Since 2011, the Lehigh Valley Arts Council has been working with the Center for Independent Living; Center for Vision Loss; VSA Pennsylvania; Individuals with Disabilities, and local arts groups to establish a Pennsylvania Arts Access Program. According to the Council’s executive director, Randall Forte, “The program seeks to make the valley more disability-friendly and increase attendance to cultural events by providing training and shared use of audio-description and open-captioning equipment.
The 25th anniversary celebration of the passage of the Americans for Disabilities Act will be recognized in 2015.
For further info: lvartscouncil.org
“An Evening of A cappella” will be held Saturday at 8 p.m., at Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College in Easton. Lafayette’s student-led a cappella vocal groups – Cadence, Chorduroys, and Soulfege – welcome guest school ensembles in the 11th annual celebration to benefit Friends of Lafayette Music and the Daniel P. O’Neil ’06 Memorial Fund. The concert is being presented by the Lafayette College Arts Society.
For further info: lafayette.edu
Violin soloist Midori makes her debut with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra in a program, “Experience Midori!” on Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m., at Miller Symphony Hall in Allentown. Music selections include Smetana’s “The Moldau,” Bartok’s “Violin Concerto No. 2,” and Brahms’ “Symphony No. 2.”
Midori, born in Japan, was 11 when she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic under the direction of Zubin Mehta. She since went on to play with major orchestras around the world. She currently chairs the string department at the University of Southern California, Thornton School of Music. She also started a foundation that supports music education, plus an orchestra residency program with American youth orchestras.
For further info: AllentownSymphony.org
Christmas music definitely is in the air with The Bach Choir of Bethlehem. This year features a special CD release and signing event for “A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem” on Sunday at 3 p.m., at the Moravian Book Shop in downtown Bethlehem. On hand will be Greg Funfgeld, artistic director and conductor of The Bach Choir. Members of the Bel Canto Children’s Chorus will perform a cappella Christmas selections, plus student poets of Freemansburg Elementary School will read poems from the recording.
Funfgeld serves as narrator on the CD that includes carols spanning seven centuries and five languages, as well as poems and stories that take the listener from Bethlehem in the Holy Land to diverse Christmas traditions of Bethlehem, Pa., in the present day.
Music for “A Child’s Christmas in Bethlehem” was chosen by Funfgeld as The Bach Choir is joined by the Bel Canto Children’s Chorus, under the direction of Joy Ondra Hirokawa. Thomas Goeman is assistant conductor and accompanist of the Bach Choir on organ and piano. The spoken word was compiled by Bridget George and directed by Bill George. Voices are by adults and by students of Freemansburg Elementary School.
For further info: bach.org
The “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas” tour visits the Lehigh Valley on Friday at 7:30 p.m., at the State Theatre in Easton, in a show specially created by Grammy Award-winner and founder Chip Davis. Multimedia effects will be accompanied by the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller in the spirit of the season.
For further info: statetheatre.org
Tony, Emmy, and Golden Globe Award-winning actor John Lithgow presents his one-man theatrical memoir, “Stories by the Heart,” on Saturday at 8 p.m., at the Zoellner Arts Center at Lehigh University in Bethlehem. Lithgow will be interspersing his own story with two stories read to him as a child – Uncle Fred Flits” by P.G. Wodehouse and “Haircut” by Ring Larder.
Lithgow’s one-man show, created for The Lincoln Center Theater Company, has been touring the country. He also is the author of children’s and young adults’ books.
In conjunction with the performance, Mary Wright of the Lehigh Valley Storytelling Guild will share stories at 7 p.m. Wright has more than 20 years of experience in both theater and storytelling.
For further info: zoellnerartscenter.org