In the midst of holiday preparations we sometimes forget that winter solstice occurs on December 21 and marks the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. Throughout history and across cultures mankind has celebrated winter solstice and we now have a chance to take part in a special celebration here, in New York City. Paul Winter, 7-time Grammy-winning saxophonist/bandleader, is holding the 39th annual Winter Solstice Concert at none other than The Cathedral of St. John the Divine and will feature his ten-member consort, gospel singer Theresa Thomason and 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theater, along with special guests.
A dazzling extravaganza of music, dance, and spectacle within the awesome space and acoustics of the world’s largest cathedral, the event is a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people felt a calling to come together on the longest night of the year to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year. The Winter Solstice Celebration has evolved over the years to inhabit the entirety of the titanic space of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The resounding acoustics have inspired the music of the event, and the vast dimensions of the Cathedral have given birth to unique theatrical elements. A 28-foot spiral “Solstice Tree,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes symbolizing the diversity of the life family, becomes a part of the music; a huge Earth-globe travels through the Nave and rises over the center-stage; and a giant sun-gong ascends, with its player, to the 100-foot vault of the Cathedral at the symbolic moment of the return of the sun. “Of all the places I’ve played in the world,” Paul Winter says, “only two could host an event on this scale: the Cathedral and the Grand Canyon.”
Click here to watch videos with highlights from the concert and rehearsal fun.
When: Thur, 12/2/18 at 7:30 pm
Fri, 12/21/18 at 7:30 pm
Sat, 12/22/18 at 2:00 pm & 7:30 pm
Where: Cathedral of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave at 112th St.
To Purchase Tickets please call (866) 811-4111 or click here.
Header photo by Cliff Sobel
I was not compensated for this post. I received tickets.
Senior Reviewer Maytal Wichman is a freelance writer and has written for several blogs, including The Huffington Post. She has been living in the New York City area for eighteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree, but blogging is her true passion. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids (ages 11, 9 and 6) and loves finding great products for her family.