Announcing our 2019–2020 Season

Fall Concert with Orchestra
Mendelssohn: Elijah, Op. 70

Wednesday, November 20 at 7:00 PM
St. George’s Church, 7 Rutherford Place

Mendelssohn's choral masterpiece for choir, orchestra, and soloists tells the biblical story of the prophet Elijah in dramatic form. A favorite for choristers, it contains some of Mendelssohn's best choral music. This is the sort of piece that is ideal for St. George's Choral Society, particularly since a large chorus is needed to match Mendelssohn's brilliant orchestrations. Combined with beautiful, exciting, and dramatic solos and solo ensemble movements, this will be of great interest to a vast audience.

Spring Concert with Piano
Schumann: Der Rose Pilgerfahrt (The Pilgrimage of the Rose)

Saturday, May 2 at 7:00 PM
St. George’s Church, 7 Rutherford Place

Schumann wrote this piece for piano, soloists, and mixed chorus, using a text by Moritz Horn (based on a story by Hans Christian Andersen). Schumann wrote relatively few choral works, and this one is preformed rarely. Often compared to his more popular "Das Paradies und die Peri," "Der Rose" is essentially a Liederabend (evening of song). Sung in German, the language will place demands on the chorus to articulate and communicate the poems successfully, with graceful, musical ensemble singing. It is a unique opportunity for NYC choral singers to sing an unusual masterpiece.

Summer Choral Festival
Debussy: Salut printemps; Invocation
Dvořák: Songs of Nature
Chavez: El sol

Saturday, June 13 at 7:00 PM
St. George’s Church, 7 Rutherford Place

This varied and colorful program will be of interest to audience and singers alike. The two Debussy songs were written early in his career. Both sung in French, "Salut printemps" is for women's voices and "Invocation" is for men's voices. They are both accompanied by piano. The Dvořák "Songs of Nature" are for unaccompanied choir. Sung in English, these are delightful works, contrasting in mood. The Chavez "El Sol" is a dramatic, fiery work, sung in Spanish. It is full of energy, an exciting piece to sing and hear.

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!

Our 2017-2018 Season

It's almost time to start singing once more. Our bicentennial year comes to an exciting close with our fall concert of the Dvořák Requiem. We welcome new members. Contact to set up an audition and join in the celebration. 

Keep singing with us as we close out the season with a new collaboration and our annual Summer Choral Festival.

Fall Concert with Orchestra
Sunday, November 19 at 2:30 PM

Church of the Incarnation, Madison Avenue at 35th Street
Dvořák: Requiem, opus 89

For the final program of our bicentennial year, we present a choral masterpiece: Dvořák’s Requiem. The connection between composer Antonín Dvořák and St. George’s Choral Society is rich and interesting, including a link with American icon Harry Burleigh. This program includes a complete performance of the Requiem, a piece St. George's Choral Society debuted in America in 1892. For full orchestra, large chorus and soloists, it is a fitting conclusion to the bicentennial celebration of St. George’s Choral Society.

Spring Concert with Orchestra
Sunday, April 29 at 2:30 PM

Church of the Incarnation, Madison Avenue at 35th Street
Verdi: Requiem

St. George’s Choral Society joins forces with another group of highly skilled amateurs, the Greenwich Village Orchestra, in a performance of Verdi’s Requiem. Led by Music Director Barbara Yahr, this 70-person orchestra has brought orchestral music to New York City for more than 25 years. Barbara Yahr and Matthew Lewis have been discussing the possibility of a collaborative program for some time now and it seems this Verdi program is the perfect fit. The Verdi Requiem offers many rewarding elements, for both choral singers and orchestral players. This monumental work is always an audience favorite.

Summer Choral Festival
Saturday, June 16 at 7:00 PM
Rehearsals begin June 5

Church of the Incarnation, Madison Avenue at 35th Street
Bach: Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
Schubert: Mass in C, D 452

The Summer Festival is a program of works for choir and strings. Bach’s motet, Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230, is the only one not scored for double chorus. Singers will enjoy performing this contrapuntal masterpiece in German. The choral works of Bach are a great way to get a choir to exercise their agility and clarity! The Schubert Mass in C is a refreshing alternative to his popular Mass in G. Full of lyricism, brilliance, and charm, this piece is a delight to sing, and a refreshing program for any audience. The combination of these two works will be an enticing program for summer singers.

Announcing Our 2016–2017 Season

Two hundred years of choral music! 

Our bicentennial celebration begins this season. I'm so excited to be part of this with you! Join us in September as we start rehearsals. We welcome new members—contact to set up an audition.

Fall Concert with Organ
November 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm

Berger: Brazilian Psalm (Chamber Singers)
Ginastera: Psalm 150
Kodály: Missa Brevis
Pauline Kim Harris: Commissioned work for chorus, organ, and cello

This program features works by three outstanding 20th-century composers of choral music, Jean Berger, Alberto Ginastera, and Zoltán Kodály. Berger’s unaccompanied Brazilian Psalm is rarely performed in its entirety (the concluding "Alleluia" is a frequent encore piece). Ginastera’s setting of Psalm 150 is a perfect match for St. George's Choral Society, as it requires the forces of a large, symphonic choir and features polytonal techniques. Along with the Kodály Missa Brevis, the three pieces make a stunning and intriguing concert program. Pauline Kim Harris, with her husband Conrad Harris, is a member of String Noise. Pauline’s sensitivity to all forms of music and performance make this commission particularly exciting. She will combine conventional techniques with very new ones, resulting in a work that is captivating for both the performers and the audience.

Spring Concert with Orchestra
April 30, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Dvořák: Stabat Mater, opus 58

The connection between composer Antonín Dvořák and St. George’s Choral Society is rich and interesting, including a link with American icon Harry Burleigh. This program includes a complete performance of Dvořák's Stabat Mater, a piece that has earned its place among the monuments of choral repertoire. For full orchestra, large chorus, and soloists, it is a fitting beginning to St. George’s Choral Society's bicentennial year.

Summer Choral Festival: American ‘A Capella’
June 17, 2017 at 7:00 pm

Copland: In the Beginning
Thompson: The Peaceable Kingdom

The Summer Choral Festival concert is a completely unaccompanied program of two American composers: Aaron Copland and Randall Thompson. Choral singers are familiar with both composers, and this is a rare opportunity to sing two of their masterpieces for choir. Copland's In the Beginning draws its text from the book of Genesis, and is scored for four-part chorus and mezzo-soprano soloist. Thompson’s The Peaceable Kingdom is inspired by an Edward Hicks painting. Composed in 1936, it is made up of eight sacred movements. St. George’s Choral Society pays tribute to these composers in its bicentennial celebration.

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.