history of the bbsa and the mmf
Date: 27th May 2003

The World Moravian Brass Band Music Triangle (SA, Europe, USA)

Start: Letter to Abel Appel - President of the 2002 Unitas Fratum Moravian Unity Synod at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania USA. To be read to the delegates asking for contact with fellow Moravian Brass band players to contact the BBSA.

By Christo Appel - President of the BBSA - 28th July 2002. (view letter)

Reply: From Rev Albert H. Frank, assistant director MMF (Moravian Music Foundation). Thanking us for the letter. Inviting us to the 2003 Brass and vocal workshops in Winston-Salem, USA. 7th to 14th June 2003. Including CD of the ancient and modern Moravian Music in the Church.

Reply from BBSA - Fax 27th August 2002 - "Musical Triangle" letter. We accept invitation.

We hereafter only correspond by e-mail. Planning of the tour takes place and we agree: 5 members will attend sponsored by the MMF - BBSA President,V/President,WP/CP and V/CP and music director.

Tyron Hitzeroth, Ulrich Jansen, Christo Appel, Ronald Johannes, Albert Engel. We are promised 5000 dollars. With additional funding to be sort.

We meet Rev Frank and his wife Erdmute also that she is expecting a baby late in June 2003 – 14th November 2002. Also Nola Knouse the Head of the MMF.

Five members in the group and we must purchase the tickets and be refunded on our arrival in USA. Tyron request that we make the tour two weeks to visit other areas in the USA - 19th Dec 2003.

We request letters for visa applications: 2nd February 2003. MMF agrees on letters - and promise extra 3000 dollars - 3rd February 2003.

Flight details done by Ronnie and tickets purchased. Visas received as from 20th March 2003. We leave on the 1st June 2003 for Atlanta, Newark then Bethlehem.

Our total costs are now R57326.00 14th May 2003.

We meet Jim and Roberta Pettit - Co-chairs of the Moravian Music Festival. 14th May 2003. They request what instruments we play. Names for name tags and sizes for T-shirts. We invited onto day tours of Winston-Salem.

We are requested to hold a slide show on the 6th June 2003. 13th May 2003. Rev. A.F. We agree and all will look. Ronnie contacted Rev Schiefer and found some. Tyron will load some onto a CD.

Last e-mail from Rev Frank on the weather and that payments will be done by cheque in USA on arrival. 25th May 2003. Shorts and T-shirts OK. We are offered MMF instruments. We agree but Albert requests to take his own instrument.

We are now in the USA - Bethlehem Pennsylvania and we thank you Rev Albert Frank. You are indeed a friend of the BBSA and South Africa. We salute you because you responded positively to our hand of friendship and now over many months and many km or miles we now meet in the USA. The triangle is now complete and perfect. We thank Nola Knouse the silent partner who was always aware and in contact with Rev Frank. I know that you were of the utmost importance in making this visit possible. We thank and salute you too. Erdmute and the future Frank we say thank you because Rev Frank would not end any e-mail with out bringing greetings from Erdmute this shows the love and partnership that they have for each other. Jim and Roberta Pettit we have come to know as the organizers of the festival but we thank them because towards the end of the planning they gave us the final instructions.

This visit goes far beyond the BBSA and the MMF. It brings two continents and two peoples together. We bond through the Brotherhood of the Moravian Church and although our Church wherever the missionaries went remained a small church they were big in ideas, motivation, spirit, missionary zeal, filled with the love of Christ they conquered wherever they spread the gospel. We saw it in South Africa and now I see it in Bethlehem. It makes me feel far from home yet we feel at home here amongst Moravian Brothers and sisters. It proves that although we may be economically on different levels we are on common ground in Christ who is our chief elder. We pray that this visit will in a small way continue the mission work started in Herrenhut and is still continuing today. We are all proof of this.

We come with a message and it is this we need peace in our world today. May we here in our own way contribute to that world peace by showing how people of different nations and lands can find love if they have the love of Christ in their midst.

In this triangle of Brass we hope to be able to hold a world Moravian Brass Band Festival in South Africa. We hope that after this visit this idea will become a reality. We also hope that this visit will result in the future visitations between our bands in SA to the USA and that you will come and tour our country with your groups. We have had many German groups to our country but I hope and pray that soon we will have a group from the USA. Be it Brass or vocal. We will show you our wonderful country. It’s geography as well as its people from all walks of life. It is, as we say a rainbow nation and as such it is made up of many different and interesting people. It will be an unforgettable experience and we now invite you to come we will be waiting to welcome you.

Rev Frank, I stand in aw to think that we are standing on the USA soil. I would never have thought that I would one day be in the USA. I hope and pray that the partnership between the MMF and the BBSA will grow. We have a long history of Brass and coral music in our Church and I hope that we will be able to exchange ideas and personal so that both our organizations will be strengthened by it. May we stay partners for many years. May this visit open doors for our young members in Sa and USA to be able to meet new friends that before this day might only have been a dream. May we build on the foundation of Christ and build his church across this expanse of water from SA to the USA.

I thank you again. God Bless the MMF, Erdmute, Nola, Jim, Roberta and all the people who contributed to our visit may he always keep his mighty hand over you and your work.

I thank you on behalf of our group here Tyron, Ulrich, Ronnie and Albert.

Christo Appel.

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history of the bbsa and the mmf