10 Dec 2017
139 St. John's Place, Brooklyn, NY
St. John's Episcopal Church
The Dessoff Choirs
Malcolm J. Merriweather
Hailed as “one of the great amateur choruses of our time (New York Today) for its “full-bodied sound and suppleness (The New York Times),” The Dessoff Choirs celebrates the holiday season with a trio of festive concerts. Now in its 93rd year, The Dessoff Choirs continues to wow audiences with its seasonal repertoire and contemporary arrangement of carols performed in some of New York City’s most beautiful churches. This season’s offerings include a sing-in of Handel’s Messiah (the quintessential classical music highpoint of the Christmas season), Bernstein’s Simchu na celebrating the start of Hanukkah, and works by New York City-based composers: Ola Gjeilo, Nancy Wertsch, Gregg Smith, and James Bassi—to name a few.
Led by music director Malcolm J. Merriweather, the 55 singers will be joined by pianist/organist Steven Ryan as well as audience members of all ages joining in the singing of carols. The two Welcome Yule! concerts will open with Gregg Smith’s motet Alleluia: Von Himmel Hoch, a setting of the chorale tune of the same name. Brahms’s romantic trilogy, Drei geistliche Chöre, will be 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. Dessoff will also celebrate Hanukkah with Simchu Nu by Leonard Bernstein as part of the ensemble’s season-long dedication to Bernstein’s centenary. A set of popular carols will complete the concert including a candlelit rendition of Silent Night for all to sing.