2018–2019 Season Announcement

We are pleased to announce our repertoire for the 2018–2019 season. Sing with us! We welcome new members of all vocal parts.

Fall Concert with Orchestra
Sunday, November 18

Bach: Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf, BWV 226
Haydn: Missa Cellensis, "Cecilia Mass," Hob XXII:5

The motets of J. S. Bach are brilliant works, posing challenges and rewards to choral singers. They are filled with technical demands (fast passages, sustained singing, German diction, rhythmic precision, to name a few). Scored for double chorus, Der Geist hilft unsrer Schwachheit auf (The Spirit gives aid to our weakness) is in three sections: an opening Allegro for double chorus, a contrapuntal section for four parts, and a closing chorale, all sung in German. Haydn's Missa Cellensis in Honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary is rarely done. With so many wonderful masses by Haydn, it is still surprising that this one is often overlooked. Exciting, dramatic choral movements, together with some of the most amazing solo movements of any mass setting, make this piece a spectacular concert item. The orchestra writing is particularly tricky—Haydn is never predictable! Singers will enjoy the opportunity to focus their technique with these two masterworks, and audiences, unaware of the technical demands, will enjoy a delightful concert.

Spring Concert with Organ
Sunday, May 5

Milhaud: Sacred Service

French composer Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) was a member of Les Six, a group of French composers that included Poulenc and Honegger. He composed the Service Sacré pour le Samedi matin in 1948. It is one of two such settings for the Jewish liturgy commissioned by Congregation Emanu-El Synagogue in San Francisco, along with that of Ernest Bloch. This colorful, varied, and poignant work is a masterpiece of the 20th century sacred repertoire. Sung in Hebrew with narrations in English, it is scored for baritone soloist, narrator, choir and organ. This program will appeal to a broad variety of singers and will be a unique offering on the NYC choral concert scene.

Summer Choral Festival with Orchestra
Saturday, June 15
Rehearsals begin June 4

Durante: Magnificat
Handel: Laudate pueri, HWV 237

Until recently, Pergolesi was thought to be the composer of this Magnificat, but recent scholarship credits Francesco Durante. The music remains the same—a delightful setting of the Virgin Mary's song of praise, for string orchestra, chorus and soloists. Handel's Laudate pueri is a brilliant work for strings, oboes, chorus and soprano soloist. While the Durante is a well-known piece, the Handel is a unique opportunity for choral singers. Both pieces will be sung in Latin. A sunny program for summer!

2015–2016 Rehearsals Have Begun

St. George's Choral Society's first rehearsal of the 2015–2016 season. Photo by Richard Karman.

St. George's Choral Society's first rehearsal of the 2015–2016 season. Photo by Richard Karman.

Although September 9 was a warm, muggy day, the early evening found an enthusiastic group of choristers gathering at St. George’s Chapel for the first rehearsal of the 2015–2016 season.  Memories of chilly rehearsals in the dead of winter gave way to an appreciation of the Chapel’s air conditioning. Those who had not already done so online renewed their memberships and collected the scores for the fall. To help put names and faces together, Vice President Loraine Obler passed out name tags and began work on a member directory.

The rehearsal of Mendelssohn's "Lobgesang" began promptly with Artistic Director Matthew Lewis directing and Jim Bassi accompanying on the piano.

It’s not too late to sing with us! Contact stgeorgeschoralsociety@yahoo.com to schedule an audition on September 16 between 6:00 and 6:50 PM.

The schedule for the upcoming year looks to be challenging and exciting:

Fall Concert with Orchestra

Sunday, November 22, 2015, 3 PM
Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Avenue at 35th St

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music (Chamber Singers)
Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2, "Lobgesang"

Lincoln Center Performances with the Paul Taylor Dance Company

March 16, 18, 30, and April 2
David H. Koch Theater, 20 Lincoln Center Plaza

Our semi-professional choir, by audition and invitation, appears again this season in performances of Poulenc's Gloria with the Orchestra of St. Luke's at the Koch Theater.

Sacré et Profane - Choral Masterworks from France
Spring Concert with Organ

Sunday, April 17, 2016, 3 PM
Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Avenue at 35th St

Fauré: Pavane
Poulenc: Chansons Francaises
Langlais: Messe solennelle
And works by Le Jeune, Janequin, and Saint-Saëns

Summer Choral Festival

Saturday, June 18, 7:00 PM
Church of the Incarnation, 209 Madison Avenue at 35th St

Brahms: Ein deutsches Requiem
Featuring Brahms' arrangement of the work for chorus and piano, four hands

Our 2015–2016 Season

We are thrilled to share our 2015–2016 season with you. Here is how Artistic Director Matthew Lewis describes our fall and spring repertoire:

Fall Concert (with orchestra)

Mendelssohn: Symphony No. 2 in B-flat major, opus 52, "Lobgesang"

Vaughan Williams: Serenade to Music

This "choral" symphony by Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy is one of the highlights of the choral repertoire. It was composed in 1840 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of the invention of printing. It is a symphony cantata, on sacred texts, for choir and soloists, with full orchestra. The movements are performed consecutively, without pause, to great dramatic impact. This piece will entice the experienced choral singer to participate, as it is a thrill to sing. Our chamber singers will perform Vaughan Williams’ “Serenade to Music.”

Spring Concert (with organ)

Choral Works from Paris - Sacred and Profane

Poulenc: Chansons Francaise

Langlais: Messe solennelle

This unusual program features works of 20th century composers Francis Poulenc and Jean Langlais, who both lived in Paris. Poulenc's pieces are a cappella settings of French folk songs. They are extremely well crafted, difficult to sing, and wonderful to hear. And they are rarely performed. These will be sung by the chamber singers. Langlais was a blind organist composer, who wrote in a more modern vocabulary. His thrilling setting of the Mass is for a big choir, with a virtuoso and very well-written organ part.