Make Music Winter, Thursday, Dec. 21


Under the guidance conductor James John, headlamp-clad singers will walk a route along Riverside Park while singing medieval melodies once sung on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela, in this case en route to the renowned Cathedral of St. John The Divine. Singers of all skill levels are invited to join, from absolute beginners to early music specialists — no rehearsal necessary.

Presented in association with Symphony Space and the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine.

Gather at 5:30 to prepare at Bar Thalia, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway at W 95th Street. The procession will depart at 6:00 PM sharp, making its way up Riverside Park before heading east along W 110th Street to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.

Please send an email with the subject line “Pilgrimage” to to give us a sense of the total number of participants. Headlamps and scores will be distributed on loan for the first twenty-five singers to arrive. Or feel free to bring your own illumination and printed scores: just click here to download the files!


James John is in his seventh season as Artistic Director of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble. He is also Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at the Aaron Copland School of Music, Queens College-CUNY, where he conducts the Queens College Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Choral Society, teaches choral conducting, and serves as advisor to the graduate program in vocal performance. Recent professional highlights include guest conducting the Tokyo Oratorio Society in performances of Brahms’s Ein deutches Requiem and Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, and an invited performance by the Queens College Choir at the 2012 Eastern Division Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Providence, Rhode Island.

From the Cantigas de Santa Maria of Alfonso X El Sabio (1221–1284)

  • Santa Maria, strela do dia” (100) [pdf]
  • Quen a omagen da Virgen” (353) [pdf]

From the Llibre Vermell de Montserrat (14th century)

  • Stella Splendens[pdf]
  • Laudemus Virginem[pdf]
  • Splendens Ceptigera[pdf]

The Coventry Carol (16th century) [pdf]

The Cathedral Church of Saint John the Divine, the mother church of the Episcopal Diocese of New York and the Seat of its Bishop, is chartered as a house of prayer for all people and a unifying center of intellectual light and leadership. It serves the many diverse people of our Diocese, City, Nation and World through an array of liturgical, cultural and civic events; pastoral, educational and community outreach activities; and maintains the preservation of the great architectural and historic site that is its legacy. People from many faiths and communities worship together in services held more than 30 times a week; the soup kitchen serves roughly 25,000 meals annually; social service outreach has an increasingly varied roster of programs; the distinguished Cathedral School prepares young students to be future leaders; Adults and Children in Trust, the renowned preschool, after school and summer program, offers diverse educational and nurturing experiences; the outstanding Textile Conservation Lab preserves world treasures; concerts, exhibitions, performances and civic gatherings allow conversation, celebration, reflection and remembrance—such is the joyfully busy life of this beloved and venerated Cathedral.

As a pre-eminent multi-disciplinary performing arts center, Symphony Space’s mission is to offer artistic leadership that promotes innovation, excellence, engagement, and accessibility to artists and audiences alike. Symphony Space’s goal is to be a nationally and internationally recognized cultural leader. In keeping with its founding principles, Symphony Space is committed to:

  • building and nurturing relationships with established and emerging artists
  • encouraging innovation and excellence as the keystones of all presented and produced work
  • fostering a creative environment that engages and inspires artists and audiences of all ages

We are dedicated to serving a broad and diverse community, as demonstrated by the stylistic range of our programming, our reasonable prices (both tickets and rentals), and by our leadership role in arts and literacy education for children and adults.

Illustration by Kyle Lambert of Callout Creative