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Bethlehem, Pa., November 24, 2008— Five 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 in December. The Moravian College Choir, conducted by Dr. Paula Ring Zerkle, will be featured in the six services that will be held December 5, 6, 7, and 12, 13, and 14 at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. Members of the Moravian College Music Department chose Kayla Demarest (age 8), Natalya Schienholz (age 9), Rory Lipkis (age 11), Allura Kistler (age 10), and Patrick Carpenter (age 11) to sing “Morning Star” at the annual vespers.
Kayla Demarest is the daughter of Karen Helms Demarest and Kevin Demarest. Karen is a choir alumna of Moravian College. Kayla is a third-grader at Benedict A. Cucinella Elementary School in Long Valley, N.J.
Natalya Schienholz is the daughter of Rachael and Jeffrey Schienholz and niece of current student Sarah Thomas. Natalya is a fourth grade student at Bushkill Elementary in Nazareth, Pa.
Rory Lipkis is the son of Linda and Larry Lipkis. Rory is a sixth-grader at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa.
Allura Kistler is the daughter of Linda Kistler and Geoffrey Correll. Linda is a faculty member at Moravian College. Allura is in fifth grade at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pa.
Patrick Carpenter is the son of Mentana and Robert Carpenter. His grandfather is alumnus Anthony Morelli of the class of 1959. Patrick is a sixth grade student at Logan Elementary in Logan Township, N.J.
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 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. 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.