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Bach Choir of Bethlehem

The American Bach Society and
The Bach Choir of Bethlehem announce the...

Sixth Biennial Bach Vocal Competition
for American Singers

May 16, 2010     Bethlehem, Pennsylvania

2008 Winners       2006      2004       2002       2000

The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and the American Bach Society announce their sixth biennial competition for American singers with special interest in the music of J. S. Bach.

On May 16, 2010, ten finalists will appear before a panel of distinguished judges and a live audience in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

The First Prize winner chosen by the judges on that day will receive a career development grant of $3,000 and a solo performing opportunity with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem and Greg Funfgeld, Artistic Director & Conductor, in a future season.

In addition to the first prize, up to three additional cash awards of $500 may be awarded to other finalists, at the judges' discretion.

Judges at the auditions on May 16, 2010, will include

  • Greg Funfgeld, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem
  • other distinguished Bach performers and specialists, to be announced


(As of the finals on May 16, 2010, you must not yet have reached your 30th birthday.)



  • Preliminary application is by audio recording only (details below).
  • From these preliminary applications, ten finalists will be chosen.
  • Application Deadline MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010.
  • All applications must be received by the Competition Administrator on or before this date.
  • All applicants will be notified no later than April 10.


  • The ten finalists will sing in Bethlehem, PA, on Sunday, May 16, 2010, 12:30–3:00pm.
  • Location: Peter Hall, Moravian College, Bethlehem, PA 18018.
  • At the finals, each singer will present two Bach arias of his/her choice, with piano accompaniment. Piano accompanist will be provided. Finalists may bring their own accompanist if desired.
  • Finalists must provide their own transportation to Bethlehem for the finals. By car, Bethlehem is 90 minutes north of Philadelphia and ca. 2 hours west of New York City. (Google Map)
  • The nearest commercial airport is the Lehigh Valley Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania. (Airport website)

The finals occur at the conclusion of the final weekend of the 2010 Bethlehem Bach Festival. Finalists may request complimentary tickets to any concerts they wish to attend for this weekend of the Bethlehem Bach Festival. (Concerts take place on Friday and Saturday. There are no Festival concerts on Sunday.)

Please visit the Bach Choir of Bethlehem's website to view the Bethlehem Bach Festival schedule or email to request a Festival ticket brochure.


There is no application fee, and no special application form is necessary. Simply send the following material to the address listed below:

We charge no application fee; no special application form is needed. Simply send the following material to us at mailing address listed below. Application material is not returnable.

Résumé of your education, training, and onstage experience. Tell us about yourself.

Photo for our publicity purposes

Repertoire list: music you have performed or studied (opera/oratorio). Although we are especially interested in your experience singing Bach and the Baroque, we do appreciate having an overview of your repertoire.

Audio CD or cassette tape. The recording should include a minimum of two selections by J. S. Bach (Bach only, no other Baroque composers). At least one work should be in German. We recommend including arias from the Passions, the Christmas Oratorio, the Mass in B Minor, or cantatas. Arias only, please; no duets or ensembles.

Please Note: Audio CD or cassette tape only. We are unable to accept video tapes, DVDs, mini disks, or emailed mp3 files as audition material.

Letter(s) of recommendation from music professional(s) other than your current teacher. (A letter of recommendation is OPTIONAL, and is not a requirement, but is strongly advised).

Letters of recommendation may be emailed or sent as email attachments if desired. Letters of recommendation may be emailed directly to

Please DO NOT send résumés, bios, photos, or mp3s as email attachments. We prefer to receive that sort of material in hardcopy form. (You may send letters of recommendation as email or as email attachments.)

All application materials must be received at the California address below no later than March 29, 2010. Please label all material with name and phone number.

We will make every effort to choose the ten finalists and notify every applicant no later than April 5.

Please send your material early.
For hints on applying for competitions and young artist programs,
please read David Gordon's "Advice for Applicants" page.

Send your application to:

David Gordon
Post Office Box 4843
Carmel CA 93921

phone: 831/238.2934

For FedEx, UPS, and other overnight deliveries ONLY please use this address:

David Gordon
7990 Carmel Valley Road
Carmel CA 93923
Phone 831-238-2934
(Please do not send ordinary US Mail to this address.)

Please remember, we must RECEIVE all your application material
in Carmel, California on or before Monday March 29, 2010

About the Bach Choir of Bethlehem
Greg Funfgeld, Artistic Director and Conductor

Since its founding in 1898, the now-famous Bach Choir of Bethlehem has been attracting thousands of national and international visitors every May to its annual Bethlehem Bach Festival. The oldest Bach Choir in North America, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem gave the first complete American performances of The Mass in B Minor and The Christmas Oratorio. The annual Bach Festival in May features the acclaimed Choir and Bach  Festival Orchestra and world-renowned soloists underr the leadership of Music Director Greg Funfgeld. The repertoire includes 136 cantatas, all of the motets, and 15 of Bach's larger  works. Read more about the Bach Choir here.

Please visit the Bach Choir of Bethlehem's website for the Festival schedule or email to request a Festival ticket brochure.

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Bach Choir of Bethlehem         American Bach Society         Carmel Bach Festival

All information contained in this document is correct as of Feb. 12, 2010, and is subject to change.

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