Playing in the Easter Band is one of the highlights of the year for many Moravian musicians. Each Easter morning beginning shortly after midnight, band members from across the region begin playing in their communities in small groups. Several hours later, the bands join together for breakfast at Home Moravian Church, after which they break up again and spread out around Salem.
Following the first part of the Easter Sunrise Service, which begins in front of Home Church, the separated bands play antiphonally as congregants process to God’s Acre for the second part of the service.
Gradually the bands mass together in the graveyard and produce the glorious sound of 300 to 400 brass and woodwind instruments playing to the rising sun.
Easter 2020 was, of course, very different. This year, due to the pandemic, the Easter Sunrise Service was not “public,” but was held in the Home Church Sanctuary, with only a small band and choir.
The service was live-streamed, and about 7,000 people watched online. Some band members played along at home while they watched. Although it was a beautiful service, the experience for band members, who look forward each year to playing side by side with old friends and new, was just not the same.
Thus was hatched the idea for a “virtual” Easter Band, to give band members a chance to be part of the Easter event, playing the music they love. Band members played their parts at home while listening to a recording of the Easter morning bands in the Sanctuary. Band Leader Jeff Whitsett recorded a conducting video to help keep us all together. Mark Wright of Home Church edited the parts together.
Here is the result. Thanks to all who took part. We hope to see you again in person next Easter!
Moravian Virtual Band-Easter 2020
Jeff Whitsett, Band Leader
The players, their instrument/part, and church affiliation:
Richard Andrews – Euphonium/Tenor, (Pastor) St. Luke UMC in Spartanburg, SC
Burke Bovender – Tuba/Bass, Bethania Moravian
Tally Bovender – Clarinet/Soprano, Bethania Moravian
Stella Bovender – Clarinet/Alto, Bethania Moravian
The Bob Clark Trio, Unaffiliated – Trumpet/Soprano; Baritone/Tenor; Tuba/Bass
Norian Fordham – Trumpet/Alto, Friedberg Moravian
Jean Fordham – Clarinet/Alto, Calvary Moravian
Ross Gobble – B-flat Trumpet/Soprano, Clemmons Moravian
Mike Goforth – Trumpet/Soprano, Calvary Moravian
Wendy Fordham Goforth – Flute/Soprano, Calvary Moravian
Dick Joyce – Trumpet/Soprano, Fairview Moravian
Mary Elen Kollman – Trumpet/Soprano & Alto, Home Moravian
Dewey Linville – Tuba/Bass, Oak Grove Moravian
Tim Pyatt – Trombone/Tenor, Home Moravian
Seth Randleman – Baritone Sax/Alto, Friedberg Moravian
Nancy Renn – Clarinet/Soprano, New Philadelphia Moravian
Morgan Rothrock – Flute/Soprano, New Philadelphia Moravian
Jeanie Rothrock – Clarinet/Soprano, Christ Moravian
Michael Salley – Baritone/Bass, Valle Crucis UMC and Henson Chapel UMC
Erik Salzwedel – Trombone Bass & Tenor, Home Moravian
Mark Wright – Trombone/Bass, Home Moravian
EASTER MORNING BANDS
Soprano - Norian Fordham
Alto - Susan Sammons
Tenor - Jeff Whitsett
Bass - Kevin Krause
Soprano - Andrew Halverson
Alto - Donna Rothrock
Tenor - Erik Salzwedel
Bass - Mike Teague
Amanda Moody Schumpert, Soprano
Mary Foil, Alto
John Foltz, Tenor
Hal Garrison, Bass
MVB Video by Mark Wright, Home Moravian Church
Home Moravian offers beginning and intermediate band classes each fall and spring. Call the church office, 336-722-6171, for more information.