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News Release

Moravian College Choir and Women’s Chorus to Perform in Winston-Salem

Tour begins March 8 with performance at the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Washington, D.C.

Bethlehem, Pa., March 3, 2006—The Moravian Choir and Moravian College Women’s Chorus will perform at Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on Saturday, March 11, 8 p.m. The choir, under the direction of Paula Ring Zerkle, will sing a sacred and secular repertory with selections from Purcell's Fairy Queen.

The concert program is part of a spring break mini-tour that is planned for the choir to travel to Washington D.C. on Wednesday, March 8 for an exclusive concert and reception at the Embassy of the Czech Republic for alumni and friends of the College. On Friday, March 10, the Choir will perform at the Forsyth Country Day School in Winston-Salem. On Sunday, March 11, the Choir will sing during Sunday worship services at Home Moravian Church in Winston-Salem.

A performing ensemble of Moravian College’s noted Department of Music for more than 45 years, the Choir consists primarily of students, with the addition of members of the College faculty and staff, and singers from the Lehigh Valley community. Under the direction of Paula Ring Zerkle, the Choir has sung in the United States, the Caribbean, and in many countries in Europe and the Middle East, including England, France, Holland, Austria, Russia, Greece, Czechoslovakia, and Israel. Most recently, the choir traveled to Germany.

Each December in Bethlehem, the Moravian Choir is the focal point of the traditional College’s Christmas Vespers services. During the first two weekends of the month, the choir performs a repertoire of music that includes sacred and spiritual songs from a wide variety of cultures and musical selections. The services are attended by 6,000 people from eastern Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and many other states.

Dr. Paula Ring Zerkle is chair of the music department, associate professor of music, and director of choral music. She conducts the Moravian Choir and Vocalis, a small a cappella choral ensemble as well. She teaches conducting, musicianship, Women in Music, and is the faculty advisor to Delta Omicron, an international music honors fraternity. Dr. Zerkle is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of California at Berkeley with a B.A. in music and French. She received M.M. degrees in choral and orchestral conducting from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and has a doctorate in choral music from Indiana University. Dr. Zerkle is an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor for choral festivals, competitions, and workshops in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas. The Moravian College Women’s Chorus, created by Zerkle, made its debut in 1994 and has performed on and off campus at such events as the Lehigh Valley Women of the Year Awards Banquet, the Women’s Voices-Women’s Choices Conference in Bethlehem, and the Moravian College Women Composers Concert. They perform ( regularly ) in the annual Moravian College Christmas Vespers and in the departmental spring concert and have toured with the Moravian Choir, Vocalis, and Wind Ensemble. She is a member of the American Choral Directors Association, College Music Society, International Alliance for Women in Music, International Federation for Choral Music, and the Music Educators’ National Conference, and has been nominated for two awards by the Conductors’ Guild.

The Women’s Chorus is directed by Eduardo Azzati, a versatile musician who divides his time between singing, teaching and conducting. He gained popularity as a conductor and baritone soloist in his homeland of Argentina where he directed many choral and orchestral ensembles and sang with important orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra. Azzati has held numerous positions as a conductor, namely among others, as Associate Conductor of the award winning National Youth Choir of Argentina, Director of Choral Activities and Conductor of award winning choirs at St. Agnes School, Director of Choral Activities and Conductor at St. Andrew's School and Conductor of Kantus Choral Group.

Organist Lorenz Maycher will conduct a prelude performance at 7:30 p.m. before the March 11 concert. The public is welcome to attend the performance. There is no admission charge: however, an offering will be accepted. A reception will be held immediately following the concert. Home Moravian Church is located at 529 South Church Street in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. For more information, call 610-861-1650.