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“Everything but the Candles” Moravian College Christmas Vespers Preview Concert – November 21


Bethlehem, Pa., November 17, 2015— A concert featuring all of the music of Moravian College's traditional Christmas Vespers will be held on Saturday, November 21 at 7:30 p.m. in Foy Concert Hall with prelude music beginning at 7:00 p.m.

Moravian College VespersThis event serves as a preview to the popular Moravian College Christmas Vespers held at Central Moravian Church. All the music for the event is presented by the Moravian Choir, Women's Chorus, Brass Ensemble, and other chamber ensembles. The preview is offered to those who are unable to attend the College’s 6 ticketed invitation-only services in December.

The Moravian Choir will be directed by Paula Ring Zerkle, associate music professor and the director of vocal music at the College. Some of the highlights of the concert will include O Magnum Mysterium by César Alejandro Carrillo, O’ Come, O’Come Emmanuel by Veni Emanuel, and On This Day Earth Shall Ring by Gustav Holst.

The Women’s Chorus is directed by Eduardo Azzati, who serves as the artist-lecturer in voice at Moravian College. The chorus will perform many selections some will include The Whole Wide World Had Ne’er Perceived by Johann Ludwig Freydt, Ubi Caritas by Eleanor Daley, and Da pacem by Jeff Enns.

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.

Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type of accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should Michael Wilson at 610-861-1365 or prior to visiting Moravian.

Moravian College is a private coeducational liberal arts college, offering undergraduate and graduate degrees, in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. For over 273 years, the Moravian College degree has been based on a liberal arts curriculum where literature, history, cultural values and global issues, ethics, and aesthetic expression and the social sciences are infused with multidisciplinary perspectives. Visit to learn more about how the Moravian College liberal arts curriculum prepares its students for life-long success.