The volunteer-based Bath Area Community Chorus got its start in 2012, following the Borough of Bath’s 275th anniversary. 

Director Sharon Schrantz, who has been singing in choral groups since the age of seven, shared that prior to the anniversary, the Bath Area Council of Churches would get together on the eve of Thanksgiving. The churches involved would hold a Thanksgiving celebration where a chorus was formed. 

Members of the chorus were from several local churches who came together out of a shared love of singing.

Upon Bath Borough’s 275th anniversary, Christ Church of Bath put out a call to other churches in the area for a Flag Day program that was to be held at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church. Support for the program exceeded expectations and amassed 45 participants.

Out of those participants, a core group of singers decided they wanted to put on another program at Christmastime, and alas, a chorus was formed.

Although they had no formal title when they formed in 2012, they received generous community support and have been putting on two programs per year since then, in June and December.

Every June, the 24-member chorus puts on a patriotic program for Flag Day where they honor military, veterans and first responders. Then, in December, the chorus puts on a Christmas program where they serenade attendees with a mixture of both religious and secular music.

Both programs are held at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and do not require tickets to attend. Instead, the chorus requests donations from those in attendance.

The funds raised at their annual programs are then donated to a different organization each year. This year, funds from the patriotic program will be donated to the Bath Volunteer Fire Department, and funds raised from the Christmas program will be donated to the Bath Area Food Bank.

Sharon beams that it was quite an honor for the chorus to also be invited to put on a musical program at Emmanuel’s Lutheran Church in Moore Township in observance of their 300th anniversary last year. 

Throughout the years, the trickiest part for the group was finding a rehearsal night that fit best with everyone’s schedules, especially since the group has members from all over, including Bath Borough, Moore Township, Nazareth Borough and even Jim Thorpe, but Sundays at 7 p.m. has been a good fit.

“I love talking about this group; their energy is just amazing and their desire to get things right and work hard is so uplifting,” commends Sharon.

Typically, the group has 10 rehearsals before each of their programs to fine-tune their vocals and instrumentals. 

“Rehearsals are fun and relaxed, but we get down to work and I think we provide a lovely program in the end,” Sharon reveals.

The choral group is always looking for new members and the ability to read music is helpful but not required. 

What’s more, Sharon explains that there are no auditions, so interested participants can just show up with their voices and an open mind, ready to sing their hearts out.

“It’s lovely to have such a dedicated group of people that get together and do something they all enjoy and even enjoy each other’s company,” says Sharon.

On Sunday, June 9, the Bath Area Community Chorus will present their patriotic program, “Songs of Freedom,” at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church, located at 206 E. Main St. in Bath. The program will begin promptly at 4 p.m.

Rehearsals for the Christmas program will begin in September, so singers interested in becoming members of the Bath Area Community Chorus can contact Sharon Schrantz at 610-837-1555. 


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