“Morning Star, O Cheering Sight!” is a beloved Christmas hymn of the Moravian church. It’s text, which derives from the Biblical reference to Christ as the “bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16) was written in Europe by Johann Scheffer in the 17th century. The tune was composed to the poem in the U.S. by Moravian organist/ choirmaster, Francis Hagen, in the 19th century. The Moravians, well-known for the importance of music in their worship, sing this hymn during the Christmas eve candlelight service with a child soloist leading the congregation responsively.
This arrangement for young band maintains the classical sophistication and grandeur of the original hymn, while exploiting its traditional antiphonal setting. Consider presenting to your students in band the historical importance of the Moravian church in America via this wonderful musical gem.
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