1978 Festival June 18-25

The 13th Moravian Music Festival was held in Winston-Salem, NC, on the campus of Salem College, June 18-25, 1978, with John Nelson, conductor, and Karl Kroeger, music director. Jeffrey Reynolds and Samuel Fort, Jr., were band directors. This Festival took note of the passing of two who contributed significantly in establishing Moravian Music Festivals:

  • the Rev. Reuben H. Gross, Executive Secretary and Dean of Seminar for the 1st, 2nd, and 4th Festivals in Bethlehem, and a participant in all of the first 12 Festivals; and
  • Dr. Donald McCorkle, Director of the Moravian Music Foundation from its founding in 1956 through 1964.

Soloists were …

  • Elizabeth Pruett, lyric coloratura soprano
  • Kay Phillips, soprano
  • Jerry Jennings, tenor
  • Raymond McAfee, baritone
  • Martha Schrempel, piano
  • the Peabody Brass Ensemble

Conductor John Nelson was born in Costa Rica of American missionary parents, and at the time of this Festival, was music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra with a wide range of American and international conducting experience. John Mochnick served as choral rehearsal assistant conductor, with Margaret Kolb and Jean Blackwood as rehearsal pianists.

Public programs included …

  • Monday, June 19, an organ recital by Virginia Lee Vance
  • Tuesday, June 20, the Salem Band
  • Wednesday, June 21, music for flute duet with Charles and Susan DeLaney, flutes, along with Charles Medlin, cello; Darrel Barnes, viola; and Margaret Kolb, piano
  • Thursday, June 22, the Moramus Chorale, under the direction of John Mochnick, performing a program of contemporary Moravian music; this program included the premiere of Karl Kroeger’s Truth Crushed to Earth, and Normald Lockwood’s Life Triumphant, commissioned by the University Musical Society of the University of Michigan, in memory of Thor Johnson.
  • Friday, June 23, Festival chorus, soloists and orchestra, including the premiere performance of David Shuler’s Be Joyful in the Lord, the winning anthem of the 1978 Thor Johnson Memorial Anthem Competition
  • Saturday, June 24, the Festival orchestra, featuring music from the Salem Collegium Musicum
  • Sunday, June 25, Festival chorus, soloists, orchestra, and band, at Reynolds Auditorium, a program celebrating the life of Christ in song.

Seminar topics and faculty included …

  • James A. Basta, Moravian Band Workshop
  • Roberta Bitgood, Church Music in Contemporary America
  • Richard Crawford, New England Singing Schools
  • James C. Downey, The American Spiritual
  • Samuel E. Fort, Jr., The Moravian Band
  • Russell Getz, Music of the Ephrata Cloisters
  • Robert Helm, Music in the Old Testament
  • Karl Kroeger, Festival Music Preview
  • Hugh McGraw, The Shaped-Note Tradition
  • Jeffrey Reynolds, The Moravian Trombone Tradition, and How to Start and Nurture a Trombone Choir
  • Dagmar White, The 1501 Prague Hymnal
  • Carlton Young, Hymnody 1978: The Rhetoric of Renewal

Elizabeth and Harold Vogler were honorary chairs of the Festival committee, with active chair Sallie Greenfield, seminar chair John Giesler, music director Karl Kroeger, secretary Beverly Collicutt, and treasurer Ronald Hendrix, along with a large group of enthusiastic and capable volunteers overseeing everything from transportation to children’s program, from name badges to dormitory arrangements, and so on!

November 7th 2011 |

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