Music on the Air

Trustee Frederick A. Reinhard may be the most loyal Greyhound of them all. A committed booster of Moravian athletics, he has generously supported its facilities improvements and underwritten the establishment of the varsity lacrosse program, which debuts this spring. PenTeleData, a subsidiary of Palmerton-based Pencor Services Inc., of which Fred is executive vice president, is the College’s Internet service provider. In January, he invited the entire College to attend, on his dime, a performance by the Smothers Brothers at Penn’s Peak in Jim Thorpe.

But the gift that’s most likely to reach beyond the College came from Fred in December, when Blue Ridge Communications, another Pencor subsidiary, produced a statewide broadcast of the College’s traditional Christmas Vespers service. The recorded performance is now available for purchase on DVD and VHS tape.

The Blue Ridge team videotaped the December 12 and 14 services, which were edited and merged for a one-hour broadcast that aired Christmas Eve on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. It also was seen several times during Christmas week on Blue Ridge Cable and Service Electric Cable in the Lehigh Valley.

The service has been slightly abridged for the recordings. It omits the liturgy and Scripture readings. But it includes almost all the choral music from this year’s service, sung by the Moravian College Choir, the Women’s Chorus, and the congregation. Three pieces are accompanied by the Brass Quintet.

Paula Ring Zerkle, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, conducts, and Adam Koch is the organist. “Morning Star,” a Moravian hymn text arranged by Francis Florentine Hagen, who graduated from Moravian Theological Seminary in 1835, features treble Sarah Panik, daughter of Gary M. Panik ’78 and niece of Rose Panik, administrative assistant in the Music Department.

The repertory includes “Rise Up” and “This Little Light of Mine,” traditional spirituals arranged by Paula and the late Moses Hogan, respectively; “Gloria” by American composer Daniel Pinkham; “The Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom” by Rachmaninoff; and carols by Latvian, Japanese, French, and Latin American composers—all sung in their original languages.

Among those who can be heard in solos are Ruthann Seibert, a student in Moravian Theological Seminary, and Tom Mondschein, senior user support analyst with the College’s Center for Information Technology, who plays electric bass guitar.

Both formats are available in the College Bookstore. Information: 610 861-1485.

A Blue Ridge cameraman videotapes the choir at Christmas Vespers.

Photo: Michael P. Wilson