In this participatory choral program, open to all interested vocalists, producer Melissa Gerstein and conductor Douglas Anderson team up to bring George Fredric Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” – from his Messiah oratorio, the oldest continuously performed piece of Classical music – out of the concert hall and onto the streets of NYC.
Prior to the winter solstice, participants can access a free, specially crafted sound file to download to their smart phone at MakeMusicNY.org. Then, on December 21st, singers congregate at one of four popular locations spread throughout Manhattan and gather into vocal groups (soprano, alto, tenor, bass). Wearing a single ear bud to hear the sound file, which includes an orchestral introduction to set the tempo and pitch, singers and their conductor then synchronize the start of the performance and make their way among the crowds. To the surprise of bystanders, a seemingly spontaneous outburst of the famous choral piece unfolds in their midst, while performers revel in the joy of creating a unique, full-throated version of the choral masterwork.
WHEN AND WHERE: Participants and audiences can choose from one of four popular Manhattan destinations:
- Verdi Square, 72nd Street and Broadway on the Upper West Side, beginning at 6pm
- Jefferson Market Garden, 6th Avenue and Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich Village, beginning at 6:30pm
- Union Square Park, 17th Street and Broadway, beginning at 6:30pm
- Metropolitan Museum of Art, 82nd Street and Fifth Avenue on the Upper East Side, beginning at 6:30pm
HOW TO JOIN: Any singer who knows their part to the chorus is welcomed and encouraged to participate simply by showing up to their preferred location by the start time, but if you know you will be participating, please send a courtesy email with the subject line “Mobile Hallelujah” to info@MakeMusicNY.org that includes your name, location and vocal part (soprano, alto, tenor or bass). Prior to the day of the parade, download a free version of the SoundCloud app and The Mobile Hallelujah sound file available at MakeMusicNY.org. If you want to practice your part ahead of time, free files are available on Cyberbass.
Make Music Winter, first launched in 2011, is a free, outdoor musical event each December 21st that turns audiences into music makers. Inspired by Phil Kline’s annual Unsilent Night, a boombox parade that has become an international tradition, Make Music Winter transforms New York’s cityscape with participatory musical parades on the winter solstice, running the gamut of musical genres.