The Moravian Music Foundation preserves, shares, and celebrates Moravian musical culture.
The Moravian Star Anthem Series exists to make Moravian choral music available to community, school, and church choirs. There are three sub-series — the “blue series” (with blue covers) features anthems edited from the archival collections, written by Moravian composers or others beloved by the Moravians and included in Moravian collections. The “red series” features anthems by living Moravian composers — Cathy Hamner, Brian Henkelmann, Jill Bruckart, Zach Bailey, Dirk French, Mark Biggam, Nola Knouse, Jonathan Sidden, Margaret Leinbach Kolb, E.J. Williams, and James Bates (d. 2014). And the “green series” are arrangements of music by earlier Moravian composers, transposed to lower keys and arranged for smaller choirs, most often SAB.
Our 2018-2019 publications feature works in all three series. Published since early 2018 are the following, which you are sure to love:
In the “green series” –
• O the Blessedness Is Great, by J. C. Bechler; originally in F major, it’s now in D (down a third), and arranged for SAB choir.
• The Fruit of the Spirit, by J. C. Geisler; originally in A major, it’s now in F (also down a third), for SAB choir, still with the lovely flute part
In the “red series” –
• Psalm 150, by Brian Henkelmann, for SATB choir, flute, and 3-octave handbells. This lively and accessible work will surely become a new favorite for services of celebration!
And in the “blue series” –
• Make a Joyful Noise (Psalm 100), by Ernst Immanuel Erbe
• O Be Faithful Unto Death, by 19th-century Moravian composer Heinrich Lonas. This piece has become a new favorite of mine, and is especially appropriate for All Saints (“O be faithful unto death, and I will give to you the crown of life.”). SATB choir, moderate difficulty.
• O Dearest Jesus, Holy Child, by 19th-century Moravian composer Georg Friedrich von Hellström. Another new favorite, this one features soprano solo (could be sung by a few voices together and quite accessible SATB choir parts. Lovely for Christmas eve or the Sunday after Christmas, as we invite the Christ child to abide with us and make our heart his dwelling.
These are available through our website or by calling or emailing either MMF office. Several other anthems are scheduled for publication later in 2019, and are already in final proofreading stages, so watch for updates as more are published!
Next time … What we DON’T know about Moravian music!