Auditions
Aug
23
5:00pm 5:00pm

Auditions

Announcing our 2017-2018 season with Music Director, Malcolm J. Merriweather. Auditions are being held for all parts. Major venues include The United Palace Theatre and The Riverside Church. Repertoire highlights for the concert season include:

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dona nobis pacem
  • David Lang, the little match girl passion
  • Leonard Bernstein, Chichester Psalms
  • J.S. Bach, Singet dem Herrn, BWV 225
    Komm Jesu, Komm, BWV 229
  • C.H.H. Parry, Blest pair of sirens
  • Contemporary works by Nancy Wertsch, David Hurd, Gregg Smith, Robert Sirota, and Libby Larsen

Audition requirements:

You do not need to bring a prepared piece.

  • Vocalises
  • Pitch memory exercise
  • Sight reading
  • Text Recitation (French, German, Latin)

The Dessoff Choirs is one of New York City’s leading choruses, and is known for pioneering performances of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. Rehearsals are Monday evenings, 7-10 PM on the Upper East Side.

To schedule an audition, contact auditions@dessoff.org.

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Multidimensional Magnificence
Nov
5
5:00pm 5:00pm

Multidimensional Magnificence


Multidimensional Magnificence is inspired by the many concerts produced by the American composer and conductor, Gregg Smith. Smith sought to create an aural experience for audiences and was inspired by the polychoral traditions of San Marco, Venice, Italy as well as the stereophonic tendencies of Charles Ives. From the glory of the double choir Bach motet Singet dem Herrn to the evocative electro-acoustic pieces, filament and Mille Regretz, the audience will have a surround sound experience. The concert culminates in Victorian splendor with a rendition of Parry’s Blest pair of sirens realized through dance and movement. As part of our season-long tribute to Leonard Bernstein on the 100th anniversary of his birth, we offer “Make our garden grow” from Candide.

“Gloria” from Sacrae Symphoniae Giovanni Gabrieli (1555-1612)
Singet dem Herrn, BWV 225 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Blest pair of sirens Charles Hubert Hastings Parry (1848-1918)
If music be the food of love Gregg Smith (1931-2016)
filament Ian Sturges Milliken (b.1984)
Hail, gladdening light Charles Wood (1866-1926)
Psalm 67 Charles Ives (1874-1954)
Mille regretz Douglas Geers (b. 1968)
“Make our garden grow” from Candide Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
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Welcome Yule (Manhattan)
Dec
8
7:00pm 7:00pm

Welcome Yule (Manhattan)

This event also takes place on December 10, 2017 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Brooklyn.

Purchase Tickets: $15-35


The Dessoff Choirs ushers in the winter solstice with a concert of seasonal repertoire and contemporary arrangements of carols. The concert opens with Gregg Smith’s motet Alleluia: Von Himmel Hoch, a setting of the chorale tune of the same name. Brahms’s romantic and lush trilogy, Drei geistliche Chöre is performed by the sopranos and altos of the choir followed by the full choir singing three motets by living composers Ned Rorem, Nancy Wertsch, and James Bassi. We also celebrate Hanukkah with Simchu Nu, by Leonard Bernstein. A set of popular carols will complete the concert including a candlelit rendition of Silent Night for all to sing. Welcome Yule! is the perfect way to shepherd us into the holiday spirit.

Alleluia: Von Himmel Hoch Gregg Smith (1931-2012)
Carol: O come all ye faithful John Francis Wade (1711-1786)
arr. David Willcocks (1919-2015)
Drei geistliche Chöre
   O Bone Jesu
   Adoramus te
   Regina coeli
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
O magnum mysterium (Serenity) Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978)
Wake, O Earth Nancy Wertsch (b.1943)
Quem pastores James Bassi (b. 1961)
Simchu na Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Carol: Hark the herald angels sing Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
arr. Daniel Fortune and Malcolm J. Merriweather
Light one candle arr. Robert De Cormier (b. 1922)
Carol of the Bells arr. Peter J. Wilhousky
Carol: Silent night Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863)
“Hallelujah” from Messiah George Friderick Handel (1685-1759)
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Welcome Yule (Brooklyn)
Dec
10
4:00pm 4:00pm

Welcome Yule (Brooklyn)

This event also takes place on December 8, 2017 at Saint Peter's Church in Manhattan.

