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Local children selected to sing Morning Star solos at Vespers Services

Moravian College Christmas Vespers(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) - Four local children have been selected to sing the solo portions of the traditional Moravian hymn "Morning Star" at the Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary Christmas Vespers services later this fall.

The Moravian College Choir, conducted by David McConnell, will perform during the services that will be held November 30, December 1, 2, and December 7, 8, 9, at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A preview concert will be held on Saturday, November 17, at 8:00 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus.

The following soloists were selected by the Moravian College Music Department to sing at the annual vespers program:

Molly Dunn will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the November 17th preview concert. She is the daughter of Barbara and Rodger Dunn of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Molly is 12 years old and an 8th grade student at Moravian Academy Middle School.

Emily Gasda will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 2 and 9 services. She is the daughter of Elise and Lawrence Gasda of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Emily is 11 years old and a 6th grade student at Northeast Middle School. Elise Gasda is an alumni from the class of '77.

Martha Giesler will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the November 30th and December 8th services. She is the daughter of Tina and the Rev. J. Christian Giesler of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Martha is eight years old and is in the 3rd grade at Lincoln Elementary School. Rev. Giesler is the Chaplain of Moravian College and the Moravian Theological Seminary.

Fiona Gillespie will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 1st and 7th services. She is the daughter of Alison and Thomas Gillespie. Fiona is 13 years old and is in the 8th grade at Southern Lehigh Middle School in the Southern Lehigh School District. Alison Gillespie is an artist lecturer in the music department at 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 and each year. Auditions are held for the positions in September.

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.

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.