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Moravian College to Host Bethlehem Conference on Moravian Music

Bethlehem, Pa., September 20, 2006—Moravian College will host the 7th biennial Bethlehem Conference on Moravian Music titled, Multi-faceted Moravian Music:  Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Moravian Music Foundation, on Thursday, October 12 through Saturday, October 14 at the Hurd Center for Music and Art.

The initial concert performance, Morning Star: Music in Moravian America, is scheduled for Thursday, October 12 at 7:30 p.m. in Peter Hall. Two Part Invention, the duo of guitarist John Arnold and flutist Nora Suggs, will perform musical selections from the historical archives of the Pennsylvania and North Carolina Moravian communities. General admission is $15, $10 for students with ID, seniors, and children under 10.

Registration for the conference on Friday, October 13 is from 8 to noon at Hearst Hall in the Hurd Center.  The keynote address, Calm before the Storm:  Preliminary Exploration of the 1615 Czech Hymnal of the Unitas Fratrum, will be delivered by C. Daniel Crews, archivist of the Moravian Church Southern Province, and Nola Knouse, Director of the Moravian Music Foundation, at 9 a.m. in Peter Hall.  The first set of papers will begin at 10:20 a.m., followed by lunch at the Broad Street Tavern in Nazareth from 1 to 2 p.m.

 Tours of the Moravian Historical Society and the Martin Guitar Factory in Nazareth will be offered from 2 to 5:30 p.m.  Tim Sharp will present his paper on Johannes Herbst in England: The Missing Years and the Sacred Bridge.  Paul Peucker (Director of the Moravian Archives) will discuss, Understanding the Songs of the Sifting Time, and Pauline Fox will present, Fine Arts, Firearms, Philosophy, and Forestry – The Moravian Henry Family.    

The day’s events will conclude with a concert by the Moravian College Choir and Women’s Chorus and the Central Moravian Church Choir at 7:30 p.m. in Central Moravian Church. The ensembles will perform Moravian music from the seventeenth century through the present.

Registration on Saturday, October 14 is from 8 to noon in Hearst Hall.  Al Frank, assistant director of the Moravian Music Foundation, the keynote speaker, will expound on Fifty Years and Counting.  The second and third paper sessions at 10:20 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. will also be held in Peter Hall. Sarah Eyerly, winner of the student paper competition, will speak about Singing from the Heart: Memorization and Improvisation in an Eighteenth-Century Utopian Community.  Eyerly’s presentation from 4 to 5:30 p.m. will include the Singstunde Service.  The conference will end at 6:00 p.m. with a banquet in Moravian College’s Clewell Dining Hall.

Paper session two will showcase the work of Vernon Nelson presenting The Membership of the Bethlehem Choir, Orchestra, and Trombone Choir During the First Decade After the Completion of Central Church and Philip Dunigan discussing Three Bands from Wachovia: the 21st, 26th, and 33rd North Carolina Regimental Bands in the Civil War.  The third session features Laurence Libin’s What Kind of Instrument did Joshua Make? and Stewart Carter’s A Voice in the Wilderness:  Brother Delbo’s Trombone Choir at the Martinez Indian Mission.

The conference fees are: $80 for all events; $40 for one day of events; $30 for the banquet. Members of sponsoring groups receive a reduction to $60 for all events and $35 for one day’s activities.  After September 15, a late fee of $10 will be assessed.

The Bethlehem Conference on Moravian Music is held every two years to celebrate the Moravian musical tradition, to examine it within the greater musical culture of its time, to raise awareness and interest in Moravian scholarship among college students and young scholars, and to present studies in Moravian music to the general public, scholars, and performers.  It is sponsored by Moravian College and the Moravian College Music Alliance, Moravian Archives, Moravian Historical Society, Moravian Music Foundation, Moravian Theological Seminary:  Center for Moravian Studies, through a grant from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, and Historic Bethlehem Partnership.

For more information, please contact Dr. Hilde Binford at 610-861-1650.