Purchase Tickets: $15-35


The Dessoff Choirs ushers in the winter solstice with a concert of seasonal repertoire and contemporary arrangements of carols. The concert opens with Gregg Smith’s motet Alleluia: Von Himmel Hoch, a setting of the chorale tune of the same name. Brahms’s romantic and lush trilogy, Drei geistliche Chöre is performed by the sopranos and altos of the choir followed by the full choir singing three motets by living composers Ned Rorem, Nancy Wertsch, and James Bassi. We also celebrate Hanukkah with Simchu Nu, by Leonard Bernstein. A set of popular carols will complete the concert including a candlelit rendition of Silent Night for all to sing. Welcome Yule! is the perfect way to shepherd us into the holiday spirit.

Alleluia: Von Himmel Hoch Gregg Smith (1931-2012)
Carol: O come all ye faithful John Francis Wade (1711-1786)
arr. David Willcocks (1919-2015)
Drei geistliche Chöre
   O Bone Jesu
   Adoramus te
   Regina coeli
Johannes Brahms (1833-1897)
O magnum mysterium (Serenity) Ola Gjeilo (b. 1978)
Wake, O Earth Nancy Wertsch (b.1943)
Quem pastores James Bassi (b. 1961)
Simchu na Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Carol: Hark the herald angels sing Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847)
arr. Daniel Fortune and Malcolm J. Merriweather
Light one candle arr. Robert De Cormier (b. 1922)
Carol of the Bells arr. Peter J. Wilhousky
Carol: Silent night Franz Xaver Gruber (1787-1863)
“Hallelujah” from Messiah George Friderick Handel (1685-1759)
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The Little Match Girl Passion
Mar
11
4:00pm 4:00pm

The Little Match Girl Passion

  • The Basilica of St. Patrick's Old Cathedral (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS

The Dessoff Choirs presents David Lang’s the little match girl passion, a work that evokes passion through stasis, repetition, and the unexpected combination of percussion instruments with voices. The composer describes his inspiration for setting the text:

What drew me to The Little Match Girl is that the strength of the story lies not in its plot but in the fact that the horror and the beauty are constantly suffused with their opposites. Andersen tells this story as a kind of parable, drawing a religious and moral equivalency between the suffering of the poor girl and the suffering of Jesus.

In addition, Dessoff performs J.S. Bach’s Komm Jesu, komm, the fourth installment (over three seasons) of Bach’s six motets and as part of our Bernstein tribute, II. Adonai, roi, lo ehsar from Chichester Psalms.

Komm Jesu, komm, BWV 229 Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
“II. Adonai, roi, lo ehsar” from Chichester Psalms Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
the little match girl passion David Lang (b.1957)
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Freedom Concert
Apr
28
4:00pm 4:00pm

Freedom Concert


The Dessoff Choirs' Freedom Concert, modeled after “freedom concerts” presented by the late Coretta Scott King, offers a choral tapestry of music that reflects on events of the past while promoting hope for the future. Featured works include Ralph Vaughan Williams’ plea for peace, Dona nobis pacem (1936); Robert Sirota’s homage to the nine victims of the Mother Emanuel AME massacre, Prelude and Spiritual for Mother Emanuel; works by female composers; and a commissioned work written by David Hurd. The concert closes with the well-known civil rights freedom song Oh Freedom.

