Symphony Space Presents 'Celebrating Miracles' Concert Tonight
Voices in Unity, the 70 member choir of Unity of New York, with guests Spiritus vocal ensemble, Broadway's Rosena Hill, award-winning cabaret vocalist Marieann Meringolo, spoken word artist Gha'il Rhodes Benjamin and others, will be in concert Celebrating Miracles at Peter Norton Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at 95th Street tonight, April 23rd, 2012 at 7:30 PM. Voices in Unity share their musical diversity with selections ranging from Gospel to Broadway and Pop to Classical. The concert is put together by Music Director Britt Hall, who creates repertoire, dynamic medleys and selects guest artists to perform with the choir.
The choir is part of the highly acclaimed music ministry of Unity of New York, A Spiritual Center for Creative Living which meets at Symphony Space each Sunday morning at 11:00 AM. The center was founded by Paul Tenaglia, who has been minister/spiritual leader since its inception in 1999. Prior to his ministerial background Paul was an actor/dancer/singer/choreographer who performed in the United States and Canada. Unity of New York is attended by people of all walks of life but appeals greatly to those in the performing arts. As a result Voices in Unity is comprised of a mix of professional performers as well as non-professionals who have been chosen for their natural gifts in music. Voices in Unity has performed in three previous concerts at Symphony Space as well as being featured with spiritual leader Amma (known as the hugging saint) during her time in New York City, the Stars and Promises 10th Anniversary Tour in 2010 with Peter Mayer, lead guitarist of Jimmy Buffet's Coral Reefer Band, Finding Home by Aardvark Alley Films, the British documentary The Psalms, and in the short film Manifesting Miracles, directed by John Swain. They have performed for the memorial service of long-time Unity New York member & teacher Ruth Warrick (All My Children & Citizen Kane) and have been featured at The Town Hall. Voices in Unity is known for their diverse selections and ability to bring a song to life. They perform songs from shows like GODSPELL, A CHORUS LINE and FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and traditional and Gospel versions of inspirational songs like Joyful, Joyful.
Britt Hall, Voices in Unity's Music Director, has been the Music Director of the group since its inception in 1999. Britt has performed in theatre productions in New York and around the United States and is a founding member of Spiritus, the nationally-known Manhattan Transfer style vocal ensemble who also calls Unity of New York its home. Their latest CD, We Are One, recorded in Nashville, was produced by Grammy & Emmy winning producer Steve Ivey. Spiritus is comprised of Steven Bogard, Dorothy Bishop, Bill Brooks, Toni Condos-Bennett, Pam Hamilton, Marieann Meringolo, and director Britt Hall, each of whom have individual solo careers but who come together to form this unique and dynamic ensemble.
Unity of New York draws to it many stars who joyfully donate their talents to their Sunday gatherings and concerts. Among the celebrities that have graced the stage of Unity are Donna McKechnie, Stephen Schwartz, David Friedman, Chuck Cooper, Joanne Worley, Ben Vereen, Malcolm Gets, Ernestine Jackson, David Sabella, Luba Mason to name just a few. Voices in Unity concerts always include guest appearances by Broadway stars. Already confirmed is Rosena Hill who has appeared in eight Broadway productions, with the upcoming Rebecca the musical coming up in the fall of 2012. Cabaret star Marieann Meringolo, fresh on the heels of rave reviews for her show "You Must Believe In Spring: The Music of Michel Legrand" at Feinstein's, is also among those slated to appear.
In addition to singing, The Divine Gypsies, the dance troupe of Unity of New York, led by Broadway & Radio City veteran Kyle Craig Bogard, will be featured in the concert. Each one of the dancers has been featured in productions in New York and around the country. Voices in Unity also includes an Outreach program called Good Vibrations, which features members of the choir. This group goes to hospices and hospitals to bring the joy of music to people who are not able to attend outside performances. The Outreach singers have raised money for causes such as the Food Bank of New York and features cabaret and popular songs as well as spiritual music. They also perform at Unity of New York services creating harmonic versions of songs of groups like The Beach Boys, Toto and the Beatles. There is a combination of the large choir sound, solos, dance and spoken word. Tickets are now on sale.