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Bethlehem Historic Musical Programs and Booklets

 Collection — Box: 0402
Identifier: SC MS 0402

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The collection consists of 46 items including programs from musical performances (all took place in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), as well as a few graduation programs and booklets, 1850s to 1950s.


  • Creation: 1850 - 1950

Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Please inquire about copyright information.

Historical / Biographical Note

Paul S. Larson (1932 - ) is professor emeritus of Moravian College’s Music Department. The contents of this collection have been assembled by him researching his three books about musical life in Bethlehem, of the Bach Choir and the Wolle Family, prominent Moravian Church musicians. J. Frederick Wolle (1863-1933), the Central Moravian Church’s organist (1885-1904) founded the Bethlehem Bach Choir and since around 1898 the Choir has performed Bach’s works in Packer Memorial Church on the campus of Lehigh University. Although many of the programs indicated the musical performances of the Moravian Seminary of Young Ladies, the Lehigh University connection is that several of the wives of Lehigh University’s professors were patronesses (Mrs. William Chandler, Thomas M. Drown and Mansfield A. Merriman) of these performances as well as some of the men from Lehigh such as Harry S. Drinker as a Lehigh student performed in the Philharmonic Society of Bethlehem orchestra directed by Lehigh professor William T. Roepper according to Prof. Raymond Walters (also from Lehigh University) notation in his 1918 book about the Bach Choir and of course the annual performances of the Bach Choir in the Packer Memorial Church on Lehigh University’s campus. The music performed in these programs is interesting to note regarding the sophisticated musical tastes of Bethlehem’s residents.


.25 Linear Feet ([1] box)

Language of Materials



Primarily the musical performance programs are from the Moravian Seminary for Women’s Music Department but also a few commencement programs are included and community musical events.


The arrangement is chronological.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The material was donated to Special Collections by Professor Paul S. Larson, July 19, 2021.


1858. Reichel, William Cornelius. “A history of the rise, progress, and present condition of the Bethlehem Female Seminary 1785-1858.” Philadelphia: Lippincott, 468 p.

1918. Walters, Raymond. “The Bethlehem Bach Choir: an historical and interpretative sketch .” Boston, New York: Houghton Mifflin.

1920. Heller, William Jacob. “History of Northampton County.” New York: American Historical Society.

1957. Mauer, Joseph A. “Moravian Church Music – 1457-1957.” The A.G.O. Quarterly, January 1957.

1996. Larson, Paul S. “Programs of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem: the First fifty years” Bethlehem: The Bach Choir.

2002. Larson, Paul S. “An American musical dynasty: A biography of the Wolle Family of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.” Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press.

2008. Knouse, Nola Reed, ed. “Music of Moravian Church in America.” Rochester, N.Y.: University of Rochester Press.

2012. Larson, Paul S. “Bach for a hundred years: A social history of the Bach Choir.” Bethlehem: Lehigh University Press.

In Progress
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)