disney on Ice ‘Memories’ has amazing ice-skating, eye-popping visuals

Friday, January 31, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

As if ice skaters dressed as Disney characters doing Salchow jumps and spins isn’t enough, Disney On Ice has piled on the spectacle for some eye-popping visuals in “Disney on Ice presents Celebrate Memories,” through Feb. 2, PPL Center, Allentown.

Skaters not only glide on the ice but they fly in the air. And not only does snow fall on the ice, but for one act, a section of the ice explodes in flames. Sparks fly, elaborate seaweed decorations fall from the ceiling and an outrigger “sails” across the ice.

Father Duggan back for Bach at Pa. Sinfonia ‘Winter Vivaldi’

Thursday, January 23, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

Nothing promises to warm up a cold January afternoon like the return of Father Sean Duggan, whose guest performance of a Bach concerto on piano is a highlight of Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra’s “Winter Vivaldi” concert Jan. 26.

It will be the 14th year that Duggan has come to Bethlehem to perform in what is his only appearance with Sinfonia this season.

Sports Classics: Allentown Symphony Pops concert got game with scores connection

Friday, January 17, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

From Quidditch to Queen, the Allentown Symphony Orchestra explores the relationship between sports and music at the next “Pops Concert,” 7:30 p.m. Jan. 18, led by guest conductor Carl Topilow of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra.

“Music and Sports” looks at how music captures the emotional impact of sports, from the unforgettable theme (“Gonna Fly Now” by Bill Conti) to “Rocky” (1976) with Rocky Balboa running up the 72 steps of the Philadelphia Art Museum, to the inspirational theme from Vangelis that is the backdrop for the Olympic runners in “Chariots of Fire” (1981).

Allentown Band CDs receive two American Prize awards

Friday, January 3, 2020 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

The Allentown Band has been awarded the American Prize’s Ernst Bacon Memorial Award for the Performance of American Music 2018-2019.

The band, which was named a Finalist Honorable Mention, received a Special Judges’ Citation for its CD, “Championing the Music of Morton Gould.”

The band also received a Third Place Citation in the American Prize’s Community Band-Wind Ensemble Division for its performance on its CD “Tribute to John Williams.”

Fun career: What started as lark is now sound of success for Straight No Chaser

Friday, December 20, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

For more than a decade, Straight No Chaser has taken what started out as a collegiate hobby and turned it into a career that has taken them around the world.

The male acapella sensation bring its “The Open Bar Tour,” to State Theatre Center for the Arts in Easton for two shows, 3 and 7 p.m. Dec. 22. The tour is in support of the group’s seventh album, the retrospective “One Shot.”

‘Swinging the Holidays’: Linda Purl teams with Rob Stoneback for big band concert of season cheer

Friday, December 20, 2019 by KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS in Focus

An actress and singer known for her roles on iconic television series “Happy Days” and “The Office” joins the Lehigh Valley’s own Rob Stoneback Big Band for “Swinging the Holidays with Linda Purl and the Rob Stoneback Big Band,” 7:30 p.m. Dec. 21 at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown.

Linda Purl joins Rob Stoneback and his band for a mix of Christmas music, American standards and swinging jazz in their first collaboration.

‘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.”