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Young People's Chorus of NYC Joins St. Thomas Choirs in All-Britten Program 5/19

The Young People's Chorus of New York City will join the Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys and the Orchestra of St. Luke's conducted by John Scott in a performance of the Saint Nicolas Cantata in a concert of hymn tunes by Benjamin Britten at Saint Thomas Church (Fifth Avenue at 53rd St.) on Wednesday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m.

Benjamin Britten, England's leading 20th-century composer, enjoyed writing music celebrating the joys of childhood, and many of the works on this program were familiar to a generation educated in English public schools, where chapel and hymn singing were daily events. The dramatic Saint Nicolas Cantata, depicting the life of Saint Nicolas, the patron saint of children, contrasts youthful playfulness with a profound seriousness.

Also on the all-Benjamin Britten program are some of the composer's most beloved choral works. Missa Brevis was written for the boys of Westminster Cathedral Choir; The Hymn to the Virgin, was written when Britten was only 16; and The Hymn to Saint Cecilia, set to a poem by W. H. Auden, was particularly important to Britten, since he was born on Saint Cecilia's Day and Saint Cecilia is the patron saint of music. The concert also includes Canticle: Abraham and Isaac, a two-person mini-opera using text Britten adapted from medieval language of the Chester Miracles Plays, and portrays the moment when Abraham nearly sacrifices his cherished son Isaac. Soloists are countertenor Geoffrey D. Williams and tenors Mark Bleeke and Steven Caldicott Wilson.

Tickets are $75 and $55 for reserved seating, $40 for open seating, and $30 for students and seniors. They are available from Call 212-664-9360 with questions or e-mail

For more than two decades, the Young People's Chorus of New York CityTM
under Founder and Artistic Director Francisco J. Núñez has provided children of diverse abilities and ethnic backgrounds with a unique program of music education and choral performance, while maintaining a model of artistic excellence and harmony that enriches the community. In the process, YPC has become one of today's most influential children's choruses, with global performances, acclaimed recordings, collaborations with many of the world's most highly regarded composers and performers, commissioning new works through their celebrated Transient Glory® series, and residencies at three of NYC's major cultural institutions-the 92nd Street Y, Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center; and WNYC, New York Public Radio. This summer the chorus makes their third trip to Japan for a 15-city tour of the country and its debut in Wales at the Llangollen Festival. Before they leave, all five divisions of the YPC will give their annual spring concert at the 92nd Street Y in June.

The Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys is considered by major critics as the outstanding choral ensemble of the Anglican music tradition in the U.S. today. Besides offering a full concert series each year, the choir of 15 men and 24 boys sing at five weekly principal worship services, preparing an astounding 400 pieces of sacred music a year. The men of the choir are professional singers. The boys attend Saint Thomas Choir School, the only church related residential choir school in America and one of only a few similar schools remaining in the world. The choir has been directed since 2004 by John Scott, formerly organist and director of music at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.

Wednesday, May 19, 7:30 p.m.
Saint Thomas Church, Fifth Avenue and 53rd Street
Saint Thomas Choir of Men and Boys
Young People's of New York City
Orchestra of St. Luke's
John Scott, conductor
Geoffrey D. Williams, countertenor
Mark Bleeke and Steven Caldicott Wilson, tenors
Frederick Teardo, organ

The all-Benjamin Britten program features the Saint Nicolas Cantata with the Young People's Chorus of New York City, as well as Missa Brevis, Hymn to the Virgin, Hymn to Saint Cecilia, and the Canticle: Abraham and Isaac.

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