Greg Funfgeld is now in his 35th season as artistic director and conductor of The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. He has expanded the programs of The Bach Choir beyond the annual Bach Festival to become a year-round season of 31 concerts and educational programs with an audience of more than 20,000. Mr. Funfgeld led The Choir on two major concert tours, to Germany in 1995 including the Herkulessaal at Munich’s Royal Residence and the Thomaskirche, Bach’s church in Leipzig, and to the United Kingdom in 2003 including a performance for the BBC Proms in London’s Royal Albert Hall. He also directed The Choir’s Centennial performances at the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall (1999-2000), performances at Saint Paul’s Chapel and Trinity Church, Wall Street as part of a series of concerts entitled Remember to Love, presented in observance of the 10th Anniversary of 9/11, and most recently Mendelssohn’s Elijah at the Music Center at Strathmore (2013). Commissioned works during Mr. Funfgeld’s tenure have included Libby Larsen’s Cantata I It Am – The Shewings of Julian of Norwich, co-commissioned with the BBC Proms; and Stephen Paulus’ A Dream of Time, commissioned in honor of Funfgeld’s 25th anniversary with The Bach Choir and included in the Songs of Hope recording for Analekta in 2011. Under Mr. Funfgeld’s leadership, The Choir has released 12 recordings, most recently A Child's Christmas in Bethlehem on the Analekta label (2013), and co-produced two films—the PBS documentary, Make a Joyful Noise, and the internationally distributed Classical Kids’ DVD, Mr. Bach Comes to Call. Mr. Funfgeld is the architect and director of the Choir’s outstanding educational outreach programs, including Bach to School, Bach at Noon and the annual interdisciplinary Family Concert. These programs were awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grants in 2011, 2012, and 2013, and an international award from the J.S. Bach Foundation, Switzerland in 2012. Mr. Funfgeld is a member of the advisory board of The American Bach Society. He also serves as the director of music at First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem. He is a 1976 graduate of Westminster Choir College, where he studied under Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. In 1986, he received the Alumni Merit Award for excellence in musical performance. In 2007, Mr. Funfgeld was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Lehigh University in recognition of his musical accomplishments locally, nationally, and internationally.
Bridget George came to The Bach Choir as Executive Director in 1997. She has led the administration of The Choir through the implementation of five strategic plans and 16 concert seasons that have included the Centennial Celebration (1998-2000) and performances at Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Severance Hall, Saint Paul’s Chapel, Trinity Church Wall Street, and the Music Center at Strathmore. Ms. George was responsible for booking and administering The Choir’s eight-concert United Kingdom tour in 2003, including a performance for the BBC Proms. She was executive producer of the film Mr. Bach Comes to Call, based on the award–winning Classical Kids CD, produced by The Bach Choir with The Children’s Group, and broadcast nationwide on PBS in 2007. She has been involved in the production of ten of The Choir’s recordings including, most recently, A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem (2013) for which she compiled the spoken word. She also helped produce the Lehigh Valley PBS production of Make a Joyful Noise—an Emmy-award winning documentary on The Choir, and was the compiler and editor of Dear Mr. Funfgeld, published by The Choir in 2013. Ms. George has administered the expansion of The Choir’s educational programs with annual Family Concerts and the Bach at Noon free concert series, and the successful completion of The Choir’s Second Century Fund Campaign (2007) and campaign to endow The Choir’s new headquarters at the 1810 Heckewelder House (2010). Born in England and educated at Oxford University, with a BA in Philosophy and Psychology, Ms. George sang with Oxford’s ScholaCantorum under Andrew Parrot. She also has a Diploma of Education from Goldsmiths College, London and was a teacher at Coburg Primary School, London, specializing in music and drama education. Since moving to Bethlehem in 1976, Ms. George has worked full-time in the field of arts administration. She co-founded Touchstone Theatre in 1981 and was the company’s Producing Director from 1990-95. Her accomplishments at Touchstone included producing Theatre of Creation, an international festival celebrating the work of Jacques Lecoq; and co-producing a play with Chile’s Teatro la Memoria that toured in New York, Baltimore, and Santiago. Ms. George has served on panels for the National Endowment for the Arts and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.
Hal Black has been a member of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem Board of Managers since 2003. During his tenure on the Board he has served as chair of the Guarantor Committee, Marketing Committee, “Roots of Renewal” Task Force, and co-chair of the 2013 Gala, as well as assistant treasurer on the Finance Committee. Hal has one of the highest records of board members for attending The Choir’s concerts and social events and bringing friends to experience The Choir for the first time. He also likes to listen in on The Choir’s Monday night rehearsals several times a year and he and his wife Allison have been generous supporters of The Choir in countless ways.
Mr. Black was an executive at Air Products and Chemicals, Inc., where he held various positions in commercial development, strategic planning, and mergers and acquisition during his 30-year career. Prior to that he worked in research and development and engineering for DuPont de Nemours and Co. and the Uniroyal Chemical Company. He retired in 2011. He holds degrees in Chemical Engineering, Spanish, and Business from Bucknell University and the University of Delaware. In retirement, Mr. Black has been active in the field of mergers and alliances among non-profit organizations, has lent his skills managing programs for the Community Action Committee of the Lehigh Valley, and has helped Trout Unlimited form a fly fishing club at Lehigh University. He has also begun the study of piano and music composition and has had original compositions performed in recital at the Community Music School. He and his wife Allison, who is an avid equestrian, enjoy travel and attending live performances of music in all genres
Photo Credit, Greg Funfgeld: Trevor Dixon