Walk This Way


Photo: John Kish IV

Nine Moravian music students, their professor, and a member of the Bach Choir of Bethlehem (with her son) walked from New Jersey to Manhattan to celebrate Bach’s birthday and explore their Moravian heritage.

from left: Rachael Stapleton ’06, Matthew Smyth ’05, Sarah Baer ’05, Robert Valente ’07, Hilde Binford, Amberly Williams ’07, Erin Barr ’05, Heather Longden ’05, Marissa Iezzi ’07, Kyle Slemmer ’05, Rory Lipkis (age 8), Linda Lipkis. Behind them, the fountain at Lincoln Center and the Metropolitan Opera.

... and Another Feat

Hilde Binford, assistant professor of music, asked her senior music history seminar on Bach how it might celebrate Bach’s birthday (March 21).

This year happens to be the 300th anniversary of Bach’s 10-day, 250-mile walk from Arnstadt, where he was a 20-year-old church musician, to Lübeck in North Germany to hear the great Danish organist Dietrich Buxtehude. So the students, delighted that Bach was just their age, decided to walk to a concert.

Bach did not leave many historical markers in the Colonies, so the class set a route, instead, that paid tribute to their Moravian heritage.

Their walk—three days, covering about 30 miles—began on a rainy Sunday, March 20, in New Brunswick, N.J., where they toured a historic village with buildings not dissimilar to what the Moravian colonists built. The next day they explored Staten Island, visiting two historic Moravian churches.

On Tuesday, March 22, they reached their goal, Lincoln Center in Manhattan. After adjourning to a hotel room to clean up, they spent the evening at Avery Fisher Hall, hearing the New York Philharmonic play music by Mendelssohn. (He also ties in with Bach, having led in 1829 the first performance of the St. Matthew Passion since Bach’s day.) The group got its picture taken with the conductor of the concert, Sir Neville Marriner.

Their story was covered by the New York Times and the Newark (N.J.) Star-Ledger. It will be featured in the spring/summer issue of the Moravian College Magazine.

March 29, 2005

Walk This Way:
Moravian students pay tribute to Bach by walking to New York for a concert.

Ancient History:
Connection between Bob Brill (psychology) and Fran Ryan (history) go back to high school.

Wings on Their Feet:
Moravian College Dancers celebrate 30 years.

Datebook:
Campus calendar.

Gaudeamus:
Accomplishments of faculty, staff, students..