Notes from Nola – Who are the Moravian Music Foundation’s “constituents”?

The Moravian Music Foundation preserves, shares, and celebrates Moravian musical culture.

This picture shows the MMF staff — Gwyn, Nola, Erik Sarah, Barbara, Philip Dunigan (volunteer research associate), and Dave. In this picture we’re all in Winston-Salem, but you’re likely to find Gwyn in her home office in Bethlehem, with the others of us “in and out” of that office as well. We’re here for you to call upon!

When the phone rings, or an email “bings” in, or the doorbell rings … who might it be? Who uses the resources of the Moravian Music Foundation? If you’re a “user” of the Foundation’s resources, you might be …

  • a college student doing a required January term, summer, or semester internship (you may edit a piece of music from the vault; help stuff envelopes for a mailing; answer the telephone; organize a storage area; catalog a recently-received collection of music; proofread a Newsletter … you’ll get a good introduction to the variety of work it takes to keep a lively nonprofit musical organization thriving)
  • a professional performer who has found, via GemeinKat, that MMF holds the manuscript of a string trio you’ve never had opportunity to learn, asking for a copy to prepare and perform (with the proper permissions and the payment of a fee we’ll supply these copies)
  • a beginning instrumentalist needing to buy a chorale book (yes, we have them)
  • a graduate student in musicology, music theory, choral conducting, or other related field, looking for a research topic for your thesis or dissertation (we have dozens of topics identified, and more come to light every week)
  • a church choral director borrowing music from the Lending Library for an upcoming Sunday or festival occasion (there are several hundred anthems available – see the list on this website!)
  • a school music teacher wondering how the Moravians taught music to young children (there’s not as much detailed information as we wish)
  • a history buff wanting to learn more about the early Moravian settlers
  • a music lover looking for a CD for a Christmas present
  • a church musician looking for a simple hymn descant that a young violinist can play, or an arrangement of a hymn or other sacred music for a young musician
  • a composer looking for someone to publish new music (we’re always interested in new music by Moravians or music based on Moravian texts or tunes or keyboard music on Moravian hymns)
  • a tourist of Old Salem or Historic Bethlehem who has heard there might be some old music here (really? you think?)
  • someone who has been cleaning out a deceased relative’s books and papers, finding some old music or books that should perhaps be preserved somewhere and wondering if MMF would want them (often we do!)
  • someone who is interested in learning how to preserve their own old papers and books, wanting advice on conservation techniques (we can give some simple advice and recommend catalogs of archival supplies)
  • an employee or volunteer of Historic Bethlehem or Old Salem doing research for a future exhibition or program (there’s plenty of material, much of it in German script)
  • a college choral director looking to borrow instrumental parts for an upcoming performance (we have the parts for hundreds of Moravian anthems ready to loan)
  • a teaching assistant choral director wondering if MMF has any music for men’s chorus (we do have several anthems arranged for TTBB chorus)

All of these are real cases — and as you can see, our “customers” are a rich and varied group of individuals and groups, who often enter as strangers and (we hope) leave as friends. Our goal is to provide exceptional service so that every caller goes away satisfied – if not with everything they thought they wanted, with something just as good instead!

So – call or email, bring us your request, and we’ll do our best to be of service. And thank you for being our friends!

Next time … Moravian celebration of Great Sabbath!