Choral Society of Grace Church Holiday Concert

Man Wearing Barbershop Sign in Times Square
This year we’re singing at a church in Times Square. Times Square isn’t what it used to be, but happily, for me, this block has the feel of the old Times Square without the sad porn-shops or the crime. This guy wearing the old-fashioned sign was across the street. So! The details …

WHEN: Thursday, December 1 at 8:00 PM, Friday, December 2 at 8:00 PM, and Saturday, December 3 at 3:00 PM.

Tickets are $20 if you get them from me, or $25 at the door or if you buy them online here. We usually sell out and this is a smaller venue, so if you want to go you should buy your tickets as soon as possible.

WHERE: Church of St Mary the Virgin, 145 West 46th Street (between 6th and 7th). According to our conductor, this church has one of the best organs in New York City.


Giovanni Gabrieli:  Jubilate Deo
Leonard Bernstein:  Missa Brevis
Arvo Part:  Magnificat
William Billings:  Shiloh (The Shepherd’s Carol)
Amer. traditional:  I Wonder as I Wander (arr. John Rutter)
Randall Thompson:  The Peaceable Kingdom
Carols with audience, chorus and organ

Our conductor just sent this in email.


“Hi All,
If you haven’t seen this already, please see the email flyer from XXXX. XXXX has invited me for 47 years and last year I finally attended. I have been kicking myself ever since and will never miss another one as long as I’m breathing. Truly one of the most exceptionally moving experiences I’ve had in my life and a must for the holiday season. If you’ve never experienced a performance by the Choral Society (OK I know you haven’t) you are in for a treat. Sit back, close your eyes and soak in the sound. And no, skeptics, I don’t get a cut of the sale. You all know that for me to highly recommend going to a church to hear a choir, it HAS to be good. XXXX is still educating me after all these years. Let XXXX know soon as the tickets go fast.”

None of my pictures of the inside of the church came out well, but the ceiling is this wonderful blue with gold painted stars, it’s gorgeous. There was also so much beautiful artwork inside it made me wonder about the history of Times Square. I must admit I don’t know it. Bottom line, a lot of love and money went into this church. I wonder if they miss the old Times Square days. Saving souls is their business. Ah, here’s a short history of the church.

Church of St Mary the Virgin

Stacy Horn

I've written six non-fiction books, the most recent is Damnation Island: Poor, Sick, Mad, and Criminal in 19th-Century New York.

View all posts by Stacy Horn →

9 thoughts on “Choral Society of Grace Church Holiday Concert

  1. oh! oh! oh! Your next book should be a history of Times Square! I wonder if there are books on the subject already. But I’d much rather read your take!
    Have you ever read the book “Hubert’s Freaks”? It’s sort of about Times Square (and Diane Arbus); for whatever reason, it seems like you would like it. It’s a great book.

  2. I have to read that book. I’m familiar with Hubert’s Museum (via Diane Arbus). I came across another Hubert establishment downtown, while I was researching something else, and I meant to see if there was any connection. The one downtown was earlier, late 1800’s or very early 1900’s, I forget exactly.

  3. Great idea! – Stacy writing a history of Times Square! In the ’70’s, didn’t the Catholic Church own a few blocks and many of the shops were ‘Adult Only’? And Geraldine Ferraro’s husband owned a few more?

    When we were kids my parents took us to NYC for vacations and I’ll never forget Tad’s Steakhouses (the fast food of the day). Total price for a complete steak dinner was $1.49. I think it went the way of the Automat.

  4. Wow! Someone other than my brother and I remembers Tad’s! The two of us and our mother took a couple of Easter bus tours to NYC from Ottawa back in the 70s. We stayed at the old Commodore Hotel on 42nd street and I think there was a Tad’s across the street. My brother was then, and still is, a big steak fan so he always wanted to eat there whenever we were trying to figure out where to go. When I was in NYC for a few days last March, I saw a Tad’s but I don’t know if it is part of the old chain.
    Stacy, did you ever go to Tad’s way back when?

  5. Paolo: If Stacy does not mind me mentioning, she is older than I am! (It MUST be true, it’s on Wikipedia!)

  6. Speaking of OLD, I did eat at an Automat once. Had to be in the 70s on one of those Easter in New York bus tours in a previous comment.

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