Make Music Winter, Friday, Dec. 21st


Under the guidance conductor James John, Artistic Director of the Cerddorion Vocal Ensemble, headlamp-clad singers will walk a route along Riverside Park while singing medieval melodies once sung on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostela. Early Music songs include selections from Cantigas de Santa Maria,  Llibre Vermell de Montserrat and The Coventry Carol. Singers of all skill levels are invited to join, from absolute beginners to early music specialists — no rehearsal necessary!

Participants should gather at 5:30 at West Park Presbyterian Church, 165 W. 86th St., to prepare and warm up. The procession will depart at 6:00 PM sharp, heading west to make its way along Riverside Park and will conclude at St. Michael’s Church: please enter the Church through the Parish House at 225 W. 99th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam).

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]

Illustration by Kyle Lambert of Callout Creative