Music is integral to the Sunday 11am Sung Eucharist all year round: choral music in choir term, congregational singing of hymnody and psalmody, and organ repertoire. (For details of the Rieger organ see here.) Music, sacred and secular, of many kinds is also presented in concert and recital throughout the year.
Concerts and other Musical events this Summer
The Summer Concert Series presents a wide array of music of different styles and genres. St John’s is well-known for its wonderful acoustic and is ideal for music from Gregorian chant, through all kinds of chamber music, to new and experimental music. In addition to the formal concerts this summer there are some liturgies of particular musical interest. The following all take place in the church (entrance on W 11th St) except New Songs Now, which takes place in the theater (entrance on Waverly Place).
Great Hymns in Worship, Lunch, Community Sing-along:
11am, lunch, then 1pm Sunday 22 July
In collaboration with Chantbank and Rattlestick Theater this day offers the opportunity for singers of all levels of experience (and of none!) to sing with others, led by professionals and trained amateurs. Address by the Reverend Graeme Napier, Licentiate of the Royal College of Music. Great Hymns in Worship is followed by lunch then, from 1pm, by the community singing event. No tickets nor previous singing experience necessary
New Songs Now: 7pm weeknights 22-26 July
A series presented in our theater offering inventive songwriters the opportunity to test out new material in a fun low-key environment. Composers will share selections of their work, followed by a conversation with the artists to de-mystify the songwriting process. Entrance on Waverly Place. For more information, visit https://www.rattlestick.org/new-voices-new-works/#new-songs-now
For tickets ($10): https://web.ovationtix.com/trs/pe.c/10306463
Bach to the Future: Bach Double Violin Concerto and more:
7.30pm Wednesday 25 July
Bach’s Double Violin Concert, and other repertoire, with violinists from the Juliard School of Music. In aid of our summer Music & Science program for teenagers (see below). Tickets at:
Songs for a Summer’s Evening: 7pm Tuesday 31 July
Amir Farid (piano, Juliard) and Richard Symons (tenor, Mannes) perform songs by Porter, Kern, Gershwin, and others. Interval reception in St Benedict’s Courtyard. In aid of Ads-up, assisting with the re-settlement of refugees (ads-up.org). Tickets ($25) at nycsongs.eventbrite.com
Music & Science Summer program: 10am-3pm weekdays 6-17 August
For 12-18 year-olds this course is intended to serve young people with an interest or aptitude in science and/or music. The first part of the day feature singing and musical training, the latter part scientific experiment and modelling. To book go to ffrcc.org (Foundation for the Revival of Classical Culture).
Buonasera - An Evening of Italian Classics: 7pm Tuesday 7 August (tbc).
An evening of Italian favorites including opera arias by Verdi and Donizetti, as well as Neapolitan songs, performed by soprano Michelle Erin Fuchs, with accompanist Yelena Ruhkman and tenor Scott Mooney. Reception with wine and cheese in St Benedict’s Courtyard. Michelle is an up-and-coming lyric soprano in the NYC/NJ area, performing art music at over a dozen NYC-area schools and running summer music programs for schoolchildren. She has also spent many years as an organizer and vocal coach with the community-based Schiller Institute NYC Choruses, coaching singers of all ages and abilities. This concert is part of efforts to raise funds for her trip to Italy in late August for a masterclass in Italian Bel Canto singing. For more information and for tickets: firstname.lastname@example.org
Music for Mary: Mass of the Blessed Virgin Mary with plainsong:
7pm Tuesday 14 August
A Sung Eucharist (music: plainsong) will be celebrated at 7pm at the open-air Altar. The Eucharist will be followed by refreshments in St Benedict’s Courtyard. No tickets required.
Bach to Bernstein: date and time to be determined
A concert featuring Bach’s solo cantata ‘Ich Habe Genug’ (BWV 82), songs from Bernstein’s ‘West Side Story’, and more, celebrating the centenary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth (25 August 1918).
St. John's Choir
The Choir is an ensemble of about twelve men and women, amateur and professional, joined once a month by boy and girl choristers. Directed by Gordon King, Organist & Choirmaster, the Choir aspires, through music seamlessly integrated with liturgy, to lift us to that place where we can feel the divine presence. The choir is an integral part of the Sunday liturgy, as well as other feast days of the Church year, in a season ranging from September to the feast of Corpus Christi in early summer.
The Choristers (boys with unbroken voices and girls) receive free music training in an after-school program on Wednesdays in term-time and sing at the 11am liturgy roughly once a month. The music curriculum is that devised by the Royal School of Church Music (UK).
The Choir's repertoire ranges from Gregorian chant and Renaissance polyphony, through music of the Baroque, Classical, and Romantic periods, to newly-composed music. The musical corpus is largely, but not exclusively, from the Anglican tradition, including standard English cathedral choral repertoire, as well as music by American composers.
For men and women who sing and read music well, and are willing to commit to the Choir's schedule, the Choir is an enriching and spiritually rewarding musical ensemble to be part of. The Choir sings on Sundays and major Holy Days from September to Corpus Christi in early summer, with rehearsals at 9.30am on Sunday mornings. Six additional rehearsals are scheduled during the year.
If you would like to audition for the Choir, or have children (boys with unbroken voices or girls) who are interested in singing and would benefit from the Chorister program, contact Gordon King email@example.com
Here are samples of our music: