A Magical Tradition at Moravian Academy
Moravian Academy held its annual Vespers services at Central Moravian Church in Bethlehem on the evening of December 10 for the Middle and Upper Schools, and the morning of December 11 for the Lower School.
During both Vespers services, glorious music filled Central Moravian Church as voices, hand bells, strings, brass and percussion, together with readings from Scripture and holiday carols, made this Moravian Academy tradition complete.
The Middle and Upper School Vespers program on Thursday evening opened with a prelude by the 6th Grade Bells, Moravian Academy Handbell Ensemble, 7th Grade Bells, 8th Grade Bells and Moravian Academy Ringers. The evening service was distinguished by the distribution of Moravian candles as all who were in attendance sung traditional carols. Highlights from Thursday evening’s performance included a beautifully composed rendition of Gloria by Rory Liplis ‘15, the combined Middle and Upper School Choruses accompanied by Upper School string instrumentalists, the Moravian Academy Chamber Singers, the Moravian Academy Chorale, the Upper School Women’s Chorus, and the Upper School Men’s Chorus. The much anticipated Morning Star, O Cheering Sight evening performance featured 5th Grade soloists Ashley Lee, Helena Thomas, Lily Peskin, and Shabig Chatha.
The Lower School Vespers service on Friday morning was an equally inspiring event filled with stirring music, which was enjoyed by students, parents, faculty and staff. The service featured vocal and instrumental performances from Pre-K to 5th Grade, starting with a prelude by the 5 th Grade Bells. Grades Four and Five joined together to perform No Room and O Holy Night and sang Part One of Hosanna as the students and congregation joined in for Part Two. The Lower School Vespers Strings performed during many of the musical selections. The cherished Morning Star, O Cheering Sight morning performance featured 5th Grade soloists Theo Bissell, Isabel Oberlender, Haley Schierwagen, and Darby Garay.
Vespers provides an excellent opportunity for students of all ages to get involved in a presentation that is not only challenging, but traditional as well -- and one that brings great joy to its audience of family and friends. Preparing for Vespers is a major project during the fall semester of every year and an important part of Moravian Academy’s music tradition. Moravian Academy’s music teachers begin preparing their classes and orchestral ensembles for Vespers shortly after school opens in the fall. The musical offerings are an important part of the curriculum in the Lower, Middle and Upper schools and Vespers is an unforgettable holiday occasion for many students and alumns.