Thrive: An ECMC Holiday Celebration

THRIVE: AN ECMC HOLIDAY CELEBRATION was an ECMC concert series that took place on Saturday, December 5, 2015 at 8:00 p.m. at St. Paul's Carroll Street in Brooklyn, and on Sunday, December 6, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at The Church of the Holy Apostles in Manhattan.

With the ever changing world around us, there is so much for which to be grateful. In this lively and energetic holiday concert, the men of ECMC offered musical gratitude, love, and a sung spirit of renewal as we affirmed with our voices the meaning of this season of togetherness. To thrive is not only to be alive, but to be alive with wonder, awe, and joy, and to give thanks together in the best way we know how – by using our voices to serve and build up others. This dynamic,  once-a-year celebration included music by Mathias, Gardner, Handl, and Victoria, and the world premiere of an arrangement of Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming by 2015 ECMC Composer-in-Residence Kyle Randall.

A note from the Artistic Director

The dictionary defines the word thrive in the following way: “(Of a child, animal, or plant) grow or develop well or vigorously; to prosper or flourish. Not more than two years ago, I visited the rehearsals of ECMC periodically in Matt Oltman’s stead when he asked me to fill in for him. At the time, I had no idea that I would soon be at the helm of this ensemble. It all happened very quickly and I think many of us in the organization weren’t sure how it would go. Today, I’m reminded of the words of my beloved teacher, Conrad Susa, which he said to me once during a composition lesson: “I have to be careful what I say to you.” Me: “Why?” Him: “Because you listen!” Any leader must also be a lifelong learner. Any ship captain is no good without a crew that he learns from as they follow him. In the last year, I have been a witness to something extraordinary: a group of men in New York City who are not only devoted to each other on a weekly basis, but also deeply to music. Whatever I have said or done to help build or re-build the ECMC house would not have mattered at all without this will and drive. It is not my words and actions that have made ECMC thrive, but those of ECMC itself.

Choral music is the most human collaborative musical art because the human voice (and all that comes with it) is used in tandem with other human voices to make something - a sound, a feeling, a word - so specifically vivid that nothing else in the world can compare to it. The writer Don Miguel Ruiz urges people to be “impeccable with our word” in his book, The Four Agreements.  Words alone can do many things, even induce action in people; but words in a house made of music THRIVE. I thrive in the ECMC house and it’s my honor and privilege to stay here and live in it for awhile with these wonderful singers. – Vince Peterson, Artistic Director

Concert Program

Choose Something Like a Star
Music by Randall Thompson  |  Words by Robert Frost
Arranged by Stephen Smith

Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day
Music by John Gardiner  |  Arranged by Kyle Randall

Ding! Dong! Merrily on High
Traditional French Carol
Tune by Thoinot Arbeau (1520-1595) | Arranged by Howard Helvey
Sean Forte, Piano Primo
Jacob Stensberg, Piano Secondo

O Regem coeli – Natus est nobis
Music by Tomas Luis de Victoria (1548-1611)
Performed by Otto

Canite tuba
Music by Jacob Handl (1550-1591)

Lo, How A Rose E’er Blooming
For Vince Peterson and Empire City Men’s Chorus
Music by Michael Praetorius (1571-1621)
Translated from German by Theodore Baker  |  Arranged by Kyle Randall

Oh, Brillante Estrella
Adapted from traditional Puerto Rican villancico
Music and Translation by David Frank Long (b. 1966)

Music by William Mathias (1934-1992)
Sean Forte, Conductor
Vince Peterson, Organist

Wexford Carol
Arranged by Dean X. Johnson (1955-1998)
Performed by Otto

All is Well
Music by Michael W. Smith and Wayne Kilpatrick
Soloist: Jack Kirk  |  Descant: Ben Donahoo, Craig Goodwin-Ortiz de Leon

Ave Maria
Music by Franz Biebl (1906-2001)
Featuring: Daniel Fiore, Craig Goodwin-Ortiz de Leon, Steve Ostrow,
Edward Angelo Enrique, Eric Faris, and Anthony Pho

Christmas Comes Anew
Music by Mark Riese (1953-1989)


God Rest You Merry Gentlemen
The First Noel
White Christmas

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Music and lyrics by Hugh Martin and Ralph Blane  |  Arranged by Larry Moore