Home Church Band

Rehearsals and playing opportunities

Upcoming opportunities for our band (note new rehearsal dates):

  • Nov. 30, December 1,2,8, and 9 at 7:00 p.m.: Low brass for Candle Tea.
  • Saturday, Dec. 2, 2:00 p.m.: Candle Tea Band.
  • Sunday, Dec. 3, 9:30 a.m.: First Sunday in Advent prelude. Tunes selected from the Advent list of tunes on the back of the Blue and Green Books.
  • Tuesday, December 5, Star Lighting: Eden Terrace parking deck Baptist Hospital, band start at 5:15 p.m. The service starts at 5:45, and will end around 6:15. Rain date is Friday, December 8.
  • Saturday, Dec. 9, 2:00 p.m.: Candle Tea Band.
  • Sunday, Dec. 17, 4:15 p.m.: Home Church Family Lovefeast Prelude.  Tunes selected from 167A, 169A, 585D, and pp. 57-65. “Blue book”: 39G, 121A, 125C, 165A, 590 N.

Find the Home Church Band on Facebook.
If you would like to be added to the email notification list please contact Art Sorensen.

Beginning Band Class on Tuesdays at Home Moravian Church. Sponsored jointly with Salem Congregation, Beginning Band Class will once again be offered under the leadership of Robah Ogburn and Connie Merritt. Each Tuesday night, the class will meet at 6:30 p.m. for all ages 6th grade through adults (we have had students starting in their 80s). If you do not know what instrument you want to learn, the leaders will help you make that decision on the first night.

Salem Congregation Chorale Band will meet at 7:30 p.m. each Tuesday and is open to all interested players. This group will use both green and blue Moravian Chorale books and perhaps some band arrangements. This group is targeted for all players that have at least completed Beginning Band as well as those that have played for many years.

Both the Beginning Band Class and the Salem Congregation Chorale Band will meet in the Rehearsal Room on the lower level of the Rondthaler building.

Please contact Connie (kapwing@triad.rr.com) or Robah (RobahOgburn@Yahoo.com) if you have questions or need additional information. 

Any Home Church member that would like to borrow an instrument should contact Art Sorensen, asorensen1959@gmail.com, or 336-407-2192.

About the Band

Since 1768 when the first trombones arrived in Wachovia, the Moravian Band has been integral to worship, celebrations and observances by Moravians in North Carolina.

Today players of all ages and skill levels are welcome to join the Band. Beginning and intermediate classes are held at Home Moravian each fall and spring. Informal "play-arounds" during the summer are held weekly at a participating church.

For more information about joining the Home Church Band, email Art Sorensen.

For more than its first century in Salem, the Band was an important communications tool, to announce important events such as births and deaths in the congregation.

Typically, the Band would play from an elevated position where they could be heard throughout the community. When the sanctuary was built in 1800, a special band platform was included high above the front door on Church Street. Different chorales, or tunes, signified the news being communicated. For deaths, the specific chorales indicated the age, gender and marital status of the departed member.

The importance of the Band continues today. It has grown from a small group of trombones to a larger collection of brass and woodwind instruments. The platform above the door, rarely used now for music, is still called the Trombone Balcony. Chorales for death announcements are now typically played on the organ during worship services, although for funerals, the band plays during the procession to God's Acre and at the gravesite for the Burial Liturgy, including the appropriate chorales.

Today the Band plays in a variety of locations. The Band plays preludes – either outdoors or in the sanctuary – before worship for major events and festival days in the church calendar, such as Palm Sunday, Pentecost, Advent and Christmas.

For the Easter Sunrise service, attended by thousands of worshipers from throughout the region, band members from all of the Salem Congregation churches gather on the periphery of Old Salem to play antiphonally, then mass together – hundreds-strong – for the conclusion of the service in God's Acre.

The Band has also played on July 4 since the nation's first Independence Day celebration was held in Salem in 1783.

Most of the Band's four-part music is selected from two part-specific chorale books, available from the Moravian Music Foundation (moravianmusic.org).

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