e-Newsletter of Moravian College and Moravian Theological Seminary | September 27, 2012 Twitter Facebook

A Night of Stars

Paul Rostock, Neil Wetzel, and Ron Glick.
Photo by David Dunn '14

Music faculty members shone September 22 during Family Day when they presented A Night of Moravian Stars, the year’s first faculty concert in Foy Hall.  The night’s performers were the Frank Giasullo Quartet, Arianna Goldina, Lou Lanza and Allison Gillespie with her band Banna Lach.

The night opened to a roaring start as the Frank Giasullo Quartet performed two of Giasullo’s original jazz compositions: the energetic “M. Renault” and the tender ballad “Until the Next Time.” The Quartet consists of Moravian piano teacher Giasullo on grand piano, Neil Wetzel, director of jazz studies, on tenor saxophone, Paul Rostock, bass teacher, on upright bass, and Ron Glick on drums. Each of the players contributed blistering solos to the first tune and thoughtful and emotional solos to the second.

Moravian piano teacher and artist-lecturer Arianna Goldina followed the Frank Giasullo Quartet and maintained the high standards set by their performance. She played a classical piece by Franz Liszt, “Twelve Etudes d’Execution Trascendante (Transcendental Etudes), S. 139,” on Grand Piano. She showed great skill in playing at a breakneck tempo, changing keys fluidly, and showing impeccable control over dynamics.

Arianna Goldina.
Photo by David Dunn '14.

The Frank Giasullo Quartet returned to accompany Moravian voice teacher Lou Lanza on Paul Desmond’s challenging 5/4 composition “Take Five,” made famous by Dave Brubek. Lanza showed off his incredible vocal range and smooth tone on the tune, which also featured another masterful solo by Wetzel that elicited rousing applause and a few hollers from the audience and an exciting rhythm section solo with Rostock and Glick trading notes on bass and drums. The quartet then left and Lanza beautifully accompanied himself on piano to Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg’s “If I Only Had a Brain,” made famous by The Wizard of Oz.

In an intermission between Lanza’s performance and the night’s closing act, Wetzel came out to recognize the first-year students joining the Moravian’s music program this semester, calling them the next generation of Moravian Stars.

The night concluded with Moravian’s Celtic Ensemble director Allison Gillespie and her band Banna Lach. The band featured Gillespie on fiddle, Tom Gillespie on guitar and piano, Mary Joan Gaynor on flute, whistle and recorder, Pam Kalapay on vocals, guitar, whistle and percussion, and Alan Kellor on tenor banjo and mandolin. They performed a variety of Celtic folk songs and a few French Canadian folk songs as the audience clapped along.

Allison Gillespie and Banna Lach.
Photo by David Dunn '14.

The night was a perfect example of Moravian’s commitment to the arts, continuing a tradition of music that has lasted for more than 265 years. Heidi New ’15, a music education major specializing in voice, expressed the importance of having the arts play such an important role on a college campus: “The arts are really important because they’re an important part of our culture – they show us our history and where we come from.” Sarah Durham ’16, a music education major specializing in piano, has been playing since kindergarten and explained why music is so important to her: “I’ve been doing it for so long that it’s become my life. My whole life is surrounded by music.”

New echoed these sentiments. “Music is a way to express myself and is the place where I’m most comfortable, have the most self-esteem, and am surrounded by people who support me and want me to excel.” The importance of music to the lives of Moravian students becomes clear when talking to New and Durham, both of whom are sure to be in the next generation of Moravian Stars of which Wetzel spoke.

The music department has many other performances in October.

  • October 13— Lititz Moravian Church Choir
  • October 14—Celtic Ensemble
  • October 17— Dali String Quartet
  • October 28—Baroque and Monteverdi Ensemble
  • October 20—senior recital by Melissa Zirkel (clarinet)
  • October 21—senior recitals by Addison Rymar (tenor voice) and Phillip Wallens (organ)
  • October 26—senior recital by Zachary Martin (drums)

For ticketing or for more information, call 610-861-1650 or e-mail