Moravian Music Festivals

The 26th Festival in July, 2021

Please make plans to join our voices and instruments in music and worship, along with Moravian and non-Moravian sisters and brothers from across the continent and around the world, as we share our love of the Savior, love of music, along with learning, experiencing, and the hard work of preparation during the week-long Moravian Music Festival in Bethlehem, PA, July 18 – 24, 2021. All concerts are preceded by a band prelude, and are free and open to the public.

On the campuses of Moravian College and Central Moravian Church, Bethlehem, PA.

  • Choral
  • Concert Band
  • Handbells
  • Chamber Music
  • Steel Band (steelpan)
  • Prelude Band

Youth Participation with special opportunities!

Children’s Music Program for the whole week!

STORY of the 2013 FESTIVAL


Moravian Music Festivals are sponsored by the Moravian Music Foundation. The Festivals are planned and coordinated by the Foundation’s staff and board in cooperation with a Festival Planning Committee. Prior to 2010, Festivals were sponsored by the provinces of the Moravian Church in America, alternating locations between the North and the South. Festivals are held every four years, alternating between Winston-Salem, NC, and Bethlehem, PA.

For more information, please follow the “26thMoravianMusicFestival” on Facebook. Registration is not yet active for this event in 2021.

All concerts are free and open to the public.

Each concert is preceded by a band prelude. Sponsored by the Moravian Music Foundation



Beginning in the 1930s and 1940s, scholars and musicians discovered a veritable treasure trove of music in the archives of the Moravian Church in America – manuscripts, early printed music, much of it in German. As they explored more, they were awestruck at the quantity of music, and the variety of composers – those known to be Moravian, and those known in wider musical circles.Thor Johnson

Working with American-born and trained conductor, Thor Johnson (son of a Moravian minister and native of Winston-Salem, NC), a group of clergy and laypersons in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, decided to hold an Early American Moravian Music Festival and Seminar, in Bethlehem, on June 26-July 2, 1950.

Since then, the Moravians have planned and hosted 23 more Festivals, and in 2017, will host the 25th Moravian Music Festival in Winston-Salem, NC.

The following statement of purpose for Moravian Music Festivals was adopted by the Provincial Elders Conferences in joint meeting, January 22, 1985.


  • that music is an important element in worship, enhancing one’s ability to respond to the Lord;
    1987 Edmonton, Alberta

    1987 Edmonton, Alberta

  • that music has been an integral part of the Unitas Fratrum for over 500 years; and
  • that our church, through the inspired work of its laity and clergy, has been blessed with a wealth of musical compositions which have enriched worship since the mid-15th century; and
  • that this unique musical heritage presents us with responsibilities and unlimited opportunities for its development and dissemination; and
  • that the Festivals are the only Moravian Church sponsored events that include all, regardless of age, sex or geographical difference; and
  • that the wide-spread use of Moravian music provides our denomination with one of its most effective means of outreach, the Interprovincial Music Festival Committee states that
    2003 Band Prelude (Goslen)

    2003 Band Prelude (Goslen)


  • to provide an opportunity for Moravians and non-Moravians to learn about and enjoy this musical heritage while obtaining the guidance needed to better interpret this music; and
  • to foster the development of music and worship leadership skills through seminars, workshops, and participation in choral and instrumental groups with the goal of enriching the life of local congregations; and
  • to be a dimension in the ministry of the Church to meet the spiritual and fellowship needs of its members; and
  • to be a forum for the discussion of current research on Moravian music; and
  • to be a vehicle for sharing the rich musical heritage of Moravian communities to the music world at large.

    The Salem Brass Band of Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape, South Africa plays on the Davidson College campus, 2009 Festival

Handbells w Debbie Rice, director Home Moravian Church, Winston-Salem, 2017