cathedral_medOn Saturday morning, June 16th 2018, at 4:30am, the Paul Winter Consort will be presenting their 23rd annual Summer Solstice Celebration at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

“This event is our musical welcome to the summer. Summer Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, when the sun is at its peak and the days abound with the promise of life’s fullness. My dream, with this sunrise celebration, is to offer an experience of this resonance, in the mystical ambience of these early morning hours, through a deep listening journey within the awesome space of this largest cathedral in the world. Our music begins in total darkness, and proceeds in a continuous flow, emanating from different places in the Cathedral. Gradually, as the great stained glass windows begin to illuminate, the light joins the sound to carry us into the first dawning of the summer.” – Paul Winter

Purchase tickets here.

The Consort’s 23rd annual Summer Solstice Celebration will take place at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine on Saturday morning June 16th, at 4:30 am. We will be joined by special guests vocalist Theresa Thomason, and the 16-voice Pletenitsa Balkan Choir, conducted by Christiane Karam. The Pletenitsa Choir captivated our audiences in our recent Winter Solstice series in December, and here their sublime, soulful sound will be heard in the magical early morning acoustics of the Cathedral.
Founded by Christiane Karam in 2011, as a forum for exploring the choral and folk traditions of the Balkans, the Caucasus, the Middle East, and parts of the Mediterranean, the Pletenitsa Balkan Choir is primarily a women’s chorus, with some music that incorporates male voices. It includes and welcomes singers from all over the world, serving as a platform for cultural exchange and a context for coming together to celebrate the beauty and spirit that connect us all. 
Cellist Eugene Friesen, pianist Jeff Holmes, and organist Ray Nagem will also be featured in the event.

Where: The Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 1047 Amsterdam Ave. New York, NY 10025
When: Saturday, June 16 at 4:30am
Tickets: Preferred General Admission $50 | General Admission $40 | Yoga Mat $40

Why Celebrate the Summer Solstice?

The two great celestial milestones of the year, the Summer and Winter Solstices, are perhaps humanity’s most ancient ritual observances. People paused at these times to reflect upon the journey of life, with its trials, blessings, hopes and promise.

The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin ‘sol’ (sun) and ‘stitium’ (to stand still). Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator and seems to pause before reversing its course; at the Winter Solstice the Sun attains its southernmost point and, once again, seems to stand still before turning back.

The Sun, our great golden star, is the source of our life, and each of our lives is a multi-faceted journey with the Sun. On one level, we are cycling through each day and night, as the Earth rotates from dawn to dawn in the light of the Sun. On another, we are traveling through each year, being carried 584 million miles by the Earth as it swings around the Sun from one Summer Solstice to the next. Simultaneously, we are riding with the Sun as our entire Solar System travels within the Milky Way galaxy, which itself is one of the dozen galaxies in what astronomers call our Local Group. And this whole Local Group of galaxies, in turn, is revolving around the Virgo Cluster of 2000 galaxies, 53 million light-years distant from us.

Making music at Solstice is one way to celebrate our amazing journey. If, in our listening, we are carried by the music, then perhaps the experience of that moment can be a hologram of the entire journey. In reality, the journey is right now, wherever we are. And when we are listening, each moment is the beginning.

Thank you for being part of our ongoing Solstice journey.

Purchase tickets here.