Christmas Events

Join us this winter for our immensely popular holiday events—this year, from the comfort of your own home!


Messiah Sing

Monday, December 7, 2020 at 7:30PM (EST)

Georg-Friederich-Handel1General Admission; $10

Register online (via Eventbrite)

Lift Up Your Heads and sing “Hallelujah!” with us—at our first virtual Messiah Sing. Our annual open sing, where the audience becomes the choir, has been featured everywhere from the CBS Evening News to the Wall Street Journal.

Our own Artistic Director Colin Britt will lead us in favorite choruses, with a quartet of professional soloists joining us from all over the country (and even Canada!)—soprano Sherezade Panthaki; mezzo-soprano Debi Wong; tenor Dann Coakwell; and bass-baritone Justin Beck.

You can download this public domain score or follow along with your own copy.  (We’ll also have the score scrolled on-screen.)

Join us for this year’s Sing to both enjoy performances by these wonderful artists, and to sing many of Handel’s beloved choruses and make a joyful noise in celebration of the holidays!
 

Our Soloists

Sherezade Panthaki Principal Headshot

Sherezade Panthaki, Soprano

Soprano Sherezade Panthaki’s international success in music of the Baroque and beyond has been fueled by superbly honed musicianship, “astonishing coloratura with radiant top notes” (Calgary Herald), and passionately informed interpretations, “mining deep emotion from the subtle shaping of the lines” (The New York Times). Ms. Panthaki enjoys ongoing collaborations with many of the world’s leading interpreters including Nicholas McGegan, Masaaki Suzuki, Mark Morris, and Matthew Halls. Internationally renowned for her skillful interpretations of Bach and Handel, recent seasons have included appearances as soprano soloist in numerous oratorios and operas with Bach Collegium Japan, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra (San Francisco), Tafelmusik (Toronto), NDR Radiophilharmonie Hannover (Germany), Minnesota/ St. Louis/ Houston Symphony Orchestras, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Caramoor Music Festival, and many more. Born and raised in India, she holds graduate degrees from the Yale School of Music and the University of Illinois. Recent and upcoming recordings include Handel’s Joseph and his Brethren with Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra, and a solo Bach cantata album with the Cantata Collective. An active and passionate music educator, she is a frequent guest clinician for masterclasses across the United States, has served as the Christoph Wolff Visiting Performer at Harvard University, and is currently on staff as a Vocal instructor at Yale University. Ms. Panthaki is a founding member and Artistic Advisor of the Kaleidoscope Vocal Ensemble.

 

Debi Wong, Mezzo-Soprano

1. DEBI WONG B_ADebi is an interdisciplinary performance artist that loves to weave together sound, text, movement and technology to create contemporary stories. Her performances have been recognized as “unique and magical” (Rondo Classic) and “electric & poignant” (Schmopera). Debi is also the founding artistic director of re:Naissance Opera in Vancouver, BC. With re:Naissance she created #DidoAndAeneas (2014), an interactive, social-media opera and Acis & Galatea which was recognized by Vancouver Classical Music as one of the city’s best operas in 2017. In 2019, she spearheaded OrpheusVR, a new interactive Virtual Reality Opera for Oculus Quest. Debi remains creative director of the project which was recently featured in the 2020 Vancouver International Film Festival Immersed showcase.

 

 

Dann Coakwell, Tenor

Photo Credit: Gregg Rooklidge Photography
Photo Credit: Gregg Rooklidge Photography

Dann Coakwell, tenor, has been praised as a “vivid storyteller” (New York Times), with “a gorgeous lyric tenor that could threaten or caress on the turn of a dime” (Dallas Morning News). Coakwell can be heard as a soloist on the Grammy-winning The Sacred Spirit of Russia (2014), the two Grammy-nominated albums Considering Matthew Shephard by composer/director Craig Hella Johnson (2016), which peaked at number three on the Billboard Classical chart, and Conspirare: A Company of Voices (2009). All three collaborations joined Conspirare on Harmonia Mundi records. Coakwell also appeared on the 2016 Naxos release of composer Mohammed Fairouz’s Zabur (role: Jibreel), with the Indianapolis Symphonic Choir and Orchestra.

