MUSIC AT NEW PHILADELPHIA MORAVIAN CHURCH
Music has long been an important part of the Moravian worship experience. Whether it is an instrumental piece, an organ prelude, a choir anthem, a congregational hymn, or ringing of hand bells our services would not be complete without music being included. New Philadelphia Moravian Church is fortunate to have a wonderful music program that includes a large number of participants who are proud of their contributions to our worship services.
Steve Gray brings many years experience in church music, serves as the church’s music director and leads our Chancel Choir and the Beracah Choir. The Children’s Choir and Youth Choir are led by Sandra Gray who also serves as organist for the 11:10 a.m. service. David Teague uses his experience as a school band teacher to lead our band and low brass ensemble. Mary Hege has been part of the New Philadelphia music staff for more than 50 years as organist for the 9:00 a.m. traditional service.
THE CHANCEL CHOIR
The Chancel Choir leads the congregational singing and special anthems for the 9:00 am traditional service. This choir also sings for special occasions such as the Christmas Eve services, Lenten services, and the wonderful Easter morning celebration.
Choir practice is at 7:00 – 8:30 pm each Wednesday in the Choir Room. Membership is open to all in the congregation. Basic sight-reading is helpful, but not required. Our choir is full of dedicated and fun-loving people. Come join us to sing praises to our Lord.
Whether soprano, alto, tenor, bass, high school age through senior adult, we welcome any person who wishes to join the choir and have open arms for you.
THE BERACAH CHOIR
The Beracah Choir provides music during the 11:10 a.m. service. The choir is a smaller ensemble that sings music that includes a wide range of songs, anthem, and hymns ranging from the traditional to more contemporary. The praise band accompaniment utilizes the sanctuary piano and guitars. This choir meets on Monday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the choir room for practice.
THE YOUNG PEOPLE’S CHOIRS
The young people’s choirs perform at the Sunday morning services on occasional Sundays and at other special services. The children and youth choirs at New Philadelphia meet on Sunday afternoons with rehearsals divided by age groups. Anyone is invited to join according to age. The rehearsal times are as follows:
Youth (Middle High or Senior High): 4:30 – 5:15 PM
Kindergarten – 5th grade: 5:15 – 6:00 PM
Usually rehearsals follow the school year with rehearsals starting in late August and ending in early June.
All children and youth are welcome to participate!
Bells of Joy
The Bells of Joy meet every Wednesday evening to practice and enjoy fellowship with each other as we work through a variety of music to enhance the worship experience for the NPMC congregation. The members of our hand bell choir come from a variety of musical backgrounds, but each of us enjoys creating music as a part of our ministry to the church. Our director, Donna Cartner, is a delightful leader, always eager to guide and challenge us. Music is a wonderful way to worship our Lord and Savior, and we are so happy to be a part of the music program at New Philadelphia.
The New Philadelphia Band
The records kept by the early Moravian settlers in Forsyth County record the arrival of a shipment that included brass horns that were immediately put to use in the Bethabara community. New Philadelphia continues the tradition of using instrumental music as a significant part of the worship experience. The church band provides a prelude before the 9:00 a.m. worship service each Sunday. Worshipers enjoy hearing the traditional hymns of the Moravian Church as well as other more recent hymns as they arrive and are seated. The band also provides special music on Church Festival occasions particularly during the Christmas and Easter seasons. The Band is also committed to supporting funeral services of members within this and other Moravian congregations by playing music in the graveyard before, during, and after committal services.
Band practice is held on Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. at the church. Beginning and intermediate band classes are also offered Home Church on Tuesday evenings for those who might be interested in learning to play a band instrument; check the Home Moravian Church website for details.
THE LOW BRASS ENSEMBLE
The low brass ensemble is a group of band members using trombones, baritone horns, and tubas to perform. This carries on a tradition where trombone choirs playing the traditional four-part harmony were a common ensemble in the Moravian Church. The New Philadelphia low brass ensemble usually provides a prelude for the 11:10 a.m. service and performs at other special services during the year.