Moravian Music Festival
The Festival Prelude Bands will play from the standard Moravian chorale books (green and blue) prior to evening concerts.
Preludes before each evening concert
7/27 & 7/28 & 7/29
- Wednesday; 7:15pm – full band, mixed brass and winds
Led by Allen Frank
- Thursday; 6:45pm – full band, mixed brass and winds
Led by Caitlin Heckman
- Friday; 6:45pm – full band, mixed brass and winds
Led by Don Kemmerer
The Festival Prelude Bands will meet on the green and play from the chorale books (green and blue) prior to evening concerts and according to a varied schedule of instrumentation.
All musicians, registered for Festival, or not, are welcome to join the prelude band at the times listed above.
The Moravian Band was formed specifically to assist in worship and daily life of the church, especially outdoors, as a call to worship, in the announcement of deaths, and in hymn accompaniment at the graveside.
In the early Moravian settlements in the eighteenth century, exclusively “trombone” choirs (Posaunenchor) were started in many congregations, in Europe, America, and elsewhere, since trombones were the only brass instruments that could play all the SATB parts, chromatically. The choirs served a liturgical role in leading music, especially for outdoor services and celebrations.
With the invention of valve instruments in the nineteenth century, most choirs opened their ranks to other brass instruments and later, to woodwind instruments. The playing of music outdoors, and even during what seem to be more secular activities, emphasizes the Moravian concept that every activity within the community is a liturgical act (not just in the church building).
Moravian bands and Trombone choirs, to this day, are an integral part of congregational life, announcing deaths and accompanying mourners to the graveside.
Playing in the brass or mixed wind choirs gives members of the congregation an important task that some perform over lifetimes. The brass choir or band gives its members a sense of belonging to a community within the larger church congregation. In the twentieth century, North America’s Moravian Music Festivals, the European Continent’s Bläsertage (brass festivals) and the Brass Band Union of South Africa Festivals have become important events in the life of the Church. These traditions were joined together in 2009 – Cape Town, 2013 – Bad Boll, and 2018 – Winston-Salem for the first three Unity Brass Festivals.