Organist and Choirmaster
St. Bartholomew’s Choir is composed of both professional singers and volunteers with advanced choral training. The Choir sings for the service of Choral Eucharist every Sunday at 11am, and for services of Choral Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist several times each year. They sing for feast days and seasonal services of Lessons and Carols in Advent and Christmas; in Holy Week these include Tenebrae, Maundy Thursday, The Three Hours on Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Easter, and Easter Day services with brass and percussion.
Throughout the year, the choir takes on an increased, featured role in a series of Sunday 11am services called A Choral Feast, where they offer major choral works, often with chamber orchestra, including those of Bach, Mozart, Schubert, Palestrina, and others.
The choir also performs on the Great Music concert series including the annual Joyous Christmas Concert where they have performed with the Empire Brass, Sylvia McNair and Jessye Norman.
In recent months, while the Coronavirus has made it unsafe to sing together, St. Bartholomew’s Choir has been a leader in “virtual” choral performances, where individual parts are recorded in isolation and edited together into an ensemble. As stand-alone offerings on YouTube and Facebook outside of liturgies, they have earned over 200,000 views.
St. Bart’s Singers is a talented and dedicated ensemble of volunteers from the parish, with professional section leaders, who lead the singing every Sunday for a tuneful and eclectic 9 am Eucharist service in the round. The Singers offer a wide range of choral repertoire from plainsong, to Tudor and Renaissance music (Tallis, Byrd, Palestrina), to modern masters (Vaughan Williams, Rachmaninoff, Britten), as well as Gospel arrangements and spirituals.
They enthusiastically and ably lead congregational song from musical traditions around the world and over the centuries. On one recent Sunday, these traditions included a German Chorale, a late-twentieth century hymn by a Mexican-American, chant from the Taizé community, a 15th-century Epiphany hymn of undocumented folk origins, African-American Spirituals, Anglican chant, plainsong, the “Old Hundredth” from the 16th-century Genevan Psalter, a favorite Welsh hymn tune, and one of the oldest published American folk shape-note tunes.
St. Bart’s Singers rehearse on Wednesday nights (September to June) and they join St. Bartholomew’s Choir and the Choristers for several major feast days of the church year, as well as Lessons and Carols services in Advent and Christmas.
To arrange an audition, contact the Music Office at 212-378-0226 or email Dr. Paolo Bordignon, Organist and Choirmaster.
St. Bartholomew’s Chorister program was founded in 1995 by reaching out to children and families throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The program consists of thorough musical education and choral training, sustained by rehearsals throughout the week, liturgical singing, concerts, trips, recording projects and an annual late summer choir camp, lakeside in rural Connecticut. The Choristers have performed with Betty Buckley, Jessye Norman and St. Bartholomew’s Choir in the annual Joyous Christmas Concert, and they have appeared on NBC’s “Today,” the Early Show, and Good Morning America.
They’ve also performed with the American Boy Choir, the Boys Choir of Harlem, the Young People’s Chorus of New York City, and London’s Southwark Cathedral choir. For years they hosted the annual St. Bartholomew’s Chorister Festival, attended by hundreds of children from the tri-state area and beyond. The Choristers have sung at St. Paul’s Cathedral, Burlington, Vermont, historic Old Christ Church in Philadelphia, Washington’s National Cathedral, and Carnegie Hall. They have performed on stage with the Amy Cox Dance Company and premiered Anthony Piccolo’s Pageant of the Holy Nativity. The Choristers are heard in two professional recordings, “My Song is Love Unknown” and “Sing in exultation,” and they have twice visited England, singing in residence at Canterbury and several other Cathedrals.
Emphasis is placed on learning to read music in order to perform a wide range of repertoire, from chant to contemporary. Within their leadership role in liturgy, Choristers develop an active awareness of music, art, language, and history. At regular social events (choir camp, BBQs, talent show, pizza lunches), they form new and lasting friendships with other children from a variety of backgrounds, from across New York City and beyond.
To find out if the Chorister program might help develop and support the musical interests of a young person you know, please call the Music Office at 212-378-0226.