Bethlehem Press

Monday, December 11, 2017
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“Christmas with the Annie Moses Band,” 7 p.m. Dec. 1, Bethany Wesleyan Church, Cherryville, Lehigh Township. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“Christmas with the Annie Moses Band,” 7 p.m. Dec. 1, Bethany Wesleyan Church, Cherryville, Lehigh Township.

Christmas with Annie Moses Band at Bethany Wesleyan in Cherryville

Thursday, November 30, 2017 by MAKENNA MASENHEIMER Special to The Press in Focus

The genre-defying Annie Moses Band Christmas tour makes a stop, 7 p.m. Dec. 1, Bethany Wesleyan Church, 675 Blue Mountain Drive, Cherryville, Lehigh Township, performing classic carols and holiday tunes.

The group is made up of siblings Annie Wolaver Dupre, violin and vocals; William Alexander Wolaver, viola; Benjamin Wolaver, cello; Camille Da Silva, harp; Gretchen Wolaver, violin, mandolin and guitar, and Jeremiah Wolaver, guitar.

“I suppose you can say we were formed at birth. It took a while for us to grasp that vision. My parents, Bill and Robin Wolaver, are award-winning songwriters in Nashville. They had six children and were very adamant and almost athletic in the way we pursued music when we were young,” says Annie Wolaver Dupre in a phone interview.

“At the end of high school, about 15 years ago we formed the Annie Moses band and began touring full-time together as a sibling group. There’s an electricity and an energy to the fact that we know each other so well and the fact that we’ve been performing together for so many years.”

The band’s sound lends itself to a variety of styles.

“As a band. the fact that we don’t fit into any one genre has been both our greatest success and our worst enemy. We’re launching our Christmas tour at the Grand Ole Op’ry and we’ll be playing at the first of the year at Carnegie Hall. Music fits in both of those places. It takes sounds that are very refreshing and familiar to the audience, but it really takes a signature twist on all of those elements. I think people love that,” says Wolaver Dupre.

“When you think of the sounds of Christmas you think of strings and harp. There are classical elements but there’s also the energy of holiday classics. This show is able to combine those things in a very exuberant fashion.”

Featured songs in “Christmas with the Annie Moses Band” include “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “What Child Is This,” “Jingle Bells” and “Let it Snow.” “When The Christmas Baby Cries” is one of several Annie Moses Band originals also on the set list. Albums include “This Glorious Christmas” and “Christmas With The Annie Moses Band.” “O Holy Night” and “Carol Of The Bells” are being released as singles in December.

In addition to performing and recording, the band has several programs with the goal of teaching and promoting new musicians.

“We have a foundation called the Annie Moses Foundation and our purpose at the Foundation is to discover, develop and debut new, emerging talent. For the last 15 years we’ve done that through a summer academy and we also have a nine months out of the year conservatory program for emerging artists.

“We also have a record label called Man Alive Enterprises that actually launches new artists. Our primary mission has been built on the fact that the world of the arts is a place filled with a great deal of decadence and darkness,” says Wolaver Dupre.

“We are very much a family of faith. So we wanted to help raise up a generation of brand new artists who were both highly-skilled but also deeply rooted in faith, so that they would have a bedrock of integrity that would be a moral compass for the art that they create. [Hopefully] we might live in a time ... 20, 30, 40 years from now ... where we’re creating art that is not only of substance and beauty but something that brings light and life to the world that we live in. “

Tickets: itickets.com; 610-767-1239; church office, or at the door. Doors open at 6 p.m. Opening the show is Joshua Carswell.