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"Everything but the Candles" Vespers Preview Concert at Moravian College – November 22

Moravian College's Christmas Vespers

Bethlehem, Pa., November 12, 2014—A concert featuring all of the music of Moravian College's Christmas Vespers performed by the Moravian Choir, Women's Chorus, Brass Ensemble, and other chamber ensembles will be held on Saturday, November 22 at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall with prelude music beginning at 7:00 p.m. The theme of the program will follow the college’s In Focus theme of War, Peace Building and the Just Society. Hymns will be sung and a soloist will perform the charming Morning Star solo.

This preview to the Moravian College Christmas Vespers is offered for members of the public and those who enjoy the music and spirit of Vespers who cannot attend the services, which are held for the campus community.

The Moravian Choir will be directed by Paula Ring Zerkle, associate music professor and the Director of Vocal Music at the college. The Women's Chorus is directed by Eduardo Azzati, who is an artist-lecturer in voice. Choral selections will feature recent motets by well known contemporary composers Karl Jenkins and Imant Raminsh; a piece by student composer Michael McAndrew ’15; and an arrangement of Handel’s Pastoral Symphony, which was transcribed from memory and arranged for women's voices by women who were captive at a prison camp for women and children in Sumatra during WW II.

Admission is by donation. For more information please visit the Moravian Music Department web site at Foy Concert Hall is located on Moravian College’s Priscilla Payne Hurd Campus in historic downtown Bethlehem. Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Rose Panik of the Music Department at (610) 861-1650 or email at

About Vespers

The Vespers service is an expression of two traditional forms of worship in the Moravian Church, the Singstunde and the Candlelight Service. A Moravian Singstunde (Singing Hour) is a service of music with no preaching. Since the 1720s, Moravians have been known for their worshipful singing.

In the service, the music has been carefully selected and arranged to bring the Christmas message without need of a sermon. The Moravian candlelight service originated in 1747 in Marienborn, Germany, when candles with red trimming were distributed at the children’s Christmas service. Bethlehem’s first candle service was in 1756. The beloved hymn “Morning Star,” traditionally sung with a child soloist, was composed in 1836 by Francis Florentine Hagen, a member of the Moravian Theological Seminary Class of 1835.