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The Ephrata Cloister Chorus

Category: Other Choirs
Category: Choirs with Religious Affiliation
Voicing: Mixed
Location: Ephrata, Pennsylvania, USA
The Ephrata Cloister Chorus was founded in 1959 to sing the music composed in Ephrata during the 18th century when Conrad Beissel, immigrant from Eberbach, Germany, started a celibate religious order in the wilderness of colonial Pennsylvania. The Ephrata Cloister Chorus was formed in 1959 under the leadership of Dr. Russell Getz, a professor at Lebanon Valley College. Dr. Getz transcribed a selection of early Cloister music into a modern notation that could be performed by the chorus. A dozen of Dr. Getz's transcriptions were published in 1971. In recent years musicologist Dr. Lucy Carroll and philologist Dr. Allen Viehmeyer have continued to investigate and transcribe Ephrata's original music, which offers more insight into the rich musical heritage of the community.
The Historic Ephrata Cloister Chorus under the direction of Martin Hinkley, is a dedicated group of volunteers which bring to life the historic music of the Ephrata Cloister as a program of the Ephrata Cloister Associates. Wearing white robes patterned after those worn by the Brothers and Sisters of Ephrata in the mid-eighteenth century, the modern Chorus performs at the historic site and throughout the SE/Central PA region of the United States. In addition to work from Ephrata's past, the group performs compositions from other early American communities including works form the Shakers, the Moravians, the Harmonists, the Kelpius Community, the First New England School, and African American spirituals. Listen to a sample, Ich Bin Eine Rose here: Ich Bin Eine Rose was written by Mother Maria, the prioress of the Sisterhood. The tune follows Beissel's rules of music.
The 2014/2015 chorus season begins Tuesday September 2nd, at the Ephrata Cloister Visitor's Center and ends in June 2015. The Ephrata Cloister Chorus accepts new choral members pending a successful audition with the choral director, and participating in at least three rehearsals. For more regarding the Historic Ephrata Cloister and the Chorus, please visit or call 717-733-6600. Martin Hinkley, Director. Juliet Mitton, Accompanist. Cathie Oliphant, Concert Coordinator.