This time of year we are all so busy with holiday parties, shopping and decorating that sometimes we forget that Winter Solstice is also happening this time of year. Through the years many cultures have celebrated Winter Solstice in their own unique ways. For us a great way to commemorate it is with the family-friendly Winter Solstice Celebration by 7-time Grammy award winner Paul Winter and the Paul Winter Consort. I was lucky enough to attend this dazzling extravaganza last year and there’s just something magical about these incredible performances by some of the most creative people in the industry, including a very special guest this year.
This year’s special guest will be singer/songwriter and activist Noel Paul Stookey, best-known as a member of the famed folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey was the producer of the Paul Winter Consort’s first two albums, in 1968 and 1969, and has been a key mentor and collaborator during these first 50 years of the band.
Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice Celebration has become New York’s favorite holiday alternative to The Nutcracker and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular. 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 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.
This is the first time in seven years that the Saturday night concert will take place on the actual night of the winter solstice. Winter and his colleagues will be pulling out all the stops this December to celebrate this double anniversary of the Consort and the group’s solstice event.
When: Thur, 12/19/18 at 7:30 pm
Fri, 12/20/18 at 7:30 pm
Sat, 12/21/18 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.
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 nineteen years and holds a Bachelor’s Degree in English Literature as well as a Law Degree. Maytal is a stay-at-home mom to three kids, ages 12, 10 and 7.