“Dona nobis pacem” from Mass in B minor Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Dona nobis pacem Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958)
“III. Adonai, Adonai Lo gavah libi” from Chichester Psalms Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Prelude and Spiritual for Mother Emanuel Robert Sirota (b.1949)
commissioned work David Hurd (b.1950)
Cry Peace Libby Larsen (b.1950)
Blessed Assurance Nancy Wertsch (b.1943)
We shall walk through the valley Undine Smith Moore (1904-1989)
Oh, Freedom arr. Malcolm J. Merriweather and Charles Duke
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Auditions
Jun
15
5:00pm 5:00pm

Auditions

Announcing our 2017-2018 season with Music Director, Malcolm J. Merriweather. Auditions are being held for all parts. Major venues include The United Palace Theatre and The Riverside Church. Repertoire highlights for the concert season include:

  • Ralph Vaughan Williams, Dona nobis pacem
  • David Lang, the little match girl passion
  • Leonard Bernstein, Chichester Psalms
  • J.S. Bach, Singet dem Herrn, BWV 225
    Komm Jesu, Komm, BWV 229
  • C.H.H. Parry, Blest pair of sirens
  • Contemporary works by Nancy Wertsch, David Hurd, Gregg Smith, Robert Sirota, and Libby Larsen

Audition requirements:

You do not need to bring a prepared piece.

  • Vocalises
  • Pitch memory exercise
  • Sight reading
  • Text Recitation (French, German, Latin)

The Dessoff Choirs is one of New York City’s leading choruses, and is known for pioneering performances of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. Rehearsals are Monday evenings, 7-10 PM on the Upper East Side.

To schedule an audition, contact auditions@dessoff.org.

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A New Amorous World
May
21
4:00pm 4:00pm

A New Amorous World


The New Amorous World Lembit Beecher
Lammaa Badaa Yatathannaa Shireen Abu-Khader
Fog elna khel Salim Bali
 
Kang Ding Qing Ke
Tu Chao Mian
Liu Zhuang
 
The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor
 
Intermission
 
Past Life Melodies Sarah Hopkins
Hotaru Koi Japanese folksong
arr. Ro Ogura
What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor English Sea Chantey
arr. Robert Shaw and Alice Parker
Ne Sedi Djemo Macedonian folk song
arr. Steven Sametz
 
United Nations International School Senior Chorus
Daniel Stroup, conductor
 
Oseh Shalom arr. Elaine Broad-Ginsberg
 
Combined Choirs
 
Gede Nibo
Fre o
Steb Kallman
Adinu arr. Andre de Quadros and Shireen Abu-Khader
Entarisi Ala Benziyor Muammer Sun
 
The Dessoff Choirs
 
Now I walk in beauty Gregg Smith
 
Combined Choirs
 

Featuring Lembit Beecher’s The New Amorous World along with contemporary music from Haiti, China, and the Middle East, The Dessoff Choirs welcomes the United Nations International High School Chamber Choir and their director Mr. Daniel Stroup. Other special guests include Johanne Francois and Wenson Delice, co-directors of “Voices of Haiti,” a children’s choir based in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Join us for an unforgettable afternoon of intergenerational singing and dynamic international choral music.

United Nations International School Senior Chorus
Mr. Daniel Stroup, director
Wenson Delice, baritone
Johanne Francois, soprano
The Dessoff Choirs
The Dessoff Ensemble
Steven Ryan, piano
Malcolm J. Merriweather, music director and conductor

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

A New Amorous World is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Lower Manhattan and beyond.

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CANCELED - Free Preview in the Park: A New Amorous World
May
14
4:00pm 4:00pm

CANCELED - Free Preview in the Park: A New Amorous World

Due to the weather, this event has been canceled. Please join us on May 21st for A New Amorous World.


Program to be selected from the following:

Adinu arr. Shireen Abu-Khader
Fog elna khel Salim Bali
   
Kang Ding Qing Ke
Tu Chao Mian
Liu Zhuang
Oseh Shalom arr. Elaine Broad-Ginsberg
   
Gede Nibo
Fre o
Steb Kallman
Adinu arr. Andre de Quadros and Shireen Abu-Khader
Entarisi Ala Benziyor Muammer Sun
Now I walk in beauty Gregg Smith

Special, free preview concert in the park on May 14, featuring a selection of the music written for a cappella voices from the May 21 program. You’ll hear traditional folk music from non-European and non-American cultures in the open-air setting of Billings Lawn in Fort Tryon Park, Manhattan.

The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor

Lower Manhattan Cultural Council

A New Amorous World is made possible in part with public funds from Creative Engagement, supported by New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. Lower Manhattan Cultural Council empowers artists by providing them with networks, resources, and support, to create vibrant, sustainable communities in Lower Manhattan and beyond.

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Off The Risers: A Night of Solos with The Dessoff Choirs
Apr
29
7:30pm 7:30pm

Off The Risers: A Night of Solos with The Dessoff Choirs

Members of The Dessoff Choirs come down off the risers to entertain you with an evening of their favorite songs to benefit the chorus. Enjoy Iguana’s fine Mexican cuisine during the show. Dinner, snacks, and drinks will be available for purchase.

Doors open at 7:00 pm, event begins at 7:30 pm.

Tickets

  • $35 reserved seating
  • $25 general admission (May be standing room. Seating is first-come, first-served.)

Online sales have ended. Tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

Sponsor a song!

Sponsor your favorite Dessoff Choirs member to further support this event for $50 or more. Your name will be included in our program.

Online donations for this event have closed. You can make a contribution at the door.

We're looking forward seeing you!

With performances by:

Tansal Arnas
Jen Crawford
Amy Foster
Lisa Grow
Eric Hansen
Liz Hollander
Martha Hollander
Jackie Jones

Steve Kass
Stephanie Kim

Ian Milliken
Janene Otten
Kathryn Singleton
Jaylan Turkkan
Diana Young

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Bach, Buxtehude, and Barber
Apr
1
4:00pm 4:00pm

Bach, Buxtehude, and Barber


J.S. Bach Jesu, meine Freude, BWV 227
Dietrich Buxtehude Herzlich, lieb hab ich dich, o Herr
Samuel Barber Dover Beach

The Dessoff Chamber Choir and Chamber Ensemble perform Bach’s Jesu, meine Freude. The five voice motet expands upon the original hymn tune of the same name by Johann Crüger. This is the second of Bach’s six motets that Dessoff will perform over the next 3 seasons. Buxtehude’s Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr is the finest example of the composer’s mature cantata compositions. To round out the program, Maestro Merriweather steps off the podium to sing Barber’s Dover Beach for baritone and string quartet.

The Dessoff Chamber Choir
The Dessoff Chamber Ensemble
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor & baritone

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French F​ête
Feb
26
2:30pm 2:30pm

French F​ête


Lili Boulanger Hymne au soleil
Reynaldo Hahn L'obscurité
Claude Debussy Trois chansons de Charles d'Orléans
Marcel Dupré Quatre Motets, Op. 9
Maurice Ravel Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit
Francis Poulenc Toccata from 3 Pièces
Jean Langlais Messe solennelle

The Dessoff Choirs celebrates accompanist Steven Ryan’s 20th anniversary season with works by 20th-century French composers. This program takes advantage of the fine Wicks organ and exquisite acoustics at Saint Jean Baptiste as we showcase Jean Langlais’s chromatically flamboyant Messe Solennelle for choir and organ. Dr. Raymond Nagem, Associate Organist at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, will accompany the choir. Other works include Debussy’s a cappella gem Chansons D’Orléans, Marcel Dupre’s Quatre Motets, Op. 9, and pieces by Reynaldo Hahn and Lili Boulanger. Steven Ryan will be featured as piano soloist with a not-to-be-missed performance of Ondine from Gaspard de la Nuit by Ravel and Toccata from 3 Pièces by Poulenc.

The Dessoff Choirs
Steven Ryan, piano
Raymond Nagem, organ
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor

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Auditions
Jan
5
6:00pm 6:00pm

Auditions

2016-2017 is the inaugural season with new Music Director, Malcolm J. Merriweather, and auditions are being held for all parts. Highlights of the remaining concert season:

  • Jesu Meine Freude, BWV 227
  • Jean Langlais, Messe solennelle
  • Lembit Beecher, A New Amorous World

Audition requirements:

You do not need to bring a prepared piece.

