Worship & Arts Lessons & Carols at Brick Presbyterian Church
The Brick Presbyterian Church Presents a Service Of Lessons & Carols With a World Premiere by Jonathan Woody
Sunday, December 17, 2023
The Brick Presbyterian Church
1140 Park Avenue, NYC
(between 91st and 92nd Street)
Brick Presbyterian Church will be hosting its time-honored and beloved Lessons & Carols service on Sunday December 17 at 4PM. The traditional ceremony is modeled after the famous service sung at King’s College in Cambridge since 1918. By flickering candlelight we will proclaim the message of Christmas through readings of carols and anthems, sharing the good news of light amid the winter’s darkness to the NYC community. This year’s service will feature the world premiere of a new Magnificat by New York composer Jonathan Woody carrying a message of joyful renewal. The service is free, and all are welcome to attend.
The 2023–24 season of Worship & Arts at Brick Presbyterian Church continues with a service of Nine Lessons & Carols, featuring the world premiere of Jonathan Woody’s Magnificat, on Sunday, December 17 at 4:00 PM at The Brick Presbyterian Church, 1140 Park Avenue, Manhattan.
The Lessons and Carols ceremony at Brick Church is modeled after the service started at Truro Cathedral in 1880 and first sung at Cambridge’s King’s College Chapel in 1918. By flickering candlelight, it tells the Christmas story through music, weaving together anthems sung by the choir, communal Christmas carols, and readings from Scripture. This year’s repertoire includes choral works by David Willcocks, Conrad Susa, Ralph Vaughan Williams, June Nixon, John Rutter, Raffaella Aleotti, James Bassi, and Rosephanye Powell.
Since 2021, Brick Church has commissioned an annual carol for this service from a leading composer. This year, the Chancel Choir will give the world premiere of Magnificat by Jonathan Woody. An acclaimed bass-baritone soloist and sought-after composer, Jonathan has received commissions from top choirs and orchestras across the United States. His Magnificat carries a message of joyful renewal, with the rich being sent away, and the humble being exalted.
ABOUT JONATHAN WOODY
Jonathan Woody is a versatile and dynamic musician who maintains an active schedule as a performer and composer in New York and across North America. Cited by the Washington Post for singing “with resonance and clarity,” Woody is in demand as a bass-baritone soloist, appearing regularly with historically informed orchestras including Boston Early Music Festival, Apollo’s Fire, Pacific MusicWorks, Bach Collegium San Diego, Trinity Baroque Orchestra and New York Baroque Incorporated. In the 2021-2022 season, he served as Artistic Advisor for the Portland Baroque Orchestra, curating a program of 17th – century German music for voices and orchestra.
An accomplished chamber musician, Woody often performs as a member of the GRAMMY®-nominated Choir of Trinity Wall Street. He has also recently performed in collaboration with Kaleidoscope Ensemble, Les Délices, Seraphic Fire, Byron Schenkman and Friends, and TENET Vocal Artists. As a sought-after new music proponent, Jonathan has participated in premiere performances of several leading composers’ works, including Ted Hearne’s The Source (2014), Ellen Reid’s p r i s m (2019 Pulitzer Prize-winner), Missy Mazzoli’s Breaking the Waves (NYC premiere, 2018), and Du Yun’s Angel’s Bone (2017 Pulitzer Prize-winner).
Woody’s compositional voice blends 17th and 18th-century inspiration with the minimalism and socially conscious subject matter of today. Since 2020, he has received commissions from Apollo’s Fire, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street, Chanticleer, the Handel and Haydn Society, the Cathedral Choral Society of Washington, D.C., and the Five Boroughs Music Festival, among others.
Jonathan is committed to racial equity in the field of the performing arts, and currently serves on Early Music America’s Task Force for Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access. He holds degrees from McGill University and the University of Maryland, College Park.
ABOUT WORSHIP & ARTS
Brick Church’s concert series, Worship & Arts, welcomes all to experience the joyous, uplifting power of the performing arts. Worship & Arts offers concerts and special worship services throughout the year, featuring Brick’s superb Chancel Choir, recitals on the church’s magnificent Casavant organ, as well as performances by extraordinary guest artists and ensembles from New York City’s vibrant artistic scene. Now in its second season, the program has grown to become an important part of the Brick congregation’s offerings, and a valued part of the New York City arts community. To view the entire 2023–24 season, please visit this page.
At Brick Church, we believe that music, dance, and drama can comfort, inspire, challenge, and bring us closer to the divine, showing us God’s glory reflected in all beautiful things. Join us and share in the warmth, excellence, and energy of the performing arts at Brick!
ABOUT THE BRICK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
The Brick Presbyterian Church is a lively, growing congregation that has been serving
New York City since 1767. We worship every Sunday at 11 a.m. in our Sanctuary. Sunday Church School is offered for children from age two to seventh grade. We welcome all to come, visit, worship and see what Brick Church is all about.
The Brick Church is a member congregation of the Presbytery of New York City. The session appoints elders to serve as commissioners to meetings of the Presbytery. In addition, elders serve on various committees when elected or appointed. The Brick Church also supports the work of the Presbytery financially thorough assessments and apportionments and general mission giving. In addition to supporting the Presbytery’s mission, the church has traditionally supported a wide range of mission outreach efforts in New York City. Involvement on the national level of the Presbyterian denomination has been strong and supportive over the 250-year history of the congregation. Several ministers of The Brick Church have served as moderators of the General Assembly, the national body of our church. In fact, the Rev. John Rogers, the first minister of the Brick Church, was elected as Moderator of the First General Assembly in 1789.