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Kent Tritle Leads 'OSNY Messiah 2020' Holiday Concert

The concert premieres December 21, 2020, at 8 pm ET.

Kent Tritle Leads 'OSNY Messiah 2020' Holiday Concert

The Oratorio Society of New York's 147th annual performance of Messiah had been slated to take place on Monday, December 21, 2020, at Carnegie Hall. When it became clear that this could not happen, OSNY Music Director Kent Tritle and the organization's leadership came up with a Plan B.

"The Grand Tradition Continues: OSNY Messiah 2020" is a performance of selections from Handel's Messiah that will debut for on-demand, free streaming on Monday, December 21, at 8:00 pm on the Oratorio Society of New York website, Taped in October in the barn at Kent Tritle's house in Stone Ridge, New York, the performance features Tritle leading 24 members of the Oratorio Society of New York chorus, a 12-member orchestra, and star soloists Susanna Phillips, Heather Petrie, Joshua Blue, and Sidney Outlaw.

In addition to most of the Christmas portion of the oratorio (Part 1), the performance includes the "Hallelujah" chorus performed by more than 80 members of the OSNY, each recorded separately and engineered together.

"It was a cold October morning; we used tent heaters to warm the space, and broke every 20 minutes for aerosol dispersion," related Tritle. "Everyone was Covid-tested, masked, and distanced. After rehearsal, we recorded both audio and video in a single two-and-a-half-hour session."

The barn was actually a social club during the Prohibition, and so retains a separate bar area, which housed the audio team - the barn itself held most of the orchestra (reduced to chamber-sized, with one player on a part), and the soloists. The trumpets and timpani were outside the large doors on the barn's south side, and outside the north doors was the 24-member chorus.

Tritle said, "The rush of joy was tremendous from the first note of the Overture! We dressed in our elegant best, and had the time of our lives, even with the social distancing. I will remember that day forever."

Cathedral Choir of St. John the Divine on the Cathedral Steps - Sunday, December 13, at 3:00 pm

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine presents the Cathedral Choir in concert, led by Music Director Kent Tritle, as a gift to the people of New York City on Sunday, December 13, at 3:00 pm. Amplified from the steps of the Cathedral at Amsterdam Avenue and 112th Street, the choir (masked and distanced, but in festive spirit), with soloists Lianne Coble, Kirsten Sollek, and Gregory Purnhagen, will sing Tomas Luis de Victoria's motet "O magnum mysterium," Jan Peterszoon Sweelinck's "Hodie Christus Natus Est," and a Christmas spiritual medley arranged by Joseph Jennings. Other carols of the season will fill out this 45-minute celebration. The concert recording will be posted to the Cathedral site for streaming.

Grammy Nomination for Best Choral Performance for Moravec/Campbell Sanctuary Road on Naxos

The Naxos recording of the world premiere performance of Sanctuary Road, the oratorio by Paul Moravec (music) and Mark Campbell (text) that Kent Tritle led with the Oratorio Society of New York at Carnegie Hall in 2018, has been nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award in the Best Choral Performance category. Based on the writings of the Underground Railroad "conductor" William Still, the work was an OSNY commission, and featured in its premiere performance the soloists Laquita Mitchell, Raehann Bryce-Davis, Joshua Blue, Malcolm J. Merriweather, and Dashon Burton. Complete list of nominees:

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