News on your favorite shows, specials & more!

The Cecilia Chorus Of New York Presents Works BY Margaret Bonds and J.S. Bach This December

The Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat will feature mezzo soprano Melisa Bonetti among its many soloists.

By: Nov. 17, 2022
Enter Your Email to Unlock This Article

Plus, get the best of BroadwayWorld delivered to your inbox, and unlimited access to our editorial content across the globe.

Existing user? Just click login.

The Cecilia Chorus Of New York Presents Works BY Margaret Bonds and J.S. Bach This December  Image

The Cecilia Chorus of New York, led by Music Director and Conductor Mark Shapiro, will present The Ballad of the Brown King: A Christmas Cantata (1954) by American composer Margaret Bonds on a text by Langston Hughes and in Bonds's original orchestration, along with J.S. Bach's Magnificat and part five of his Christmas Oratorio on Sunday, December 11 at 2:00PM in Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall on 57th Street in Manhattan.

The performance will be with chorus and orchestra, and the Ballad will feature soloists Kearstin Piper Brown, soprano (; Aaron Crouch, tenor (; and Markel Reed, baritone ( The Christmas Oratorio and Magnificat will feature the above soloists with the addition of mezzo soprano Melisa Bonetti (

Maestro Shapiro writes, "Celebrating the work of composers outside the mainstream isn't new to The Cecilia Chorus. And neither is singing holiday classics in Carnegie Hall. But combining the two in a powerful fusion of musical, historical, and social traditions feels joyous and right to us this holiday season. Nearly 70 years after Black composer Margaret Bonds deftly infused classical structure with the rich American flavors of spirituals, jazz, and blues in her Christmas cantata, The Ballad of the Brown King, we're honored to once again give life to it on stage in New York. Between Bach and Bonds, we've cast four debut soloists whose musical accolades only scratch the surface of their harmonious storytelling prowess. It will be a delightful showcase of the majesty of music in the holiday season-one you won't want to miss!"

Tickets start at $25 and are available at For more information about this concert, visit or call 646-638-2535. CCNY Carnegie Hall concerts are ADA accessible. For MTA transportation information, visit

Please visit to review Carnegie Hall's current Covid policies.

Founded in 1906, The Cecilia Chorus of New York, winner of the ASCAP/Chorus America Alice Parker Award, has evolved into one of the finest avocational performing arts organizations in New York City. The 150-voice chorus has been described as "reliably venturesome" (The New Yorker, 2017) and "admirable," (New York Times, 2017). Recent highlights have included commissions from The Brothers Balliett, Jonathan Breit, Tom Cipullo, and Raphael Fusco; collaborations with five-time Obie Award-winning actor Kathleen Chalfant, two-time Tony Award-winning actor Stephen Spinella, and opera singers Julia Bullock and Ryan Speedo Green; the New York premieres in Carnegie Hall of the Mass in D and The Prison by Dame Ethel Smyth; the world premiere of Fifty Trillion Molecular Geniuses by The Brothers Balliett; the US premiere of Messe Romane by Thierry Escaich and the 2021 Carnegie Hall premiere of Margaret Bonds's The Ballad of the Brown King. Much more at

Mark Shapiro was appointed the seventh Music Director of The Cecilia Chorus of New York in 2011. Music Director of The Prince Edward Island Symphony and Artistic Director of Cantori New York, he is one of a handful of artistic leaders in North America to have won a prestigious ASCAP Programming Award six times, achieving the unique distinction of winning such an award with three different ensembles. The New York Times has characterized his conducting as "insightful" and acknowledged its "virtuosity and assurance" and "uncommon polish." The Star-Ledger calls his artistic leadership "erudite and far-reaching." Bio at