The 24th Moravian Music Festival was held July 14-20, 2013, on the campus of Central Moravian Church and the Music Bldg of Moravian College, in Bethlehem, PA. John V. Sinclair was Festival choral and orchestral conductor; Allen Frank was the Festival band director; Rebecca Kleintop Owens was Festival chair and organ recitalist; Susan Keck Foster was the Festival organist/accompanist; Jan Harke conducted the Festival handbells; and Donald Kemmerer conducted the Festival trombone choir. The principal string players were from the Bach Festival Orchestra of Winter Park, Florida, and provided leadership for a Moravian chamber music element.
Morning devotions were prepared by five Moravian bishops, and they each collaborated with a musician of their choosing.
Public programs included …
- an opening lovefeast on Sunday, July 14 (Central Moravian)
- an organ recital by Central organist/music director, Rebecca Kleintop Owens on Monday, July 15 (Central)
- a concert by the King’s Brass on Tuesday, July 16 (Central)
- a choral/orchestral performance of the Wolff Easter Cantata on Wednesday, July 17 (Central)
- the Festival Band concert on Thursday, July 18 in Foy Concert Hall
- the Children’s Program – IRENE; the musical, an original work about the Moravian mission ship, Irene, was presented in full production with scenery, costumes, live instrumental accompaniment .
- the Festival Chorus and orchestra on Friday, July 19 (Central)
- and the Festival trombone choir, Festival handbells, and various chamber ensembles, on Saturday, July 20 (Central)
It was an extremely hot week, with temperatures reaching 100! This was the first Festival to take advantage of the new Hill housing, built by BAM, for the College. This was the first Festival to be “owned” by the Moravian Music Foundation. It also made use of the early morning for rehearsals of the smaller ensembles, like trombones, handbells, and chamber groups, so those musicians could also participate in chorus and band.
The inclusion of children and youth for the first time in many years as an integral part of the Festival; the children of all ages had a full week of learning about Moravian history, learning songs and choreography, having fun activities. Youth could choose to help with the children’s musical or participate as full members of the chorus or band (with special social activities planned just for youth).
Sunday, July 14, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Festival Opening Lovefeast
Central Moravian Church. Featuring music from the lovefeast ode from which the beloved duet “It Is a Precious Thing” comes; welcoming participants from the Episcopal and Lutheran Churches! Rev. Nola Reed Knouse, speaker
Monday, July 15, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Organ recital: Rebecca Kleintop Owens
Central Moravian Church.
Tuesday, July 16, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Tim Zimmerman and the King’s Brass
Central Moravian Church. A very inspirational program of brass music, including innovative arrangements of hymns, a celebration of faith and music in a worship experience for all ages! Festival registrants admitted free.
Wednesday, July 17, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Festival Soloists, Chorus and Orchestra
Central Moravian Church. The first modern performance of the Easter Cantata by Ernst Wilhelm Wolf, in its new edition! This beautiful, multi-movement work is truly a celebration of the truth of the Easter message in well-crafted, deeply moving music. (The Anthem Sing previously scheduled for Wednesday night will be moved to Thursday morning.)
Thursday, July 18, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Festival Band Concert
Foy Hall, Moravian College Music Department.
Friday, July 19, 2013, 7:30 p.m. Festival Choir and Orchestra Concert
Central Moravian Church. Featuring several “first modern performances” of works newly edited from the archives!
Saturday, July 20, 2013, 10:00 a.m. Closing Singstunde and Concert, featuring the Festival Trombone Choir, Handbell Choir, and Chamber Ensembles
This inspirational program “wrapped up” the Festival experience and left us all in eager anticipation for 2017!