The Lutheran Reformation inaugurated what was to become a distinctive tradition of liturgical music, that reached its zenith in the music of Johann Sebastion Bach. A significant part of this musical tradition was the provision of extended musical settings of the biblical narratives concerning the life of Christ, performed on the respective feasts and fasts of the church year. Passions formed the greater part of these Historiae, as they were termed, but there were also musical expositions of the birth, resurrection and ascension of Christ. - Robin A. Leaver, Â© 1998 Westminster Choir College of Rider University (Princeton) Founded in 1898, The Bach Choir of Bethlehem is the oldest Bach Choir in America and gave the first performances in the United States of The Mass in B Minor and The Christmas Oratorio in Bethlehem, PA. Now, one hundred years later, The Choir has achieved a level of musical excellence which has been recognized internationally. Under the leadership of Artistic Director and Conductor Greg Funfgeld, The Choir of 110 dedicated volunteer singers, The Bach Festival Orchestra and soloists of world renown continue the tradition of performing exclusively the music of J.S. Bach.