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Moravian Choir to make New York Debut

College’s Senior Vocal Ensemble will Sing at Kaufman Center

Bethlehem, Pa., February 4, 2005—The Moravian Choir, a 60-voice elite ensemble from Moravian College, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, will make its New York concert debut at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, February 12, at Merkin Hall in the Kaufman Center.

Under the direction of Paula Ring Zerkle, associate professor of music and chair of the Department of Music, the choir will present excerpts from Franz Joseph Haydn’s masterwork, The Creation, an oratorio based on the Book of Genesis and Milton’s Paradise Lost.

The Moravian Choir is the centerpiece of the College’s Christmas Vespers service, a Bethlehem tradition almost half a century old that attracts audiences of several thousand every year. It has been filmed for regional television and recorded on video and DVD.

Zerkle has directed the choir since 1994. She holds music degrees from the University of California at Berkeley, the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and Indiana University, where she earned a Doctor of Music. She is a well-known guest conductor and choral clinician.

The choir comprises Moravian music students as well as members of the College faculty, staff, and the surrounding Bethlehem community. In addition to the Vespers service, it presents a major work with orchestra every spring. This year, The Creation will be performed with soloists and orchestra April 16-17.

The choir will perform music from around the world: a South African praise song, a motet by Brahms, Japanese proverbs set by an American composer, sacred works by composers from Brazil and Hungary. It will offer a set of hymns by the 18th-century Moravian composers Simon Peter, John Friedrich Peter, and Daniel Johann Grimm.

For the second half, it will perform all of Part I of Franz Josef Haydn’s masterwork, “The Creation,” with student soloists as the archangels. This section of the oratorio retells the story of Creation from the Book of Genesis.

The Kaufman Center is at 129 W. 67th St., New York. Tickets are $25, available from www.kaufman-center.org/calendar.htm