Just Do Art
THE WEST VILLAGE CHORALE SUMMER SINGS SERIES
The weather outside might be frightful — but in no way, shape or form is it beginning to look a lot like Christmas. You wouldn’t know that, though, if you happened to stroll by historic (and air conditioned) Judson Memorial Church on the early evening of July 14. That’s when Young New Yorkers’ Chorus conductor Michael Kerschner will preside over the rehearsal — and the performance — of a composition by Handel that’s usually associated with low temperatures and the calendar year’s waning days. It makes perfect sense, though, for The West Village Chorale’s superior contribution to all that “Christmas in July” hype (retail sales themes, Hallmark movie marathons). Fast becoming a tradition in its own right, this repeat performance of the Chorale’s traditional December “Messiah Sing” is just one of the installments in its ongoing “Summer Sings” series.
Every Monday through Aug. 18, a different guest conductor will guide participants through a brief rehearsal of a classic work, followed by a performance (which you can participate in, or just sit back and enjoy). Other upcoming “Sings” events include the Mozart “Mass in C Minor,” led by Cynthia Powell of the Stonewall Chorale (and the Melodia Women’s Choir (July 21), the Brahms “Requiem,” led by John Maclay of the Choral Society of Grace Church (Aug. 4), and the Mozart “Requiem,” led by Patrick Gardner of Riverside Choral Society (Aug. 18). Musical scores, piano accompaniment, and intermission refreshments are provided.
Mondays, through Aug. 18, at 7:30 p.m. At Judson Memorial Church (55 Washington Square South, at Thompson St.). For more info, visit westvillagechorale.org 212-517-1776.
SUMMER MUSIC IN CHELSEA
The New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra’s appropriately named seasonal incarnation — the New Amsterdam Summer Orchestra — returns to St. Peter’s Chelsea for their annual two-part “Summer Music in Chelsea” series (which benefits the church’s Food Pantry program).
On July 17, Matthew Oberstein conducts works including Haydn’s “The Creation” and Beethoven’s “Overture to Creatures of Prometheus.” Soprano Angela Leson and baritone Christopher DeVage are the soloists. On Sept. 9, an all-Mozart program includes “Sinfonia Concertante” and “Overture to La finta giardiniera.” Yuga Cohler guest conducts, with Katarzyna Bryla (violin) and Elzbieta Weyman (viola) as the soloists.
Thurs., July 17 & Tues., Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. At St. Peter’s Church (346 W. 20th St., btw. Eighth & Ninth Aves.). Suggested Donation: $10 ($5 for students & seniors). For info on the concert, the food pantry, and upcoming events, call 212-929-2390 or visit st.peterschelsea.com. For info on the Orchestra, visit nasorch.org.
BRAZIL SOUNDS DOWNTOWN CELEBRATES THE WORLD CUP
The clock’s running out on your chance to visit the World Cup’s host country — but if sampling the music of Brazil is your goal, Arts Brookfield has game. Through July 22, their “Brazil Sounds Downtown” series pays tribute to that country’s melodies and rhythms. You’ll hear work that blends traditional Brazilian genres (samba, bossa nova, and forró) with distinctly American styles (jazz, soul, and country).
On July 8, “Brasil Love Acoustic” showcases the Brasil Live collective of professional Brazilian musicians and performers — led by Rio de Janeiro native guitarist and musical director Marcos Vigio. On July 15, Benji Kaplan (guitar/vocal, flute) performs his rhythmically creative works, which have earned accolades from the likes of iconic Brazilian composer Guinga. The series concludes on July 22, when accordion player Rob Curto performs. The skilled forró artist combines that style with his love of North American swing music, bebop piano, funk, rock, and blues. He’s joined by 6- and 7-string guitarist Cesar Garabini.
Free. July 8, 15 & 22, from 12:30–1:30 p.m. in Zucotti Park (Broadway & Liberty St.). For more info, visit artsbrookfield.com/events.
THE POETS HOUSE 22nd ANNUAL SHOWCASE
It’s harvest season at Poets House — when the innovative Downtown library and event space adds to its 60,000-volume collection with an exhibition comprised of all the poetry books published in this country during the last year. “There is nothing like it anywhere else,” says Poets House Executive Director Lee Briccetti, who justifiably calls the Showcase “a demonstration of the poetic impulse and practice of our country.”
This year’s exhibition — on view through Aug. 16 — features upwards of 3,000 volumes from over 700 micro-presses and publishers. But it’s not all about the up-close, looky-loo experience. The Showcase Reading Series gives voice to the words, by presenting authors who have works on display. Brett Fletcher Lauer (“A Hotel in Belgium,” Four Way Books) and Wendy S. Walters (“Troy, Michigan,” Futurepoem Books) are among those at the July 23 reading. On July 30, featured authors include Jeffrey Harrison (“Into Daylight,” Tupelo Press) and Lenelle Moïse (“Haiti Glass,” City Lights). On Aug. 6, the guests are Cathy Linh Che (“Split,” Alice James Books), Harmony Holiday (“Go Find Your Father/A Famous Blues,” Ricochet Editions), Yusef Komunyakaa (“Testimony, A Tribute to Charlie Parker,” Wesleyan University Press), and Mark Wunderlich (“The Earth Avails,” Graywolf Press).
Free. The Showcase is on view through Aug. 16, at Poets House (10 River Terrace, at Murray St.). Hours: Tues.–Fri., 11 a.m.–7 p.m. & Sat., 11 a.m.–6 p.m. All readings are free, and start at 7 p.m. on Wed., July 23, 30 & Aug. 6. For info, call 212-431-7920 or visit poetshouse.org.
— BY SCOTT STIFFLER