Central Moravian Church to Honor Late Maestros Donald Spieth, Richard Schantz During Oct. 8 Concert | WDIY Local News
A historic Bethlehem church will be honoring the lives and legacies of two prominent musicians at an upcoming concert.
Central Moravian Church said in a recent release that it will honor the late Donald Spieth and Richard Schantz during its free Estelle Borhek Johnston Memorial Festival Concert on Oct. 8 at 4 p.m. Admission is free.
Spieth died Sept. 1 at the age of 81. He served as the conductor-in-residence at Central Moravian Church for 15 years.
Schantz, who passed away on April 5, 2020, at the age of 91, directed the Central Moravian Choir from 1971 to 2002.
Both men also worked at Moravian University. Spieth founded the Moravian University Orchestra in 1967 after arriving at the school as a National Teaching Fellow.
In addition to serving as the orchestra’s conductor, he was also an artist-in-residence in music at the university.
Schantz was a retired Emeritus Professor of Music at Moravian. He joined the school’s faculty in the 1950s, and founded and led its Music Department with his wife Monica.
He directed the College Choir until his retirement in 1994 and also established a Christmas tradition, the Moravian University Christmas Vespers.
According to Rebecca Lepore, organist and Central Moravian’s minister of music, this year’s concert was, “designed as a celebratory musical tribute to these two great musicians whose gifts enriched worship services and concerts at Central Moravian for many years and left a treasured legacy for so many musicians.”
This year’s performance will feature Lepore, the church’s choir, strings, harp, and the Mainstreet Brass presenting a variety of diverse instrumental and choral works by J.S. Bach, Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Parry, and Elgar.
It will also include select movements from the Durufle, Faure and Dan Forrest requiems, as well as classic anthems arranged by Mack Wilberg.
Central Moravian Church was founded in 1742. It is Bethlehem’s first congregation and the oldest Moravian Church in North America.
The Estelle Borhek Johnston Memorial Concert was established in memory of Estelle Borhek Johnston (1867-1952) by her daughter, the late Mrs. Elizabeth Johnston Jost, and her son, Archibald B. Johnston.
(Original air-date: 9/27/23)