The Moravian Music Foundation preserves, shares, and celebrates Moravian musical culture.
Forty-two years ago, when the Moravian Music Foundation itself was 20 years old, the Moramus Chorale was formed in 1976 by the Foundation in response to a special request for a Moravian music evening at Montreat, North Carolina. After that first successful event, the singers voted to organize the Chorale into a permanent body. Its organizational precepts began this way:
The Moramus Chorale is the choral performing division of the Moravian Music Foundation. The chorale is an organized and select group of Moravian singers with high performance standards. It is the desire of its members to build and maintain a choral ensemble capable of presenting Moravian music with excellence and spiritual interpretation, thus conveying to the hearer the religious and cultural uniqueness of our musical heritage.
The Chorale was “dormant” 1981 and 1984, due to lack of a permanent conductor and flagging interest by the singers. It was revived in 1985 by Károly Köpe, the new MMF director, who served as the conductor until his departure from MMF in 1991. After that, the members of the chorale decided that they wanted to continue their affiliation with MMF. In 1992 the MMF board officially endorsed the Moramus Chorale as “a performing group authorized by the Moravian Music Foundation.” James Bates conducted the Chorale from 1992 to 2007, and was followed by Jayson Snipes (2007-2015), and is now conducted by Drake Flynt.
While the Chorale originally saw itself as a “select group”, the Chorale is an SATB mixed chorus open to anyone who would like to sing. There is no audition required; one simply speaks to the conductor or a member of the chorale and joins in! The Moramus Chorale rehearses on the 4th Tuesday of each month, year-round, with a few extra rehearsals just before concerts, and a break in the holiday season and summer.
This performing arm of the Moravian Music Foundation provides excellent quality choral singing experiences for its members, and uplifting concert programs for its home community – and sometimes beyond!
And now the Moramus Chorale is in final preparation for a concert on Sunday, October 21, at 2:30 p.m., at Calvary Moravian Church, 600 Holly Avenue, Winston-Salem. Moramus will be joined by the Chancel Choir of Calvary Moravian Church for a performance of Built on a Rock, chorale variations by Károly Köpe. Calvary has recently rededicated their renovated sanctuary following a ceiling collapse last January, and this is your chance to see and hear a beautiful concert in a glorious space. The concert is free and open to the public, and donations will be received. See you there!
Want to sing in Moramus? Simply reach out to our office and we’ll put you in touch with the director! There is no audition requirement – just an interest in performing choral music and a commitment to come to rehearsals.
Next time … About the MMF Board of Trustees!