New York's Sacred Music In A Sacred Space Kicks Off Season With I WISH IT SO

New York's Sacred Music In A Sacred Space Kicks Off Season With I WISH IT SO

Sacred Music in a Sacred Space begins its 2018-2019 Season by welcoming patrons into the intimate Wallace Hall at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola (980 Park Avenue) for a Caritas Concert. Caritas is the Latin word for "charity," and as the name suggests, all proceeds from these benefit concerts are given directly to charities that address social justice concerns. On Wednesday, September 26, 2018 vocalist Danya Katok and pianist Michael Sheetz will present I Wish It So, a concert about the journey to motherhood, with all proceeds going to Mercy Center. This evening of food, wine, friendship, and music begins at 7 pm, with live performance at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $50; purchase at smssconcerts.org or call 212-288-2520.

Katok and Sheetz have arranged a repertoire of songs by Marc Blitzstein, Jeff Blumenkrantz, Randy Newman, Stephen Sondheim, Georgia Stitt, and more-weaving together musical theatre, jazz, and contemporary folk gems to capture the pain, heartbreak, fear, and, finally, the joy, of parenthood in this most personal story, directed by Dewey Moss.

Mercy Center empowers women and their families in the South Bronx to liberate themselves from economic poverty. Mercy Center promotes their right to an improved quality of life by addressing the needs of the whole person, developing skills for healthy family living and economic advancement, and building a community of respect, hospitality, and non-violence.

A companion Caritas Concert will be held on Thursday, March 21, 2019, with pianist Mark Markham performing music by Schumann, Poulenc, and others in Songs Without Words.

About Danya Katok

Danya Katok is an exceptionally versatile vocalist whose repertoire ranges from the pure straight tone of plainchant, to the lush soprano of the Romantic era, to the exciting belt of musical theater. She has performed in many of the country's top concert halls, including all three stages at Carnegie Hall, the State Theater and David Geffen Hall at Lincoln Center, Brooklyn Academy Of Music, Kennedy Center, and Symphony Hall. She made her New York City Opera debut as Max in Oliver Knussen's Where the Wild Things Are, a role for which she was praised by The New York Times as being "superb." She has appeared as a soloist with The Boston Pops ("An Evening of Cole Porter," alongside Broadway legend Kelli O'Hara), Pennsylvania Centre Orchestra (Mahler's Symphony No. 4), Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Chamber Choir (Brahms' Ein deutsches Requiem), Mark Morris Dance Group (Thomson's Four Saints in Three Acts), and New York Symphonic Arts Ensemble (Mahler's Symphony No. 4 and Vaughan Williams' Serenade to Music). Musical theater and jazz credits include Anna (cover) in The King and I with Ash Lawn Opera Festival, jazz soloist with Mark Morris Dance Group at Jacob's Pillow, and Anne/Mae (cover) in O Night Divine at York Theatre Company (Off-Broadway). She has performed two cabaret shows at Don't Tell Mama: her solo show, CATS!: a cabaret and From Charm City to the Big Apple, a duo show with Kat Guthrie.

A two-time Vocal Fellow at Tanglewood Music Center and first-ever New Voices in American Song Fellow at SongFest, Katok has worked closely with song and opera composers, including Libby Larsen, John Musto, Oliver Knussen, and Richard Hundley. She has enjoyed premiering new works by up-and-coming composers, such as Stuart Paul Duncan's Lament with the Cornell Festival Chamber Orchestra, Michael Strauss' Sassafras Dawn with members of the Mid-Atlantic Symphony, James Sproul's October, and David Bridges' The Hill Wife, a "quartet for two people" where she played the violin and sang. She has received numerous awards in the contemporary music space, including the Phyllis Bryn-Julson Award for 20th/21st Century Music, Tanglewood's Grace B. Jackson Prize, and the Ernst Bacon Prize for American Art Song. She is on the music faculty at Hunter College.

About Michael Sheetz

Michael Sheetz was appointed Music Associate of the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in September 2012, after having joined the music staff in 2010. He serves as Music Director of the Wallace Hall Choir and Orchestra, Assistant Conductor of the Parish Community Choir, and provides conducting and keyboard support for the acclaimed Sacred Music in a Sacred Space concert series.


An active musician in New York City, Sheetz is the Assistant Music Director of Musica Sacra, New York's longest continuously performing professional chorus. Through this organization, Sheetz assists Music Director Kent Tritle in performances at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and leads an educational outreach program advocating choral music in underserved New York City public schools.

Sheetz is the Assistant Conductor and Accompanist of the Fairfield County Chorale in East Norwalk, CT. He is on the faculty of the Berkshire Choral Festival, the United Nations International School, and La Lingua della Lirica, a summer training program for opera singers in Novafeltria, Italy. He has served as a Teaching Fellow at The Juilliard School and as a vocal coach and accompanist at Manhattan School of Music, as well as Assistant Choral Director at the New York Philharmonic, Lincoln Center Festival, and Weill Music Institute. He has performed live broadcasts on WQXR and Vermont Public Radio, and in concert at Weill Hall, Alice Tully Hall, and the Kennedy Center. An accompanist for the Oratorio Society of New York, Voices of Ascension, New York Choral Consortium, Aspen Opera Theatre Center, Middlebury Opera, and the College Light Opera Company, he has collaborated with Philippe Entremont, Alan Gilbert, Jane Glover, Maria Guinand, Pablo Heras-Casado, Dennis Keene, Bernard Labadie, Meredith Monk, John Nelson, Sir Roger Norrington, Emmanuel Plasson, David Rosenmeyer, Steven Schick, Bramwell Tovey, Kent Tritle, and K. Scott Warren.

Sheetz holds a Master of Music and two Professional Studies degrees from Manhattan School of Music in accompanying and conducting. He is a graduate of Vassar College.

About Sacred Music in a Sacred Space

Sacred Music in a Sacred Space at the Church of St. Ignatius Loyola in New York City is committed to presenting the finest sacred choral and organ repertoire spanning over 1,000 years of music history. Known for their artistic excellence, the renowned Choir and Orchestra of St. Ignatius Loyola present exhilarating performances of large-scale choral masterpieces as well as more intimate and reflective settings by lesser-known composers. Internationally acclaimed organists may also frequently be heard on the Church's magnificent N.P. Mander Pipe Organ, the largest tracker organ in New York City.

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