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Bethlehem, Pa., November 22, 2010—Six 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 3, 4, 5, and 10, 11, and 12 at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pa. The Christmas Vespers services are held for the immediate college community and invited guests.
Members of the Moravian College Music Department chose Jacob Roth (age 8), Olivia Zehl (age 9), Rhys Williams (age 8), Anna Hauser (age 9), Katie Urban (age 11), and Lia Hetrick (age 8) to sing “Morning Star” at the annual vespers. Kayla Demarest (age 10) was selected to be the Morning Star soloist for the Vespers preview concert.
Jacob Roth is the son of Moravian College alumni Jennifer Meyer Roth and Michael Roth. Jacob is a third grade student at Parkway Manor Elementary School in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
Olivia Zehl is the daughter of Richard A. Zehl and Moravian College alumna Amanda S. Zehl. Olivia is an active member of her school chorus and her church choir. She is a fourth grade student at Greenwich Elementary School in Kutztown, Pennsylvania.
Rhys Williams is the son of Daniel Williams and Moravian College alumna Kathy Lauer-Williams. Rhys Is a third grade student at Seven Generations School in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.
Anna Hauser is the daughter of Jim Hauser and Joyce Hinnefeld. Her mother is an associate professor of English at Moravian College. Anna is a fourth grade student at Moravian Academy in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Katie Urban is the daughter of P. Barry Urban Jr. and Jane Lantz Urban, a Moravian College alumna. Her grandfather, William Lantz, is a 1951 graduate of the College. Katie is in the sixth grade at Stetson Middle School in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She is a member of the Kennet Symphony Children’s Chorus, and an active participant in her school and church choir.
Lia Hetrick is the daughter of Aaron and Jessica Lynne Hetrick. Lia is a third grade student at Shaffer Elementary School in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.
Kayla Demarest is the daughter of Kevin Demarest and Karen Helms Demarest, a Moravian graduate. Kayla is in the fifth grate and Flocktown Road Elementary School in Long Valley, New Jersey.
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.
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.