  • Vocalises
  • Pitch memory exercise
  • Sight reading
  • Text Recitation (French, German, Latin)

The Dessoff Choirs is one of New York City’s leading choruses, and is known for pioneering performances of choral works from the pre-Baroque era through the 21st century. Rehearsals are Monday evenings, 7-10 PM on the Upper East Side.

To schedule an audition, contact auditions@dessoff.org.

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Welcome Yule (Brooklyn)
Dec
18
4:00pm 4:00pm

Welcome Yule (Brooklyn)

This event also takes place on December 10, 2016 at St. Peter's Church in Manhattan.


J.S. Bach Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
David Willcocks O Come All Ye Faithful
Robert Parsons Ave Maria
French Carol Angels We Have Heard on High
Adolphe Adam Cantique de Noël
Morten Lauridsen O magnum mysterium
Franz Xaver Gruber Silent Night
Harold Darke In the Bleak Midwinter
Herbert Howells Here Is the Little Door
John Tavener God Is With Us
Gregg Smith Twelve Days of Christmas
Jack McKelvey Deck the Halls in 7/8
Robert De Cormier We Wish You a Merry Christmas
George F. Handel Hallelujah from Messiah

The Dessoff Choirs ushers in the winter solstice with a concert of seasonal repertoire and contemporary arrangements of carols. The choir will surround the audience and cradle them in the music of Bach’s Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230, and in music by Tavener, Lauridsen and Howells. This music, along with the audience joining in on the carols, is the perfect way to enjoy the holiday spirit.

The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor

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Messiah Sing
Dec
17
4:00pm 4:00pm

Messiah Sing


George F. Handel Messiah, HWV 56

Sing with The Dessoff Choirs as we gather to lift our voices in holiday cheer with one of the most beloved choral masterpieces, Handel’s Messiah. Talented members of the choir will step down from the risers and sing their favorite arias. Scores available at the door or bring your own!

The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor

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Welcome Yule (Manhattan)
Dec
10
7:30pm 7:30pm

Welcome Yule (Manhattan)

This event also takes place on December 18, 2016 at St. John's Episcopal Church in Brooklyn.


J.S. Bach Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230
David Willcocks O Come All Ye Faithful
Robert Parsons Ave Maria
French Carol Angels We Have Heard on High
Adolphe Adam Cantique de Noël
Morten Lauridsen O magnum mysterium
Franz Xaver Gruber Silent Night
Harold Darke In the Bleak Midwinter
Herbert Howells Here Is the Little Door
John Tavener God Is With Us
Gregg Smith Twelve Days of Christmas
Jack McKelvey Deck the Halls in 7/8
Robert De Cormier We Wish You a Merry Christmas
George F. Handel Hallelujah from Messiah

The Dessoff Choirs ushers in the winter solstice with a concert of seasonal repertoire and contemporary arrangements of carols. The choir will surround the audience and cradle them in the music of Bach’s Lobet den Herrn, alle Heiden, BWV 230, and in music by Tavener, Lauridsen and Howells. This music, along with the audience joining in on the carols, is the perfect way to enjoy the holiday spirit.

The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor

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We Remember
Nov
7
7:30pm 7:30pm

We Remember

Purchase tickets $45-75 online or by calling CenterCharge - 212.721.6500


Steven Stucky Take Him, Earth
Whispers
David Hurd In Honor of Martin
W.A. Mozart Requiem in D minor, K. 626

Our season opens with Mozart’s Requiem along with Steven Stucky’s Take Him, Earth, and Whispers, and the premiere of David Hurd’s newly orchestrated work, In Honor of Martin at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. We Remember reflects on the lives of President John F. Kennedy and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with a program of choral music written in their honor and dedicated to their memory. Don’t miss Malcolm J. Merriweather as he takes to the podium in his conducting debut as Dessoff’s ninth Music Director!

Sarah Brailey, soprano
Melissa Attebury, mezzo-soprano
Marc Andrew Day, tenor
Joe Damon Chappel, bass
The Dessoff Choirs and Orchestra
Malcolm J. Merriweather, conductor

Program Notes

Music Director Malcolm J. Merriweather

Music Director Malcolm J. Merriweather

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