The Church Music
Music plays an important part in the attraction of St. Bartholomew’s. The church realizes that music tends to hold a universal appeal and therefore uses this tool as much as possible to reach out to people and bring them to the church to hear what they have to offer.
St. Bartholomew’s is home to one of the most beautiful organs in the world. It contains 168 stops and accompanies most of the church’s musical programs, including its choirs and chamber music performances. A visit to St. Bart’s is a must, if only to hear this magnificent instrument build by Aeolian/Skinner Organ Company.
Many people flock to St. Bart’s to hear the voices of the choristers who sing with one of several choirs. A group of professional choral singers make up the St. Bartholomew’s Choir. This choir sings every Sunday in the church, and also performs at major concerts throughout the year, including the church’s own Summer Festival of Sacred Music.
Another choir that is worth seeking out is the St. Bart’s Boys and Girls Choristers, made up of children between grades 1 and 12 who practice several times a week and perform at Sunday services throughout the year.
Other choirs that regularly perform are the St. Bart’s Singers and the Schola Cantorum that performs unison song and sings plainsong. Another much-loved ensemble is the Handbell Choir which performs on a set of English handbells and accompany some of the regular vocal choirs.
The Great Music Series is an all-year-round event where St. Bartholomew’s offers weekly performances of some of the greatest music of all times. Visitors can enjoy pipe-organ recitals, string quartets, choral music, Christmas carols and even jazz. Music is suited to every season and holiday and it is advisable to check the series’ schedule to see what’s coming up.
A trip to New York in summer should definitely include a visit to St. Bart’s to enjoy a taste of the Summer Festival of Sacred Music. Every Sunday, choral works are performed at the 11 am service by world-class choirs. Performances by guest-choirs from around the globe are regularly given throughout the season. Enjoy a welcome respite from the heat of the summer months in the air-conditioned church, listening to some of the loveliest music ever written.