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News Release

Moravian College to host inaugural Bethlehem Clarinet Festival

Day-long program to feature some the area’s finest clarinetists and teachers

Bethlehem, Pa., January 24, 2008—The Moravian College Music Department will host the inaugural Bethlehem Clarinet Festival on Monday, February 18, on the Pricilla Payne Hurd Campus in historic Bethlehem, Pa. Master classes, recitals, lectures for professional students and amateur clarinetists, and a mass clarinet choir are some of the highlights of the day-long festival. The program will culminate with a performance by The Verdehr Trio at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall. The public is invited to attend the concert; admission is $15 and $10.

All clarinetists in high school and beyond are invited to perform with the Festival Clarinet Choir. This group will rehearse and perform at the final recital of the Festival, and will be directed by Neil Wetzel, director of Jazz Studies at Moravian College.  Act 48 Credit will be offered to teachers that register and attend the festival. 

Artist-faculty members include: Elsa Ludewig-Verdehr, professor emeritus, Michigan State University; Raphael Sanders, professor of clarinet, the Crane School of Music, SUNY Potsdam;  John Schwartz, principal clarinet, Allentown Symphony; Steven Reisteter, principal clarinet, Allentown Band, freelance composer; Deborah Andrus, artist-lecturer in clarinet, Moravian College; Valerie Pearson, artist-lecturer in clarinet, Moravian College Music Institute.

The Verdehr Trio has performed for over thirty years, molding and defining its personality as a violin-clarinet-piano trio.  The Trio has created a large repertoire by commissioning over 200 new works from some of the world's most prominent and exciting composers.

The group has performed throughout the world including 17 European countries, the former Soviet Union, in South and Central America, Asia, Australia and the United States. They have performed in major concert halls including the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, Library of Congress, Vienna's Brahmssaal, Sydney Opera House, London's Wigmore Hall, Auditorio de Madrid, Dvorak Hall in Prague, IRCAM Centre in Paris and Leningrad's Philharmonic Chamber Hall. The Trio has also played at various international festivals including the Spoleto Festival, Prague Spring Festival, the Vienna Spring Festival, Warsaw Autumn, the Grand Teton Music Festival and at numerous international clarinet festivals.

Currently in residence at Michigan State University, the Trio has won an Adventuresome Programming Award from ASCAP, and  Creative Programming Award from Chamber Music America.

The Bethlehem Clarinet Festival is funded in part by Moravian College, Conn-Selmer, Inc.; The Buffet Crampon USA; and the Nazareth Music Center. There will be displays of clarinets, equipment, and accessories to try and to purchase from each of the sponsors.

Pre-registration is $40 for adults and $20 for students for the entire festival, which includes admission to the evening concert by The Verdehr Trio.  The enclosed pre-registration form should be postmarked by February 8, 2008.  For additional information, please visit http://home.moravian.edu/public/music/clarinet/index.htm or call Rose Panik at (610) 861-1650.

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.

Music degrees include a Bachelors of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Music in performance (vocal, instrumental, jazz), music education, composition, or sacred music. The Bachelor of Arts program allows for musical study within a liberal arts curriculum. The Bachelor of Music is for students who desire more comprehensive music studies. Study in clarinet includes private lessons, ensembles, clarinet pedagogy, clarinet literature, twentieth century techniques, and recitals.