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Bethlehem, Pa., November 9, 2004 -- Six local children have been selected to sign the solo portions of the traditional Moravian hymn, “Morning Star,” at the ninth Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary Christmas Vespers services in December. The Moravian College Choir, conducted by Paula Ring Zerkle, will be featured in the services that will be held December 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, and 12 at Central Moravian Church, Main and Church Streets, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
A preview concert will be held on Saturday, November 20 in Foy Concert Hall on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. The preview will showcase all of the same music and songs of the December services.
Members of the Moravian College music department chose the following soloists to sing at the annual vespers program:
Samantha Hoagland will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 3rd service. She is the daughter of Angela Lutzi, director of counseling and learning services at Moravian College, and Sam Hoagland of Nazareth. Samantha is an 8th grader at Nazareth Middle School.
Sylvie Harris will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 4th service. She is the daughter of Theresa Dougal, associate professor of English at Moravian College, and Mark Harris of Bethlehem. Sylie is a 6th grade student at Northeast Middle School.
Natalie Parke will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 5th service. She is the daughter of Denise David Parker ’86, and Frank C. Parker IV ’88 of Quakertown. Natalie is a 3rd grade student at Trumbauersville Elementary School.
Julia Lipkis will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 10th service. She is the daughter of Larry Lipkis, professor of music and composer-in-residence at Moravian College, and Linda Lipkis of Bethlehem. Julia is a 6th grade student at Moravian Academy.
Lauren Duda will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 11th service and the Vesper Preview Concert on November 20. She is the daughter of Dennis Duda ’73, and Diane Duda of Lansdale. Lauren is a 7th grade student at Penndale Middle School.
Kristen Duda will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 12th service. She is the daughter of Dennis Duda ’73, and Diane Duda of Lansdale. Kristen is a 5th grade student at Gwynedd Square Elementary School.
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. 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. Visit the web site at www.moravian.edu.