Home Church Band

Easter band rehearsals; visit the Band!

Upcoming rehearsals and service: 

  • Sunday, March 24, 9:30am: Palm Sunday Prelude. Tunes selected from the lists for Lent and Palm Sunday on the back cover of each Chorale book.
  • Sunday, March 24, 2:15pm: Easter Band Rehearsal. Home Church Sanctuary.
  • Tuesday, March 26, 6:30pm: Holy Week Services Low Brass. Tunes selected from the lists for Lent, Palm Sunday, and Passion Week on the back cover of each Chorale book.
  • Thursday, March 28, 6:30pm: Maundy Thursday Communion Prelude. Tunes selected from the lists for Lent, Palm Sunday, Passion Week and Maundy Thursday in the back cover of each Chorale book.
  • Friday, March 29, 7:00pm: Good Friday Lovefeast Prelude. Tunes selected from the lists for Lent, Palm Sunday, Passion Week and Maundy Thursday in the back cover of each Chorale book.
  • Easter Morning, March 31
    • 12:30-12:45am - meet at the church for rounds
    • 1:45am - rounds begin
    • 4:15am - Breakfast begins
    • 6:15am - The Lord has risen! Easter Sunrise Service

Art Sorensen, 336-407-2192

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Come Visit the Home Church Band!

Have you ever had that wistful, “I wish I could play an instrument,” thought drift through your head? And did you immediately think, “I’m not talented. Besides, it’s too late. I should have started when I was 7.” Here’s our New Year’s advice – Follow that first thought, and throw away the follow-up!

Why? Because it’s never too late to start learning a musical instrument! When Nola was teaching private flute lessons, she taught several people who started playing just as they were retiring from their long working careers – people looking for something different to do in their later years. And they had fun! They were able to join a flute choir, or community band, or just play along with their families at home. Several of them were still happily playing on up into their 80s, having started in their 60s.

The Home Church Band is a very welcoming group! There’s no competition; there’s no finger-pointing or criticism if anybody misses a note or rhythm. There are just welcoming smiles and lots of laughter as we use our instruments, our fingers, our God-given breath, to make better music together than any one of us can make alone.

Want to see what being in the band is like? Come stand with us on one of our preludes (no reservation needed!). Look over a player’s shoulder, or stand beside the leader and mimic their actions (pretend you’re four years old again!). Come to one of our rehearsals and just sit in – with or without an instrument.

  • Don’t know how to read music? It’s not magic, and there’s little mystery!
  • Don’t have an instrument? We have a lot, ready to loan out!
  • Want to learn how to play? We can help connect you with a teacher, and supply scholarship funds for lessons!
  • Can’t commit to every rehearsal and every prelude? Neither can anyone else! Take a look, and every prelude you’ll see a lot of the same people, but not all of them. Some just come a few times a year, others almost every time we play.

Any other objections coming to your mind? Talk to Art Sorensen or Nola Knouse and we’ll do our best to help you overcome them! (Except if you just aren’t the least bit interested, and if that were true, you probably wouldn’t have read this far.)

Let this be a New Year’s Resolution for you – simply to explore what being in the band might be like! You would be very, very welcome!

Nola Knouse, Art Sorensen, Lester Morris, Home Church Band Ministry Team

History of the Moravian Band

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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