Join our community this #GivingTuesday

Tomorrow is #GivingTuesday, a day to give back to the community through charitable giving.

For 200 years, St. George’s Choral Society has focused on community. We are a community of diverse singers, amateur and professional. We are a community of audience members, who come from the New York City area and beyond to experience live choral music.

This #GivingTuesday, join or continue your membership in a third community: The community of supporters that has enabled St. George’s Choral Society to perform great works of choral music throughout our 200-year history.

Your support ensures our continued dedication to our community. Thank you.

We Rely on Your Support

When Mayor Bill De Blasio proclaimed April 30, 2017 to be “St. George’s Choral Society Day,” his proclamation read:

“St. George’s Choral Society has used music to pave the way to a better and brighter future for our communities. For two centuries, it has been enriching the cultural life and vitality of our great city.”

We celebrate the close of our 200th year with a performance of Dvorak's Requiem on November 19.  Please support our 200th anniversary concert. Our goal is to raise $20,000 to help present this momentous performance to the community.

Thanks for Sharing Your SGCS Memories

For 200 years, St. George's Choral Society has made lasting impressions on those who have heard and sung with the choir.

Last week, we asked you to share #MySGCSMemory. This week, we are excited to share some submissions. It's not too late to send us your SGCS memory!

I sang with the choir for several seasons, during the period when Ken Dake was the choir director. We did a ‘Discovering Dvorak’ concert. At that time, the area by the church was being designated Dvorak Place. The ambassador from his native country attended our concert. My favorite memories were the Christmas concerts. Being surrounded by a human wall of sound, as we sang above the audience in such a beautiful setting. The decorations, the performers and of course, the immortal music. I will always think fondly of my time spent with St. George’s.
— Valerie Cruz

We can only continue creating musical memories with your support! Our fiscal year ends on July 31. Consider making a year-end donation today to support the choral memories of tomorrow.

One night we were rehearsing in St. George’s Chapel when a young woman walked in from outside, lay down on the floor, listened to the choir for a moment, then stood up and left. I guess we sounded good that evening!
— Johanna Goldberg
I have not attended a concert, but I have heard your lovely voices! My son has returned to his first love, choral music!! I am so happy for him, because it has brought him so much joy! He has progressed from children’s and youth church choirs to Wofford College Men’s Glee Club to, now, the prestigious St. George’s Choral Society!!! I am very proud of him and his love for music! Love from a happy mother in South Carolina.
— Billie Lou Liles

The clock is ticking…our 200th anniversary is almost here

In 1817, St. George’s Choral Society was founded as the choir of St. George’s Church.

In 1894, the choir made history when Harry T. Burleigh, the great spiritual performer, composer, and arranger, became the first African-American to sing with the choir of a white church.

Burleigh in St. George's Choral Society robes in 1894. In Harry T. Burleigh: From the Spiritual to the Harlem Renaissance. News item in Southwestern Christian Advocate (New Orleans, Louisiana, Thursday, July 12, 1894; pg. 6, issue 28).

Today, St. George’s Choral Society—no longer religiously affiliated—looks to celebrate our history and welcome our future as we move into our 200th year.

Help St. George’s Choral Society strengthen our work enriching lives through the universal and transformative power of music. Make a year-end gift today.

Your gift makes a difference, no matter the size.

Learning the Brahms Requiem in Two Weeks: Report from the Summer Choral Festival

DESIGN BY ANDREW SPINA © 2015

The best treat after a hard day’s work? Ice cream? Binge tv watching? Relaxing in a bath with a glass of wine? No, no, and no: Challenging ourselves with German words set to the Romantic music of Johannes Brahms. This year, the Summer Choral Festival hosted by St. George’s Choral Society will present Brahms’ Ein deutsches Requiem on June 18 after only two weeks of rehearsals.

Committed to this challenge, the participants of the choral festival came to the first two rehearsals this past week with their pipes in working order and phenomenal focus (there was only one “where are we?”). The chorus’ high level of engagement has allowed Artistic Director Matthew Lewis to concentrate on dynamics, phrasing, and diction, rather than on note learning.

For example, in the opening and closing movements (“Selig sind”), we used dynamics to convey the sense of peace imparted to the blessed mourners and blessed dead. Honing our German pronunciation (forte consonants, piano vowels!) brought out the hair-raising reminder of mortality found in “Denn alles Fleisch.” The joyous fugues sprinkled throughout the piece (“Der Gerechten Seelen sind in Gottes Hand,” “Herr du bist wurdig,” to name a few) elevated the phrasing and highlighted the gorgeous blend of each vocal section as the theme swept through the different parts.

Rehearsing the Brahms Requiem for the JUNE 18, 2016 Summer Choral Festival concert. Photo: Blessing Agunwamba.

By the end of the second rehearsal, we have now gone through the entire piece in depth. Exploring such a beautiful composition with a committed group of individuals is an amazing summer treat. The melodious musicality that Dr. Lewis achieved from the group during this first read augurs an excellent concert. 

If you are not singing in the festival, come be uplifted and comforted on June 18 at 7pm at the Church of the Incarnation on Madison Avenue and 35th Street. The concert is free and will be followed by a choir benefit ($25 to attend the benefit).

Hear the Brahms Requiem and Support the Choir

Please join us on June 18 at 7PM for our end-of-season concert and a benefit to kick-off our 200th Anniversary season.

Design by andrew spina © 2015

Design by andrew spina © 2015

Our concert is free, and features Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem. 

Our benefit, immediately following the concert, is $25 and will feature:

Drinks and desserts
Auctions for homemade goodies (custom cupcakes, cases, and more!)
Raffles for gift baskets
A wine pull with mystery bottles of wine worth $20 and more

Space for the benefit is limited to 70, so register today! 

Register and pay online:

Both the concert and benefit will be held at Church of the Incarnation at the corner of Madison and 35th Street.

Make Our Online Auction a Success

Membership dues and ticket sales cover only a portion of our costs for soloists, instrumentalists, administrative fees and a robust and educational rehearsal schedule that includes professional section leaders.

We have been using Charity Buzz for the last two years as a source of significant income.

The success of our Charity Buzz Auctions is based on two factors:      

 

·      The generous donations from our members and friends

·      The far-reaching Charity Buzz subscriber base (many winning bids have come from those outside of the New York area)

 

We will conduct our next Charity Buzz auction in early April.

Please consider making a donation or asking a friend or family member to do so.

Charity Buzz’s minimum value per item is now $1,000. Our most successful donations in the past have been experiences with both tangible and intangible value to meet this minimum (tour of the UN, private tour of the Met, tickets/back stage tour of a Broadway show).

Please email Laura Daly with your donation(s) or ideas you may have for donated experiences by March 21, with the following information in the email:

·      Item/Description

·      Number of people  (i.e., 4 tickets to a show, tour/lunch for 2)

·      Any timing restrictions (i.e. when available or black out dates)

·      Name/address/phone/email of donor

·      Value of item

·      A jpeg image of the item. (For example, photo of a work of art or a series of images of an apartment offered for a weekend getaway.)

Many thanks to all of you for helping us with this effort!