Favorite Old Hymns Go Digital

Kingsville Presbyterian Church will be the site of a concert of favorite hymns, 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 30, 1995. Performers include Gene Moroski (seated) and left to right Evelyn Robishaw, Judy Yusko, Bill Daywalt, Beverly Newbold, Bob Keller and Doug Herl. The songs will be performed to the background of digital music, representing guitars, brass, pipe organ, piano, and other instruments. A free will offering will be taken. Photograph by Carl Feather.

Ashtabula Star Beacon

Saturday, April 29, 1995

Concert of favorite old hymns to be presented with the modern sounds of a digital keyboard

by Carl E. Feather

Lifestyle Editor

Kingsville Township

The beloved hymns of yesteryear will meet the computer technology of 1995 in a unique concert at Kingsville Presbyterian Church, 3056 West Main Street, (Route 84) 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Local musician Gene Moroski will use his Roland Digital keyboard as accompaniment for church vocalists Doug Herl, Robert Keller, Bill Daywalt, Judy Yusko, Evelyn Robishaw, and Beverly Newbold. Moroski said the keyboard can mimic 128 different instruments plus 60 percussion sounds. Digital samplings of acoustic instruments is built into the keyboard’s software to produce high quality, lifelike sounds. A topnotch sound system will deliver pure music to the audience. “What you are hearing is some fantastic sound,” he said.

Moroski has chosen digital arrangements of the hymns for the concert. The arrangements are by major contemporary arrangers, and have been stored on floppy disc for input into the keyboard. Moroski can “turn off” the lead instrument on the arrangements, allowing him to play against a backdrop of studio musicians or accompany the vocalists. “On most of the hymns, I cut the lead out,” he explained. “I add to it. It’s not karaoke and it’s not D.J.”

Moroski has selected 23 hymns for the program, like the spirited “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” the somber “Were You There?”, and jubilant “Joyful, Joyful We Adore Thee.”

The hymns will be presented in fresh new settings, that range from reggae, to gospel, waltz, and half-rock shuffle. “It’s not disrespectful at all, “Moroski said. “There are done in a mode that is a little different from what people have heard before. It’s upbeat, but it has its quiet moments.”

Moroski purchased his digital keyboard at the Ashtabula Mall last year, and has been using it in his Boss Music band, which plays big band music and country music. But this will mark his first venture into the sacred music field with it.

“My original intent was to do it in a church as a trial, then if another church wanted a program, they could use their own vocalists,” he said.

The program will last about 90 minutes. Moroski said it will be free and open to the public.  “It’s going to be a relaxed concert,” he said. “It’s going to be something different.”