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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - Five local children have been selected to sing the solo portions of the traditional Moravian hymn "Morning Star" at the eighth Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary Christmas Vespers services this December. The Moravian College Choir, conducted by Paula Zerkle, will be featured in the services that will be held December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15 at Central Moravian Church, Main and Church streets, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A preview concert will be held on Sunday, November 24 in Foy Concert Hall on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. The preview concert showcases all of the same music and song of the December Services.
Members of the Moravian College music department chose the following soloists to sing at the annual vespers program:
Genevieve Gillespie will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the November 24th preview concert as well as the December 7th service. She is the daughter of Thomas and Allison Gillespie of Coopersburg, Pennsylvania. Genevieve is 12 years old and a 6th grade student at Southern Lehigh Middle School. Allison is an artist lecturer in the music department at Moravian College.
Julia Nagle will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 6th service. She is the daughter of John and Kerrianne Nagle of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Julia is 10 years old and a 5th grade student at Hanover Elementary School. Kerrianne’s cousin, Sally Reimer, is a choir member.
Sarah Brodt will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 8th service. She is the daughter of Ralph and Christina Brodt III of Coplay, Pennsylvania. Sarah is 10 years old and is in the 5th grade at Whitehall-Coplay Middle School. Ralph is a graduate of Moravian College class of 1975. He is an artist lecturer in the Moravian College music department.
Harris Hoke will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 13th service. He is the son of Harris and Kathleen Hoke of Flanders, New Jersey. Harris is 9 years old and is a 4th grade student at St. Joseph’s Elementary School. Both Harris, class of 1985, and Kathleen, class of 1987, graduated from Moravian College.
Jason Curtis will be the featured Morning Start soloist at the December 14th and 15th services. He is the son of John and Judy Curtis of Dallas, Pennsylvania. Jason is 7 years old and is a 2nd grade student at Wyoming Seminary Lower School. Judy is a graduate of the class of 1983 from Moravian College.
Moravian Theological Seminary graduate Francis Florentine Hagen composed "Morning Star" in 1836.The Morning Star hymn is traditionally sung by a child soloist each year. Auditions were held for the positions in October.
The soloist, choir, and congregation join in singing the hymn as the church lights are dimmed and the beeswax candles are distributed by members of the college and seminary community. Moravian College's tradition of celebrating the Christmas season with special vespers services dates back to 1742.
Liturgists for the six services will be Frank L. Crouch, Dean and Vice President of the Moravian Theological Seminary (December 6), Dr. Ervin J. Rokke, President of Moravian College and Theological Seminary (December 7), Beverly J. Kochard, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Moravian College (December 8), Dennis A. Domchek, Vice President for Administration at Moravian College (December 13), Curtis A. Keim, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculty at Moravian College (December 14), and Father Wayne E. Killian, Catholic Chaplain of Moravian College (December 15).
During the services, seminary students will read text from the New Testament, college students will read text from the Old Testament, and members of the faculty and administration will offer prayers.
The Christmas Vespers services are held for the immediate college community and invited guests. Moravian College is a private, coeducational, selective liberal arts college located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Tracing its founding to 1742, it is recognized as
America's sixth-oldest college. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.