Bethesda Music Series

Our 2017/2018 season:

Bach and More: Reformation Cantata 80, Choir and Orchestra – October 29, 4pm

Russian Voices: St. Petersburg Men’s Ensemble – November 26, 4pm

Spirituals: Richard Ford and the Heritage Chorale – February 18, 4pm

St. Luke’s Steel Drum Band – April 8, 4pm

Images: Eric Trudel, pianist, and Margaret Astrup, soprano – April 29, 4pm (new date!)

Three Choirs: Mendelssohn’s Elijah, with soloists, choirs, and orchestra – Wednesday, May 23, 7pm

How can a bunch of music lovers help their community? By making music, of course! And that is what the Bethesda Music Series has helped local and international musicians do for the past 20 years, raising funds for local social outreach by sharing great music with the people of New Haven. Bethesda, a Lutheran congregation down the hill from Yale’s Institute of Sacred Music, seems to attract musicians. Among the members who donate their time and artistry to the music series are at least four music professors from area schools including Yale, SCSU, and WCSU, as well as a half-dozen public school and private music teachers. Another handful of area musicians participate regularly and consider themselves part of Bethesda’s extended family.reformation sunday 2013

Passionate about music, Bethesda’s people decided over 20 years ago to make music a part of their social ministry, presenting 4-5 concerts each year and selecting local social service beneficiaries for each event. Agencies that have benefited from the series include Life Haven, Immanuel Baptist Shelter, after-school tutoring programs, Good News Garage, area summer camps, and Habitat for Humanity.

Madison architect and Habitat for Humanity board member Duo Dickinson praises the efforts of the music series. “After about a score’s worth of concerts, Bethesda Lutheran Church has taken the proceeds of those concerts plus a generous matching grant from Thrivent to donate tens of thousands of dollars for Habitat for Humanity. At Habitat, we are graced with thousands of volunteers who commit time and treasure to create homes for people that could never afford them without those donations.” Another beneficiary, Resurrection Connection Day Camp, a local day camp for the children of the New Haven Hill section, is run by Mike and Meg Carnaroli. “For twenty-six years, Resurrection Lutheran Church in the Hill section of New Haven and Camp Calumet have come together to run urban ministries in the summer called The Resurrection Connection Day Camp.  In recent years, funding … has become more difficult to acquire. The Bethesda Music Series heard this call for help. Their support has brought together urban children with camp counselors and helped foster spiritual growth for all involved.”

Area musicians and guest artists from around the country have participated in our programs over the years. Chamber ensembles created from the membership of the New Haven Symphony, the Wall Street Players, the Elm City Girls Choir, The Trinity Boys Choir, The Western Connecticut State University Opera, the St. Luke’s Steel Drum Band, The Brass Ring, as well as New York based ensembles such as the Manhattan String Quartet and Prometheus have all given of their time and talents.

Wanting to reach out to the community in as inclusive a manner as possible, we have made all concerts free and open to the public. A freewill offering is collected and donations are accepted. Faithful donors underwrite the expenses of the series, allowing us to give 100% of all freewill offerings to the charities.

To learn more about the Bethesda Music Series or to join our mailing list, please send an email to or contact the Bethesda church office at (203) 787-2346.

See our events listed by the Arts Council of Greater New Haven: