The 23rd Moravian Music Festival was held July 19-25, 2009, on the campus of Belmont Abbey College in Belmont, NC. John V. Sinclair was Festival choral and orchestral conductor; Jeff Whitsett was the Festival band director, assisted by Allen Frank; Rebecca Kleintop Owens was Festival organist; and Donna Rothrock conducted the Festival trombone choir.
A “first” in Moravian Music Festival history was that the orchestra was made up largely of Moravian players, including folks from Winston-Salem, Charlotte, Danbury, and Vilas, NC; Charleston, SC; Dublin, OH; Bethlehem, Allentown, and Emmaus, PA; San Angelo, TX; and Phoenix, AZ. The priniccapl string players were from the Bach Festival Orchestra of Winter Park, Florida, and provided a panache and exemplary leadership to the orchestra, whose ranks were filled out by some professional players residing in the Charlotte area.
Morning devotions were prepared by the pastors of the Charlotte-area churches.
Public programs included …
- an opening lovefeast on Sunday, July 19
- a concert by the Moramus Chorale on Monday, July 20
- an organ recital by Festival organist Rebecca Kleintop Owens on Tuesday, July 21
- a “Moravian Anthem Sing” on Wednesday, July 22
- the Festival bands on Thursday, July 23
- the Festival chorus and orchestra on Friday, July 24 (at the First Presbyterian Church of Davidson, NC)
- and the Festival trombone choir on Saturday, July 25.
A special treat for this Festival was the presence of some two dozen brass players from the Moravian brass bands in South Africa, who spent a couple of weeks in the United States performing concerts and attending the Festival. What a wonderful experience of the worldwide Moravian unity!