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    History

    MUSIC DIRECTORS
    2011 - Mark Shapiro
    1965 - 2010 David Randolph
    195? - 1965 David L. Buttolph
    1942 - 195? Hugh Ross
    1937 - 1942 Willard Sektberg
    1936 - 1937 Leon Barzin
    1906 - 1936 Victor Harris
    MILESTONES
    1988 First appearance as the South Street Seaport's Singing Christmas Tree
    1969 First performance at Carnegie Hall
    1965 Transformation to a mixed chorus begins
    1922 New York premiere of Mahler Symphony no. 3
    1906 The St. Cecilia Chorus was established

    (In 2012, The St. Cecilia Chorus became The Cecilia Chorus of New York.)

    The Cecilia Chorus of New York, a secular, unaffiliated organization,  was founded in 1906 as The St. Cecilia Chorus by Metropolitan Opera coach Victor Harris, as a 17-member women’s chorus.  In 1922 the Chorus appeared with The Philharmonic Society of New York under Willem Mengelberg in the first New York performances of Mahler's Symphony No. 3, in both the old Metropolitan Opera House and Carnegie Hall.  Harris continued as the Chorus’s conductor until 1936; his successors included Leon Barzin and Hugh Ross.

    From 1965 until his death in 2010, the chorus was led by the distinguished broadcaster, writer, conductor and composer David Randolph.  During Maestro Randolph’s remarkable tenure, The Cecilia Chorus of New York achieved important milestones and enjoyed prominent collaborations.  Notable performances include a concert presented by Oxford University Press to celebrate the 500th anniversary of its founding, and the North American premieres of Fanny Mendelssohn’s Oratorium nach Bildern der Bibel and a Mass by Antonio Salieri, with playwright Peter Shaffer, the author of Amadeus, in attendance.   The Cecilia Chorus of New York has also premiered works by Mrs. H.H.A. Beach, Deems Taylor, Virgil Thomson, and many others.

    The Cecilia Chorus of New York has performed under the conductors John Alldis, Lukas Foss, John Nelson, and Romano Gandolfi of La Scala.   Members of The Cecilia Chorus of New York appeared in the film The Preacher’s Wife, participated in a recording with Liza Minnelli to support AIDS research, and performed at the United Nations.

    Since 1969 the Chorus has presented semi-annual concerts at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall; several of the Carnegie Hall concerts have been broadcast by radio station WNYC. The Cecilia Chorus of New York Collection of Recorded Concerts as well as the David Randolph Collection of the maestro’s scores and other documents now enjoy a permanent home in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.

    In July 2011, Mark Shapiro was appointed the seventh Music Director of The Cecilia Chorus of New York.

    For more information, including a complete repertoire list and performance history, please visit our website, www.ceciliachorusny.org.