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Concert Celebrating Moravian Music will feature Historic Instruments

“An Evening of Moravian Music” highlight of Moravian Music Conference – October 10

Bethlehem, Pa., October 1, 2008—“An Evening of Moravian Music” will be presented during the Moravian Music Conference on Friday, October 10, at 7:30 p.m. in the Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem, Pa.  The concert will feature organ music, double choir music, and congregational hymns, and unique performances by Craig Kridel using the historic Moravian bass horn and Latham serpent, which date back to the early 1800s.

These two unusual low brass instruments are preserved and on display in historic Bethlehem and in other Moravian communities of the surrounding area. At the concert, a replica of the bass horn will be used in the performance of two Moravian works: “Kommt, ach kommt ihr Gnadenkinder” by Johann Christian Bechler, with text by Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf, and “Heiger Schauer deiner Nahe” by Andreas Jakob Romberg, with text by Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller.  These works include a designated line for the bass horn, and the concert is expected to be the first use of the Moravian bass horn in Bethlehem in over 150 years.  In addition, an 1830 serpent, similar to the instrument on display in historic Bethlehem, will be used in the performance of Divertimento No. 1 in Bb attributed to Franz Joseph Haydn.  The Haydn Divertimento includes a designated serpent line and represents one of the most important serpent parts in one of the most beautiful wind melodies ever written.

Craig Kridel, who serves as coordinator of Berlioz Historical Brass, will be performing on both historical instruments.  Kridel is also a columnist for the International Tuba and Euphonium Association Journal and has appeared on BBC, NPR, and ABC radio to discuss the revival of interest in historical brass. Kridel has received numerous grants from the NEA, NEH, and regional funding agencies and been noted as the leading bass horn player by Clifford Bevan in The Tuba Family.  Also, he has performed on serpent for many prestigious groups and occasions, including the "call to service" for Pope John Paul II's American 1987 Ecumenical Service.

In addition to these unique performances, the concert will also feature vocal and instrumental music by the Moravian College-Community Orchestra and Choir, the Women’s Chorus, and the Central Moravian Church Choir, conducted by Becky Owens, Paula Zerkle, Eduardo Azzati, and Donald Spieth.

These performances are part of the 8th Annual Moravian Music Conference on Thursday, October 9 through Friday, October 10 at the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus.  In addition to  celebrating Moravian music in general, the program will also include music from Moravian composers Christian Ignatius Latrobe (1758-1836) and Theodor Liley Clemens (1858-1933) in celebration of their anniversaries.

This music conference is being offered as part of the Moravian Conferences 2008, which will also include the Conference on Moravian History and Culture, The Moses Lectures in Moravian Studies, and the Moravian Historical Society Annual Meeting.  Each event is designed to examine the traditions of the Moravians, also known as Unitas Fratrum or Herrnhuters.

Registration is at 8 a.m. on Thursday  morning in Hearst Hall, followed by a welcome address.  The opening session will feature presentations by Allen Viehmeyer, “Schwenkfelder Hymn Books;” Sarah Eyerly, “Soul Poetry” and Hilde Binford and Viehmeyer, “The Music of Conrad Beissel and Hymns of the Ephrata Cloister,” with a new set of presentations from Laurence Libin, “Recent Archival Discoveries Relating to John Clemm and David Tannenberg;” Lanie Graf, “The Use of the Cittern in Moravian Worship” and Craig Kridel, The Serpent and the Moravian Brass Horn in the Early 19th Century Northern Province” at 10:30 a.m.

After lunch, David Blum will present “‘Too much fiddling;’ Editing the Works of C. I. Latrobe,” followed by Jonathon Yonan, “Christian Ignatius Latrobe and the New Moravian Hymnal of 1789” and Philip Dunigan, “Johann Friedrich Peter: The Salem Years (1780-1789).”  Paul Peucker, the director of the Moravian Archives, will discuss “Origins and Sources for Moravian Liturgical Practice,” and Peter Vogt will give a presentation titled “The German Moravian Hymnal of 2008 in the Context of the Moravian Hymnal Tradition”  At 4 p.m., Jewel Smith will give a lecture/recital titled “Piano Repertoire Studied and Performed at the Moravian Young Ladies’ Seminary, Bethlehem (1816-1860); A Window on the Past”.  After dinner, everyone is invited to attend the Moses Lectures at the Moravian Theological Seminary.  For more information on registration, see the Seminary’s website http://www.moravianseminary.edu/conted/Fall08/Moses.html.

On Friday morning, a panel discussion on “Future Directions in Moravian Music Scholarship,” led by Nola Knouse, will open the day at 8 a.m., followed by Pauline Fox presenting “‘The FemSem Collection’: From the Past to the Future;” Donna Rothrock discussing “The Salem [North Carolina] Orchestra: 1883-1907” and Alice Caldwell presenting “Building a Collegium Musicum for Authenticity and Beyond.” The next session will feature Lauren Jennings, “Haydn’s Die Schöpfung and the Creation of Elevated Moravian Culture” and Christina Ekström, “‘Gefühl der Sache’: A Key for Understanding the Sound of Singing in Moravian Spirituality?” 

After a break for lunch, the Singers from the Old Economy Village will give a lecture/recital, followed by a session of the Moravian History and Culture Conference.  The weekend will conclude with a concert titled “An Evening of Moravian Music,” featuring the Choirs of Moravian College and the Central Moravian Church.

For more information on the Moravian Conferences, including how to register for the weekend, visit the website at http://home.moravian.edu/public/hist/conference/index.html.

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.