MHS Travels to Lititz to Explore Moravian Music
The 162nd Annual Meeting and Lecture of MHS will feature a road trip to Lititz, PA, on October 5, 2019, to reinforce the theme of the day, Moravian Music of a Particular Time and Place: The “Lititz Anthems” of Johannes Herbst. Dr. Jeffrey Gemmell, director of music ministries at Lititz Moravian, choral conductor at Millersville University, and founding artistic director/conductor of the Lititz Moravian Collegium Musicum (LMCM), will discuss the history, culture, and musical development of the settlement where Bishop Herbst composed over thirty well-crafted and distinctive anthems while a resident, 1791-1811. The lecture sets the tone and introduces the repertoire for the concert to follow.
Originally founded in the 1760s, the Lititz Collegium Musicum provided an opportunity for accomplished musicians to rehearse and perform regularly for practice, entertainment, and enlightenment. These colonial-period amateur musicians strengthened their skills in order to perform the sophisticated repertoire regularly used in worship services, and were the core of what would become the Lititz Philharmonic Society in the nineteenth century. The all-new LMCM performed its inaugural concert last September and was hailed by LNP as one of Lancaster County’s “Top Ten Musical Moments of 2018.” The motto history you can hear! reflects the purpose of this professional chamber orchestra and their mission to perform from newly edited scores of period-specific repertoire preserved in the vaults of the Moravian Music Foundation. The Lititz Moravian Senior Choir and the Millersville University Chorale will join the orchestra to bring selected “Lititz anthems” to life. As in previous LMCM programs, a vast array of instrumental music by Moravians and non-Moravians alike will be heard, including works by Luigi Boccherini, W. A. Mozart, J. Christian Bechler, L. van Beethoven, Christian Latrobe and others. The historic 1787 Tannenberg organ will be featured as a solo instrument and to accompany hymns and anthems.
The 2:30 public lecture is free and open to the public; the concerts at 4 and 7 are $15 for the general public at the door (cash only, please), $10 for MHS members, and $5 with student I.D. More information can be found on the church website (lititzmoravian.org) or at gemmell-posts.com. The Lititz Congregation Museum/Archives and Mission Gift Shop will be open for visitors after each concert.