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News Release

Moravian Choir to Perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah

Bethlehem, Pa., April 5, 2012--The Moravian College Choir will perform Mendelssohn’s Elijah on Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall. Paula Ring Zerkle will conduct the soloists, choir, and orchestra in one of choral music’s most popular oratorios.

Elijah is a dramatic story of the prophet Elijah as he summons the people to righteousness, performs miracles, and struggles against idol-worshipping. He confronts the wicked queen Jezebel. It ends as Elijah rises to heaven in a fiery chariot. Edward Bara will be singing in the role of Elijah. Other soloists include soprano Patricia Budlong, alto Beverly Morgan, and tenor Jeffery Bell ’12.

Edward Bara, bass-baritone, has performed over 100 lead and solo roles in the United States and in 14 countries worldwide. He is heard as bass soloist on numerous orchestral recordings including; Bach's B-minor Mass, Mozart's Requiem, Handel's Messiah and Judas Maccabeus, the Dvorak Requiem, Verdi Requiem, Beethoven’s 9th Symphony, Missa Solemnis and Ruins of Athens, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, among others for major labels Lyrichord, Sony Vox Classics, and Helicon records.

Beverly Morgan is a soloist and recitalist who has sung principal roles with major orchestras, the Berks Grand Opera Company, the Philadelphia Singers. On the voice faculty of Muhlenberg and Moravian College for over 30 years, Morgan has been an artist in residence with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts and an artist in residence in many school districts. She is the founding artistic director of the Steel Choir of Bethlehem and ACCO, A Chorus Celebrating Women.

Patricia Budlong, an artist-lecturer in voice at Moravian College, made her professional operatic debut at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan as the title character in Carlisle Floyd’s dramatic opera, Susannah. Other operatic roles with which she is identified include Micaëla in Carmen by Bizet, Musetta in La Bohème by Puccini, Alice in Falstaff by Verdi, the title role in Massenet’s Manon, Violetta in La Traviata by Verdi, and Elle in La Voix Humaine by Poulenc. Her concert repertoire includes such works as the soprano solo in Mahler’s Symphony No. 4, Strauss’s Vier Letze Lieder, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1914, and the soprano solos in Hadyn’s Die Schöpfung and Mendelssohn’s Elijah.

Zerkle is an associate music professor and the director of choral music at Moravian. Zerkle is an adjudicator, clinician, and guest conductor for choral festivals, competitions, and workshops in Pennsylvania and surrounding areas.

Tickets are $10 for the general public, and $5 for Moravian students and senior citizens. Advance tickets can be purchased at www.lehighvalleyartsboxoffice.org. Foy Hall is located on Moravian’s Hurd Campus in history Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact the Department of Music at music@moravian.edu, or call 610-861-1650 at least one week prior to the event.

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. Moravian partners with students to build a strong foundation for their future. Visit the College’s Web site at www.moravian.edu.