Arts Around Town

Arts Around Town: The Gettys on tour lead worship through their art of hymn writing

They write the songs for congregations that reverberate throughout the world, such as "In Christ Alone," "The Power of the Cross," and "Christ Is Risen, He is Risen Indeed."

They're modern hymn writers and husband-and-wife duo Keith and Kristyn Getty, and they're bringing their 20-city fall concert tour, "Hymns for the Christian Life," to the Lehigh Valley. Through the efforts of the Bible Fellowship Churches (BFC) of the Lehigh Valley, their night of worship will take place on Nov. 9, at 7 p.m., at Cedar Crest Bible Fellowship Church, 1151 S. Cedar Crest Blvd., Salisbury Twp., Lehigh Co. The concert is a ticketed event, and tickets are available only through

The tour comes on the heels of the Getty's album of the same name being nominated for a 2013 GMA (Gospel Music Association) Dove Award in the category of inspirational album of the year. The project featured Grammy Award-winning artists Alison Krauss and Ricky Skaggs.

Pastor Rick Paashaus, of Calvary BFC in Coopersburg, Lehigh Co., is spearheading the Lehigh Valley concert while his choir director, Joe Busolits, has assembled nearly 100 voices from the valley BFC choruses who will provide on-stage assistance to the Gettys and their band.

"The Bible Fellowship Church has a heart for worship," Pastor Paashaus said. "While our churches vary in style and presentation, there are some key elements that every BFC holds dear when it comes to worship. We seek every aspect of worship to be God-focused, biblically sound, participatory, and presented with the excellence that our God deserves. That's why we've asked the Gettys to come lead us in worship. Keith Getty and his co-writer, Stuart Townend, have blessed today's church with biblically sound, God-focused hymns that are sing-able and presented with excellence."

In an interview from his home in Nashville, Keith Getty described the tour, which kicked off Sept. 29, as "absolutely wonderful" and "fantastic." Though he was humbled for the album being nominated for a Dove Award, he said he and wife Kristyn, both natives of Belfast, Northern Ireland, were more focused on continuing to do their best in writing and developing songs.

A new song on the theme of missions, co-written by the Gettys, producer Ed Cash, and titled "Lift High the Name of Jesus," is featured in the tour from the newly-released album, "Keith & Kristyn Getty: Live from the Gospel Coalition." The concert was recorded during the five-day Gospel Coalition held in Orlando, Fla., this past spring.

In working and traveling as husband and wife, Keith Getty called it "a privilege" and "a blessing" for both to be involved as they write hymns that teach the faith, that are trans-generational, and that "present Christ and the Gospel and that which is relevant for every part of life." The couple have one daughter, Eliza, 2 ½, and are expecting their second child in December.

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Music is in the air when Easton's Curnow family get together. Sister and brother, Lauren Curnow, mezzo soprano, and Jeffrey Curnow, associate principal trumpet with The Philadelphia Orchestra, join The Allentown Band and Conductor Ronald Demkee on Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church, 234 Spring Garden St., Easton. The 3 p.m. concert will feature the music of Wagner, Bizet, Dvorak, Gould, Gershwin and Sousa. Lauren and Jeffrey also will join their father, Conductor William Curnow, in "Let the Bright Seraphim" from Handel's "Samson."

Lauren Curnow serves on the voice faculty of Muhlenberg College in Allentown, her alma mater. She has performed worldwide and with The Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Wexford Festival Opera, The Opera Company of Philadelphia, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, The Santa Fe Opera and The Wolf Trap Opera. In August, she performed the role of Amneris in "Aida," in concert version as part of the Berks Opera Workshop. Last month, she performed in a rare Azerbaijani Operetta, "The Cloth Peddler," at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles. The production involved many Muhlenberg faculty members and students.

Jeffrey Curnow, a Temple University graduate, was a member of the Empire Brass Quintet and performed with such ensembles as the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony, the National Symphony, and major orchestras in Japan and Switzerland. He also was appointed principal trumpet with the New Haven Symphony and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. In addition to performing, he is an educator, clinician, adjudicator, arranger and producer.

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Some of the region's most prominent metal smiths, ceramicists, furniture makers, textile artists and weavers have their work on display at Kutztown University's Marlin and Regina Miller Art Gallery, through Nov. 22. Many are affiliated with Kutztown as alumni, faculty emeriti and student mentors.

The exhibit, "Modern Markers: 21st Century Craft in Berks and Lehigh Counties," features: Lisa and Scott Cylinder of Oley; Janna Gregonis, Barbara Schulman and E. Douglas Wunder, all of Kutztown; Jeff Kleckner of Bethlehem; Bill Kreider and Deborah Muhl, both of Emmaus; Willi Singleton of Kempton and Wendy Stevens of Boyertown.

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The audience decides the outcome of Rupert Holmes' Tony Award-winning musical, "The Mystery of Edwin Drood," beginning Friday through Nov. 3, at Muhlenberg College's Empie Theatre. The ensemble of actors will enlist the audience's help to finish the story of Charles Dickens' final novel. Dickens' murder mystery presented as a play within a play has the backdrop of the Victorian music hall for the exploits of the Theatre Royale, whose actors attempt to complete the unfinished story.

Director Charles Richter said the appeal of "Drood" was its "wild spirit" and hopes the Muhlenberg production captures "that whimsical essence." Senior Stefanie Goldberg portrays Drood. Musical direction is by Ed Bara; choreography by Jeffrey Peterson.

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Some ‘spirited' happenings in the Lehigh Valley include a re-creation of Pennsylvania's first witch trial in 1684, eight years prior to the notorious Salem witch trials. The trial of Pennsylvania's Margaret Matson, of Ridley Creek, will be presented Saturday at 1 p.m., at the Lehigh Valley Heritage Museum in Allentown. The first 11 visitors to the event will be allowed to serve on the jury. The event is based on official transcripts, historical facts, and traditions from the actual trial held in Philadelphia.

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It should prove interesting to see what prediction of future news headlines were made by master illusionist David Caserta back in August, when he made an audio recording and put it in a sealed box located in front of the State Theatre in Easton. The box will be unsealed during Caserta's family-friendly "Haunted Illusions" show on Sunday at 5 p.m. Caserta, from the Lehigh Valley, also included a prediction of the total ticket sales for his show.

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In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the opening of the Albertus Meyers Bridge in Allentown, a special exhibition, "The 8th Street Bridge Turns 100 Years," opens Monday and runs through Dec. 20, at the Penn State Lehigh Valley campus in Center Valley. The bridge was dedicated Nov. 17, 1913, with General Harry C. Trexler credited as the impetus to build it to enhance the economy of the valley as it connected the north and south sides of the city.

The exhibit features approximately 30 regional artists who have already created art about the landmark or who were invited to create a work of art in their medium. It also features artists who painted in the mid-1900s, many of whom were influential artistic leaders in the valley at the time the bridge was built. Works by Edgar S. Baum, Walter E. Baum and John Berninger are included.

A reception and community event will be held Nov 17.

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