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(Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) – Three 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 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, and 14 at Central Moravian Church, Main and Church Streets, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
A preview concert will be held on Saturday, November 22 in Foy Concert Hall on the Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus. The preview showcases 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:
Sarah Panik will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the November 22nd preview as well as the December 6th and 12th services. She is the daughter of Dr. Gary and Karen Panik of Slatington, Pennsylvania. Sarah is 9 years old and a 4th grader at Christ the King School.
Shaina Stokes will be the featured Morning Star soloist at the December 5th and 7th services. Shania is the daughter of Cheryl Stokes of Allentown, Pennsylvania. She is 12 years old and a 7th grader at Springhouse Middle School.
Mitchell Moyer will be the featured Morning Star Soloist at the December 13th and 14th services. He is the son of Scott and Kathy Moyer of Lehighton, Pennsylvania. Mitchell attends Mahoning Valley 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 for the positions 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.