The Sophisticated Musical Culture of the Moravians in Early America

The richest and most sophisticated musical culture in colonial America was that of the Moravians in Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. The Moravians came from German-speaking Bohemia to first settle in the West Indies in 1732. By 1741, however, a sizable community of Moravians had settled in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Klemm organIn a few short years, Moravian communities were being established all over the colonies-many literally carved out of the wilderness. Important to those communities was worship and music and thus organs, organ music and organists played an important role.

Within five years of the settlement of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1746, Johann Gottlob Klemm installed an organ in the Moravian Church. Klemm thus claimed the distinction of being known as America’s first professional organ builder.

Dr. Jeannine Jordan, organist and David Jordan, media artist are the creators and performers of the organ and multi-media concert experience, From Sea to Shining Sea.  Visit www.fromseatoshiningsea.net to discover more.

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