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The Ephrata Cloister Chorus

Today's chorus, under the new direction of Martin Hinkley, is a dedicated group of volunteers which bring to life the music of the Ephrata Cloister as a special educational 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 region. In addition to work from Ephrata's past, the group performs compositions from other early American communities including works from the Shakers, the Moravians, the Harmonists, the Kelpius Community, the First New England School, and African American spirituals. The Ephrata Cloister Chorus performs on-site and off-site in sacred spaces, concert halls, museum and historic sites.

For samples of music and to purchase Ephrata Cloister Chorus music please visit the Museum Store

Become a sponsor of the Ephrata Cloister Chorus season!

spacerThe 2015/16 Ephrata Cloister Chorus Seasonspacer

The Ephrata Cloister Chorus season begins September 8, 7:30pm. Soprano, Tenor and Base voices are needed.

Call for new members: Chorus members are required to attend weekly rehearsals in the Historic Ephrata Cloister's Visitors' Center from September to December and again from January through May. New chorus members are welcome at any time provided they attend multiple rehearsals Tuesday evenings and complete an audition process. After being accepted into the Chorus through an audition process, a Chorus member will be provided with three items: a white garb, a white cloth-covered binder, and sheet music. The Chorus member is required to keep the garb clean and in good repair and wear it during scheduled performances during the spring and fall. For more information about joining our volunteer chorus, contact Cathie Oliphant, Concert Coordinator at

spacerPast 2015 Performancesspacer

OFF SITE PERFORMANCE Exhibition Opening of the Free Library of Philadelphia's Framing Fraktur project funded by the Pew Center for Arts and Heritage
Featuring the Ephrata Cloister Chorus
March 2, 2015

Additional information to come. For more information please contact the Free Library of Philadelphia and visit

OFF SITE PERFORMANCE PA German Society 125th Annual Meeting
Featuring the Ephrata Cloister Chorus
The Lancaster Church of the Brethren, Lancaster PA
June 6, 2015

Hear the Ephrata Cloister Chorus as part of the PA German Society's 125th annual meeting in Lancaster at the Lancaster Church of the Brethren. Their performance begins at 10:15am following a keynote address by Dr. Hedwig Durnbaugh on the Hymnody of the Early Pennsylvania Germans at 9am. For registration, please visit the PA German Society's website,

spacer The History of the Ephrata Cloister Chorus spacer

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.

For past performance schedules and additional information please visit the Ephrata Cloister Chorus website.

Ephrata Cloister
632 West Main Street, Ephrata, PA 17522
Telephone (717) 733-6600