MMPAF Announces Its 2018-2019 Season!

The Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation just announced its 2018-2019 Season of great music at St. Bartholomew’s Church (which is located at 325 Park Avenue in New York City). Click here to download the season brochure. Or click here to see the full line up of concerts on the MMPAF website.

First up is Storytime – Choral Chameleon this Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 7:30 pm

The 10 voice, award-winning vocal ensemble, Choral Chameleon, takes you on a whimsical journey through the magic of choral storytelling. Harnessing powerful commentary in the style of the Greek chorus combined with the beauty and empathy of human singing, this unique performance will narrate rich life stories, of both a sacred and a secular ilk, through the lenses of composers from across five centuries, including Mateo Fletxa el Viejo, Josquin des Prez, The Beatles, and others.

The performance will also feature the world premiere of Footnotes to a History of Music by their 2018-2019 Composer-In-Residence, Dale Trumbore.

Mark your calendar now for a concert experience you won’t forget!

Click here for tickets and more information!

Great Music at St. Bart’s: “The Argentinian-Italian Bach,” Domenico Zipoli

Click here to read a news-filled pdf brochure about this concert.


The Program

Domenico Zipoli
Misa San Ignacio
symbol Gloria

symbol Tantum Ergo

symbol Credo
from Misa San Ignacio

Johann Sebastian Bach
symbol Cantata BWV 150 “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich”
1. Sinfonia
2. Coro: “Nach dir, Herr, verlanget mich”
3. Aria (soprano): “Doch bin und bleibe ich vergnugt”
4. Coro: “Leite mich in deiner Wahrheit”
5. Aria (alto, tenor, bass): “Zedern mussen von den Winden
6. Coro: “Meine Augen sehen stets zu dem Herrn”
7. Coro (ciaccona): “Meine Tage in dem Leide”

– Intermission –

Domenico Zipoli

symbol Confitebor Domine
from Vespers San Ignacio

symbol Laudate Dominum
from Vespers San Ignacio

Johann Sebastian Bach
symbol “Alles mit Gott und nichts ohn’ ihn”
Aria BWV 1127 – verses 1, 4, 8, 12

Domenico Zipoli

symbol Beatus Vir
from Vespers San Ignacio

symbolsymbol symbol

The Performers

Vocal soloists

Julianne Baird – Soprano (Zipoli & BWV 1127)
Sarah Moulton Faux – Soprano (BWV 150 & BWV 1127)
Tamagna – Countertenor
Pablo Bustos
– Tenor
John-Arthur Miller
– Baritone

Crescendo Period Instrument Orchestra

Judson Griffin – Violin 1, Concertmaster
Margaret Ziemnicka
– Violin 2
Carlos Boltes
– Viola
David Bakamjian
– Violoncello
Jane Hershey
– Violone
Rachel Begley
– Bassoon & Dulcian
Christa Patton
– Baroque Harp
Rodrigo Tarraza
– Quena 1
Gonzalo Cortes
– Quena 2
Carlos Boltes
– Charango
Scott Hill
– Guitar*
Juan Andres Mesa
– Organ

*Mr. Scott’s performing fee was generously underwritten by Cynthia Walsh.

The Crescendo

Choir Section leaders bolded; Singers with asterisk perform BWV 150

Sopranos: Louise Brown, Kathy Drake*, Sarah Fay*, Susan Fox, Anne Frieze, Carol Goodfriend, Peggy Heck, Jordan Rose Lee*, Sarah Moulton Faux*, Jane Meigs, Sarah Melcher, Margaret O’Brien*, Andrea Patel, Roberta Roll*

Altos: Pat Barton*, Laura Evans*, Susan Francisco, Martha King, Susan McBrien, Karen Miller, Martha Nesbitt, Randy Orzano*, Andrea Patel*, Susan Pettee, Trudy Weaver Miller*

Tenors: Gordon Gustafson, John La Porta*, Eric Martin*, Randy Orzano, Peter Perkins*, Doug Schmolze*, Richard Vreeland II

Basses: James Barrett*, Paul De Angelis, Stephen Enoch, John-Arthur Miller*, Rene Milo, Thomas Schindler*, Bruce Weinstein*, John Wightman, Michael Wise*

Youth Singers: Lucia Cicerchia, Charlotte Clulow, Eleanor Clulow

Christine Gevert, Conductor

MMPAF’s 2015-2016 Season Announced

MMPAF’s exciting 2015-2016 Season has been announced! Please enjoy an abridged version of our press release (below). Or delve into the full press release by clicking here.


Great Music at St. Bart’s, the concert series produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation (MMPAF) which for the past five years has presented music in the magnificent St. Bartholomew’s Church in midtown Manhattan, is expanding its offerings and focusing its programmatic range in the 2015-16 season.

