(Caption right of picture) Daniel Mollé is a musician and composer. The 25 year old Californian has lived in Herrnhut for the past 6 years, which he has declared as his second home. Here, he gives English and music lessons. He's even composed a musical piece for a former Christmas market. Photo: Mario Heinke

(Caption lower left of picture) Daniel Mollé came to Germany in 2005, since which he has lived in Herrnhut. The city has become his second home. / By Cornelia Mai

     For well over five years, Daniel Mollé has lived in Herrnhut. He last visited his home land in September of 2009. However, the 25 year old is by no means homesick – hard to believe in light of the cold and dismal weather here. Nonetheless, the musician and composer says that the small town of Herrnhut suits him more than the big and pulsating city of San José: “I feel at home here and can fulfillingly shape my life,” he accounts for this.

     Fulfillment: the slender young man finds this most of all in music – music is what he grew up with. He plays piano, guitar and trombone, studied composition for two years and today he passes on this knowledge to his students. By giving lessons on these instruments, as well as lessons in songwriting and in his native language, English, he earns his living in Herrnhut. The music has also opened doors for him. “I never wanted to limit myself to only one thing,” he says. And with this in mind, he showed interest in Youth With a Mission just as much as in the Herrnhuter Diakonie, the Moravian church, the Christliches Zentrum church and the Kreismusikschule music school. By now, the 25 year old has found good friends and acquaintances everywhere. For some of them, Daniel Mollé has already written musical pieces.

     In total, nine compositions have been written during his time in Herrnhut up to now, some of which appear on CD. This expatriate and by-choice-Herrnhuter had even written a song for this famous Zinzendorf-town's 2008 Christmas market. “Back then, I had taken conducting lessons with cantor, Peter Kubath,” he retells in his flawless German. Because he wanted to put his newly acquired knowledge into practice for once, the idea came to him to write a new piece. For this tune, entitled “Come Celebrate With Me” – a Christmas song that retells the Christmas story – he put together a small choir, with which he performed in various places, including the Herrnhuter Diakonie's home for disabled persons.

     Konrad Fischer from the town's tourist office still recalls: “Daniel Mollé approached us back then and offered his performance, which came across well.” The city will always greet such personal initiative as that of the young Californian. It contributes to the cultural enrichment of life in Herrnhut, making it more colorful.

     This is exactly how Daniel Mollé understands his dedication. He wishes to bring joy with his music. His music should be accessible; tangible; “something you would gladly remember,” as he puts it. Out of his nine compositions, only one has been a commissioned work. Nicole Haupt, once a piano student of his, had requested a small musical work from him, which was to be a surprise greeting for a dear person who would return home after a long time apart. Thus, “Petite Marmotte” came to be – for its commissioner, a work of art that wins over by means of its sincerity. In a very sensitive and delicate manner, Daniel Mollé had understood how to set her strong emotions to music. “The long, uncertain waiting; the thirst for peace, hope and joy; yet also the sorrow for those that never returned home from war – I'm sure that a matter was interpreted in ,Petite Marmotte' that not only I am deeply touched by,” Nicole Haupt writes.

     In the future, Daniel Mollé wants to concentrate more upon composition. A big project has been in the works since two years. He wants to set a letter by Dietrich Bonhoeffer to music, which Bonhoeffer wrote to his parents while he was in prison. It shall be for Baritone and Choir accompanied by an orchestra. Even for private persons or institutions, he looks forward to writing further pieces and giving small concerts, as recently in Café Jolesch.