Director of THE Unitas CHORALE
Gwyneth Michel became director of Unitas Chorale in 2012, succeeding Jill Bruckart, the ensemble’s founding director. Gwyn also serves as Director of Music at College Hill Moravian Church in Bethlehem, PA. Gwyn was Assistant Director of the Moravian Music Foundation from 2007 – 2022, being mainly responsible for the Foundation’s Bethlehem office and its Northern Province holdings, guiding MMF music publications, serving as a musical resource for the Northern Province, and numerous other duties. Gwyn came to MMF as a veteran of the music publishing industry, having served as church music editor for three major publishing companies for 30 years. She received a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Moravian College (now Moravian University) and a master’s in Church Music from Westminster Choir College.
In 2018, Gwyn was awarded the James V. Salzwedel Award for Excellence in Church Music.
The award reads:
As Assistant Director of the Moravian Music Foundation since 2007, your contributions to church music have been legion and continually go far beyond your Moravian Music Foundation job description. You have served as a musician and resource person for Moravian Church Synods – chasing copyrights, accompanying, assisting with all aspects of music and worship, working in a variety of circumstances. Throughout the Moravian Church, you provide assistance with selecting and arranging music, managing copyrights, overseeing lending library loans, providing personalized “care and feeding” of church musicians, and leading workshops throughout the country. As Director of the Unitas Chorale, you provide excellent choral instruction for the more than 50 singers who then share their enhanced skills with their own congregations.
As a skilled and experienced music editor, you ensured the accuracy and clarity of the groundbreaking publication of Sing to the Lord a New Song. You have brought the Moravian Star Anthem Series and all Moravian Music Foundation publications to high artistic and technical standards, representing the composers’ best intentions in historical editions, and assisting living composers to bring their artistry to best light, always attending to the breadth and quality of all these publications. With all Moravian musical events and Festivals, you provide exceptional service in all aspects, from leading workshops at very short notice to accompanying late-night emergency room visits!
As an active church musician now serving College Hill Moravian Church, you have attracted many college students into active church music work; you have involved many congregation members throughout the music program; and you provide excellent leadership in all aspects of music and worship in the church. You have shown great ability to adapt quickly to different working conditions and styles of worship throughout your career as organist and choral director, from Pennsylvania to South Florida; from Neuwied-am-Rhein, Germany, to Cape Town, South Africa.
For your dedicated service; your joyful sharing of the gift of music in and beyond worship; and your contribution to the preservation, sharing, and celebration of Moravian musical culture, the Board of Trustees of the Moravian Music Foundation takes great delight in presenting to you the James V. Salzwedel Award for Excellence in Church Music; Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, October 12, 2018
Moramus Award to Gwyneth Michel:
Accompanist / organist OF THE Unitas CHORALE
Luke DiGiacinto is a 2017 graduate of Moravian University, Magna Cum Laude, with a Bachelor of Music degree in Sacred Music focusing on Organ and Voice. He has been working in church music for just about 5 years. He currently serves Advent Moravian Church in Bethlehem, Hanover township, where he is organist and director of music. His responsibilities include playing the organ, directing the Chancel Choir and Bell Choir, and helps with the brass ensemble. He previously served as organist for Morning Star Moravian, and West Side Moravian.
His teachers included Naoko Cauller, and Dr. Martha Schrempel for Piano, Robert Ormesher, and Greg Oaten for Voice, and Russell Jackson, Michael Krentz, Rebecca Lepore, Lou-Carol Fix, and Thomas Goeman for Organ.
He serves as ceremony organist at Moravian University, his alma mater, and has accompanied across the valley. He has served as wedding organist for Central Moravian Church on numerous occasions. Luke sings with the Bach choir of Bethlehem, and has sung with the Allentown symphony chorus, and Camerata singer’s. Luke is an active recitalist, and has recently started teaching. Luke is very involved the the local chapter of the American Guild of Organists, and currently serves as a board member, Education Coordinator, and was the services coordinator and a presenter of the June 2022 Pipe Organ encounter plus. While a student, Luke received a number of accolades and awards from Moravian University including the Walter Schrempel prize, and the Richard Van Auken prize in music. For keyboard excellence, Luke received the Betty Airestock Moore, T Edgar Shields, and Jacobs Music Awards. Luke takes particular interest in the Organ Music of 17th and 18th France, and North German Baroque organ music. He loves ethno-musicology, pinball, his back patio, and partner dancing.
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