The season’s 10 main events include a program of Italian/South American Baroque composer Domenico Zipoli and Bach cantatas; a midnight concert of John Zorn performing his famous The Hermetic Organ on the celebrated St. Bart’s organ, the largest in New York (presented in tandem with National Sawdust’s John Zorn Festival); the New York debut of the chamber “supergroup” Third Sound featuring new American and Cuban music; and a program mixing music by the young composer Andy Akiho with Baroque masterpieces performed by the early music group The Sebastians. These concerts join such returning series events as the beloved annual Joyous Christmas Concert and Concert for the New Year and silent film screenings with live organ improvisation. (The full season schedule is below.)

To grow and define the concert series, MMPAF’s Artistic Director William Trafka aimed both to embrace a wider range of music and to showcase the church’s concert spaces, two of the most outstanding in New York: the 150-seat chapel, an intimate and acoustically brilliant space that is perfectly suited for contemporary chamber music, and the majestic 1,000-seat sanctuary, an architectural marvel – outfitted with comfortable chairs enabling flexible seating – whose Aeolian-Skinner pipe organ is the largest in New York City.

”The Board of MMPAF is fortunate to have welcomed Patrick Castillo as a member,” said William Trafka. “As the former program director of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and an exceptional composer, he brings valuable expertise in programming and knowledge of the most currents trends in contemporary music. St. Bart’s will now be one of the few sacred spaces in New York hosting performances of new music, elevating these compelling works to a new level by embracing them in spaces of architectural distinction and beauty.”

All regular tickets to Great Music at St. Bart’s are priced between $20 and $40, with discounted tickets for students and seniors available for all events. Admission to the Concert for the New Year is free.

Rounding out the St. Bart’s musical offerings is a free component: the ongoing Midtown Concerts, a series of free weekly early music programs that run from September through June.

William Trafka has been the Director of Music and Organist of St. Bartholomew’s Church since 1995. Prior to that, he served as St. Bartholomew’s Associate Organist for 10 years. He leads the St. Bartholomew’s Choir and St. Bart’s Singers and is the Artistic Director of the Mid-Manhattan performing Arts Foundation, overseeing the programming of Great Music at St. Bart’s. He also programs and conducts St. Bartholomew’s annual Summer Festival of Sacred Music.

At St. Bart’s, he has conducted the premieres of several works including David Conte’s September Sun and Missa Brevis, James MacMillan’s Since it was the day of preparation (New York premiere), and Herbert Howells’ Hymnus Paradisi (New York premiere of the orchestral version) as well as works by Eriks Esenvalds and Neely Bruce. As an organist, he has performed on concert series throughout the U.S. and Germany and has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the American Symphony Orchestra, and the Fairfield Academy of Period Instruments. He has also served on the faculty of Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, as Adjunct Professor of Sacred Music.

Great Music at St. Bart’s is produced by the Mid-Manhattan Performing Arts Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) corporation established to cultivate, promote, sponsor and develop the understanding and love of the performing arts as presented at St. Bartholomew’s Church, a treasured masterpiece of architecture on the east side of Manhattan’s midtown, The corporation sponsors performances of music, dance, drama, and other performing arts as well as the exhibition of works in the film and fine arts genres.

Founded in January 1835, St. Bartholomew’s began its life as part of the Evangelical movement in the Episcopal Church. Its present building, a Byzantine style structure with an iconic dome, designed by Bertram Goodhue and completed in 1918, has had a vital presence in New York for close to a century. St. Bartholomew’s also became a force in the musical life of the city and the wider church: Legendary musicians such as Leopold Stokowski, who went on to a career as one of the world’s great conductors, Harold Friedell and James Litton have served the church as Organist and Choirmaster. For many decades, a world famous weekly series of Evensongs featuring performances of the great oratorios by St. Bartholomew’s Choir was offered free of charge, stressing the parish’s commitment to inclusion by ministering to a wide community. Great Music at St. Bart’s, an outgrowth of these Evensongs, still offers the greater New York City community top shelf concert performances at very reasonable ticket prices.

Tickets will be available through the Box Office at St. Bartholomew’s Church, 325 Park Avenue, New York, NY, and will be available by phone, 212-378-0248, and online at , by October 1.

Third String Quarterback Makes Good

bach-e1334779725693 (1)

In 1722, Johann Kuhnau, cantor of the Leipzig St. Thomas’ Church, died. Although Georg Phillipp Telemann , then cantor of Hamburg’s Academic School of the Johanneum was the candidate strongly favored by the Leipzig city council to replace Kuhnau, Telemann refused the position, which was subsequently offered to Christoph Graupner. Graupner also declined the position, which the Leipzig city council then offered- reluctantly- to Johann Sebastian Bach. Bach held this prestigious post for 27 years until his death in 1750.

It was during his tenure in Leipzig that Bach composed some of his most resplendent sacred choral works including his Magnificat and Easter Oratorio intended to be sung for the great feast days of Christmas and Easter. Hear these sumptuous works on Tuesday, April 24 at 7:30 pm sung by St. Bartholomew’s Choir and an orchestra of period instruments including trumpets and tympani at St. Bart’s, Park Ave between 50th and 51st St. Experience the joy of Bach in two of his most festive works.