Music

Worshiping our God in the form of beautiful voices and instruments

Worship in Song

Music has always played an important role in the worship life of St. Michael’s Church. In addition to our sacred music for worship, we host a variety of secular concerts primarily classical and occasionally jazz and other contemporary genres.

John Edward Cantrell

Choirmaster & Organist

Biography

John Cantrell has performed as an organist, pianist, and multi-instrumentalist throughout the United States, England,Ireland, and Western Europe. As the Choirmaster and Organist for St. Michael’s, he has the privilege of working with some of New York’s most accomplished professional singers and musicians as well as parishioners dedicated to liturgical music ministry. Additionally, John feels very fortunate for the opportunity to play one of the most highly coveted instruments in New York–the 55-rank, three manual, Von Beckerath organ. John holds a Master of Music degree in Organ Performance from Yale University and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Louisville.

Contact

Adult Choir

Youth Choir

Our Organs

Concert Series

Adult Choir

Our Adult Choir is a mixed ensemble of volunteers and some of New York’s elite professional singers. The music program explores literature that spans the past millennia and multiple cultures during the Sunday morning 10:00 am Holy Eucharist, and at Choral Compline on Wednesday evenings at 8:30pm. We are also known for our Jazz Masses, which occur during special feasts and other times throughout the year.

This is an audition-based choir. Members are expected to match pitch, read musical notation, and have a minimal understanding of music theory. To set up an audition, please contact the choirmaster, John Cantrell, at jcantrell@saintmichaelschurch.org or 212.222.2700.

Youth Choir

St. Michael’s Church offers a completely free Youth Choir Program for schoolchildren of every age. Fostering community, leadership, and Episcopal identity through choral singing, the Youth Choir Program at St. Michael’s provides choristers with a solid foundation in healthy vocal technique and comprehensive musicianship training as well as friendships to last a lifetime.

The Cherub Choir provides singers with a solid foundation on which to build a lifelong love of choral music. Singers gain confidence and independence while learning the fundamentals of music theory, music literacy, and healthy vocal technique in an environment that encourages leadership and cooperation. Cherub Choir repertoire explores partner songs, rounds, and canons as well as folk songs, multicultural music, and classical compositions.

Rehearsals: Wednesday, 3:45 – 4:15 p.m.

The Angel Choir builds on the skills gained in the Cherub Choir. Singers develop a deeper understanding of pitch, rhythm, and harmony as music literacy continues to improve. More advanced repertoire leads to opportunities for greater vocal independence as the choir performs compositions in two and three parts. Singers explore poetry and history through the texts we sing as we build connections to the world around us through music.

Rehearsals: Wednesday, 4:20 – 5:00 p.m.

The Saint Cecilia Choir is the most advanced and only mixed-voice choir in St. Michael’s Church’s Youth Choir Program. Choristers sing three- and four-part works from the Renaissance to today in a wide variety of styles and languages. Musicianship skills and music literacy are cemented while appropriate vocal technique for the maturing voice is reinforced. Additionally, singers are occasionally invited to perform with the St. Michael’s Choir, an invaluable opportunity to sing with skilled adult and professional singers.

Rehearsals: Wednesday, 5:05 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

For more information about the Youth Choir Program at St. Michael’s Church, please write to Dusty Francis, Director of Children’s Choirs, at dfrancis@saintmichaelschurch.org

Rudolf von Beckerath Orgelbau GmbH

Hamburg, Germany (1967)

  • Mechanical key action
  • Electric solenoid stop action
  • Solid-State combination action
  • 3 manuals, 38 stops, 55 ranks

The Rudolf von Beckerath organ, completed in September 1967, is an eclectic instrument at home with music of all periods, but is a particularly fine exponent of both German Baroque and French Classic music. A modern organ case of hand-rubbed limba, a blond wood sometimes called African mahogany, rises 31 feet from the rear gallery floor, with the Rückpositiv in a separate case mounted on the gallery rail. Robert Huddleston, organist and choirmaster, dedicated the organ on Sunday, September 17, 1967, and on October 8, 1967, Leonard Raver played the first of a series of monthly organ recitals.

In the fall of 1995, the Beckerath firm completely cleaned and overhauled the organ, but no tonal changes were made.

For more detailed information about the organs at St. Michael’s, and to view images, please visit the NYC Organ project website.

The Chapel of the Angels Organ

Hamburg, Germany (1965)

  • Mechanical key and stop action
  • 1 manual, 11 stops, 8 ranks

The one-manual-and-pedal organ in the Chapel of the Angels at St. Michael’s Church was built by Rudolph von Beckerath in 1965. This self-contained organ is on a movable platform and was used as the primary service instrument during the installation of the larger von Beckerath organ in the gallery. Meloni & Ferrier renovated the organ in 1998.

For more detailed information about the organs at St. Michael’s, and to view images, please visit the NYC Organ project website.

Hammond Organ

(1955)

In offering as diverse a sacred music program as possible, a 1955 Hammond C3 organ and Leslie cabinet (147) was purchased to better offer sacred roots music such as Gospel, Jazz, and other Americana musical forms, with better authenticity.

Concert Series

Carnegie Hall Citywide Concerts

St. Michael’s Church partners again with Carnegie Hall for a series of free neighborhood vocal concerts in our Church sanctuary. These are free concerts; no tickets or reservations are necessary. Seating is first-come, first-served, and the Church opens at 2:30 pm.