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News Release

Moravian College Community Orchestra to perform "Copland: a Lincoln Portrait"

Christopher M. Thomforde, President of Moravian College to narrate

Bethlehem, Pa., November 4, 2009— The Moravian College Community Orchestra will perform "Copland: a Lincoln Portrait" in Foy Concert Hall on Sunday, November 15 at 7 p.m. Donald Spieth will conduct the orchestra and Dr. Christopher M. Thomforde, President of Moravian College, will provide the narration.  To complement the piece, the Orchestra will also play Hector Berlioz' Roman Carnival and Antonin Dvorak's Symphony No. 8 in G Major. The MCCO is audition-based and composed of Moravian College students and members of the Lehigh Valley community.

“A Lincoln Portrait” is a classical orchestral work written by the American composer Aaron Copland as part of the World War II patriotic effort in 1942. The work involves a full orchestra, with particular emphasis on the brass section at climactic moments. It is narrated with the reading of excerpts of Abraham Lincoln's great documents and letters, including the Gettysburg Address, and also draws from original folk songs of Lincoln’s day.

In 2007, Donald Spieth returned to Moravian College as artist-in-residence and conductor of the MCCO, an ensemble which he started forty years ago and from which he took a twenty-two year leave to pursue other conducting responsibilities.  Spieth has established himself as an outstanding conductor, orchestra builder, and educator, and his imaginative programming and expressive performances have been met enthusiastically by audiences and critics alike. March 2007 marked the conclusion of the twenty-sixth year of Spieth's tenure as music director and conductor of the Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra.  Additionally, he has held that same position with the Schuylkill Symphony Orchestra for twenty-five years, and is professor of music and head of the Music Department at Northampton Community College, a position he has held for more than twenty years.

Tickets for the event are $10 general admission and $5 for seniors and students. For ticket information, visit the Moravian website at http://www.moravian.edu/events/concertSchedule/november.htm.

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.