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News Release

Children Selected to Sing Morning Star Solo at Vespers Services

Bethlehem, Pa., November 7, 2013—Six local 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 later this fall. The Moravian College Choir, conducted by Paula Ring Zerkle, will perform during the services that will be held December 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, and 15, at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. A preview concert will be held on Saturday, November 15, at 8:00 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus.

The following soloists were selected by the Moravian College Music Department to sing at the annual vespers program:

  • Kayden Stocker will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the November 15 preview concert and at the December 7 service. He is the son of Joan Stocker and Kyle Stocker (choir alumni) of Phillipsburg, New Jersey. Kayden is 10 years old and a 6th grade student at Phillipsburg Middle School. 
  • Caitlyn Jenkins will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 6 service. She is the daughter of Amanda Jenkins-Ford and Daniel Ford of Orefield, Pennsylvania. Caitlyn is 13 years old and an 8th grade student at Orefield Middle School. 
  • Melina Heffner will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 8 service. She is the daughter of Lori Vargo Heffner '82 and Emerson Heffner of Hellertown, Pennsylvania. Melina is 12 years old and is in the 7th grade at Saucon Valley Middle School.
  • Lauren Gerber will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 13 service. She is the daughter of Ingrid Olsen Gerber '89 and Mark Gerber of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Lauren is 13 years old and in the 8th grade at Moravian Academy.
  • Madelyn Geiger will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 14 service. She is the daughter of Renee Bond Geiger and Phillip Geiger of Topton, Pennsylvania. Madelyn is 8 years old and in the 3rd grade at Brandywine Heights Elementary. 
  • Marissa Cappiello will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 15 service. She is the daughter of Kathleen Cappiello '96 and John Paul Cappiello '94 of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania. Marissa is 9 years old and in the 4th grade at St. Bernadette of Lourdes School.

Moravian Theological Seminary graduate Francis Florentine Hagen composed "Morning Star" in 1836.The Morning Star hymn is traditionally sung by a child soloist and each year. Auditions are held for the positions in September. 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. The Christmas Vespers services are held for the immediate college community and invited guests.

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 website at www.moravian.edu.