He has performed as a soloist internationally under additional such acclaimed conductors as Helmuth Rilling, Masaaki Suzuki, William Christie, María Guinand, Nicholas McGegan, Matthew Halls, Julian Wachner, and the late John Scott. Coakwell has performed at Carnegie Hall (Stern/Perelman and Zankel stages) and Lincoln Center (Alice Tully and David Geffen/Avery Fisher halls), as well as Saint Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Church Wall Street, in New York. He has appeared as a soloist with organizations such as Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart in Germany, Bach Collegium Japan (across Europe, Mexico, and Japan), Orquesta Sinfónica de Venezuela, Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra in San Francisco, Oregon Bach Festival, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, as well as the Charlotte, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Nashville, and Quad City symphony orchestras. He has also shared the solo stage with such celebrated singers as Thomas Quasthoff, Rufus Müller, Nicholas Phan, and Robin Blaze.

Specializing in the Evangelist and tenor roles of J.S. Bach, Coakwell frequently performs the composer’s major oratorios — St. Matthew Passion, St. John Passion, Christmas Oratorio, and Mass in B-Minor — as well as many of Bach’s cantatas. An enthusiast of Benjamin Britten, Coakwell has appeared in several productions of Britten’s Canticles, Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, and St. Nicolas. Other prominent solo and titular roles performed also include: Rameau’s Pigmalion; Handel’s Samson, Judas Maccabaeus, Israel in Egypt, Alexander’s Feast, and Messiah; Haydn’s Creation and Missa in Angustiis; Mozart’s Requiem (Levin, Beyer, and Süssmayr completions) and Mass in c (original incomplete work and Levin completion); Medelssohn’s Elijah; and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.

Dr. Coakwell also serves as Assistant Professor of Voice at Ithaca College, and has made guest teaching artist residencies at institutions such as Yale University, El Teatro Teresa Carreño in Venezuela, University of Missouri Kansas City, Dartmouth College, Texas State University, and University of Idaho. He holds an Artist Diploma from the Yale School of Music and Institute of Sacred Music, a Doctor of Musical Arts and Master of Music degree from Texas Tech University, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Texas at Austin.

 

Justin Beck, Bass-Baritone

Bass-baritone Justin Beck has had a varied career both as an opera and concert soloist as well as a choral singer. He studied music with a Justin_Beckfocus on vocal performance at the University of Texas at Austin, and Texas State University. He was a Young Artist at Austin Lyric Opera for two seasons singing roles in Gounod’s Faust, Puccini’s La fanciulla del West, and Verdi’s Rigoletto. He also spent two summers at the Aspen Music Festival in their opera theater center. Additional opera credits include three seasons with Opera Company of Middlebury in Vermont performing in Massenet’s Thaïs, Puccini’s La Rondine, and Bizet’s The Pearl Fishers. Other favorite roles include Leporello in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, Dr. Falke and Frank in J. Strauss Jr.’s Die Fledermaus, both with Opera Manhattan.

Concert highlights include Handel’s Messiah with the Austin Symphony, Berlioz’s Requiem with the Carnegie Hall Festival Chorus under the baton of Robert Spano, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony and Orff’s Carmina Burana with the National Chorale in David Geffen Hall, Stravinsky’s Oedipus Rex with the Bard Music Festival, and R. Strauss’s Feuersnot with the American Symphony Orchestra and Music Director Leon Botstein at Carnegie Hall. Additional engagements include concerts with Long Island Masterworks and Gregg Smith Singers.

What’s it like to be at our Messiah Sing?  Here’s a bird’s eye view to a well-known part from our 2012 sing:


Caroling Walk

Saturday, December 19, 2020 at 3:00 PM

carolers-arch
Admission is FREE (donations gratefully accepted)

Register Online (free!) via EventBrite

Dig out your Santa hats and your Christmas sweaters (cute, ugly or otherwise!), and warm up your Fa-la-la’s!

Follow along with some of our members as they take us on a virtual tour of the historic streets of our Village neighborhood, leading everyone’s favorite holiday songs.  Heedless of the wind and weather, we’ll carol together!