The 12th Moravian Music Festival – note the omission of the words “Early American” in the title for the first time – was held in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, June 20-27, 1976. This Festival was the first of a new era, following the untimely death of Thor Johnson who had been Music Director for the first 11 Festivals. Richard Schantz served as Festival conductor, and Jeffrey Reynolds as Youth Philharmonic conductor.
Guest artists included
- Doralene Davis, soprano
- Jerry Jennings, tenor
- Kim Kostenbader, baritone
The rich diversity of public performances included
- a lovefeast on June 20, with Richard Schantz conducting, Monica Schantz at the organ, soloists Joanne Lotz, soprano; Beverly Belnome, alto; and William Hosking, baritone.
- June 21, “Archive Gems”, with Richard Van Auken, piano; Joanne Lotz, soprano; Kim Kostenbader, baritone; Robert Steelman, piano; and Monica Schantz, piano; music included “secular” works by 19th century Moravian composers Peter Ricksecker, Francis Florentine Hagen, and Jacob C. Till.
- June 22, featuring David Moritz Michael’s Water Music Suite, performed along the Lehigh Canal
- June 23, in Central Moravian’s Old Chapel, including selections from Johannes Herbst’s Hymns to be Sung at the Pianoforte, and Boccherini’s String Quartet No. 9
- June 24, 7:00 p.m., a children’s concert with Madeleine Ramsey, narrator; Jeffrey Reynolds, conductor;
- June 24, 8:00 p.m., in Central Moravian Church, the Festival chorus, soloists, and orchestra, with two anthems by John Antes and David Moritz Michael’s Psalm 103 in first modern performance
- June 25, a chamber music concert, with lecture on “The American Musical Mainstream and the Moravians” by noted scholar Richard A. Crawford
- June 26, 10:30 a.m., 26, the Youth Philharmonic
- June 26, 7:00 p.m., Martha Schrempel, piano, including music by Latrobe, Charles Griffes, and Samuel Barber
- June 26, 8:00 p.m., the Festival chorus, soloists, and orchestra, including J. F. Peter’s Psalm of Joy and the world premiere of Karl Kroeger’s Pax Vobis, commissioned by the Moravian Music Foundation as a companion piece to the Psalm of Joy
- June 27, 3:00 p.m., Festival chorus, soloists, and orchestra, with congregational hymns
This Festival was organized by a committee chaired by Robert P. Snyder and Joyce Pharo.
The seminar faculty included …
- Richard A. Crawford, musicologist from the University of Michigan
- American hymnologist Leonard Ellinwood
- organ recitalist Arnold Ostlund, Jr.
- minister of music John R. and Joanne Harris Rodhand
- musicologists and researchers Richard Claypool and Robert Steelman
- Moravian historian and writer John R. Weinlick
- Margaret L. Kolb, music consultant to the Moravian Hymnal committee
- David M. Henkelmann, leader of workshops in creative worship and writer of musical plays
- James J. Heller, dean of Moravian College and former professor of Biblical theology at Moravian Theological Seminary
In addition, the Moravian Historical Society sponsored historical lectures by history professor Daniel R. Gilbert, sociology professor James S. Hilander, and college librarian Henry L. Williams.