Paul Winter’s 40th annual Winter Solstice Celebration, 2019

Thursday, December 19th, 7:30pm | Friday, December 20th, 7:30 | Saturday, December 21st, 2pm, 7:30pm

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC

Prime Reserved $148 | Preferred Reserved $123 | Reserved $98
Preferred General Admission $58| General Admission $38

*Student Tickets $20 with code STU19 – evening performances only

TICKETS

Paul Winter’s 40th annual Winter Solstice Celebration, 2019

Thursday, December 19th, 7:30pm
Friday, December 20th, 7:30
Saturday, December 21st, 2pm, 7:30pm

Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC

Prime Reserved $148
Preferred Reserved $123
Reserved $98

Preferred General Admission $58
General Admission $38

*Student Tickets $20 with code STU19
evening performances only

PAUL WINTER’S 40th ANNUAL WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATION

Paul Winter’s Winter Solstice celebrates the spirit of the holidays within the extraordinary acoustics of New York’s greatest Cathedral. The event features musicians of the Paul Winter Consort, vocalists, dancers and drummers. A dazzling extravaganza of music and dance, the performances offer a contemporary take on ancient solstice rituals, when people gathered together on the longest night of the year to welcome the return of the sun and the birth of the new year. Broadcast on National Public Radio for the past 27 years, hosted by WNYC’s John Schaefer, the Celebrations have become New York’s favorite holiday alternative to The Nutcracker and Radio City’s Christmas Spectacular.

This year marks the 40th year for the event, as well as the 50th anniversary for the Paul Winter Consort. The Winter Solstice special guest will be singer/songwriter and activist Noel Paul Stookey, best-known as a member of the famed folk music trio Peter, Paul and Mary. Stookey was the producer of the Paul Winter Consort’s first two albums, in 1968 and 1969, and has been a key mentor and collaborator during those first 50 years of the band.  Gospel singer Theresa Thomason, a beloved favorite of past Winter Solstice Celebrations, will also be featured, and the 10-member Paul Winter Consort will be joined once again by the 25 dancers and drummers of the Forces of Nature Dance Theatre.

This is the first time in seven years that the Saturday night concert will take place on the actual night of the winter solstice.. 

Since they began, the celebrations have been a forum for performers from different music traditions around the globe, taking place in one of the most extraordinary performance venues, the world’s largest cathedral, New York’s St. John the Divine. The length of two football fields and tall enough to fit the Statue of Liberty under its dome, with titanic acoustics and a seven-second reverberation, it was designed with sacred geometry to be a transformative space. Over the years, the event has evolved into a theatrical extravaganza that inhabits the Cathedral’s entirety, transforming the Nave into a forest, the belly of a whale, or a night sky, where a giant earth globe spins from the vault like a tiny planet in the cosmic vastness. A gong rises 150 feet to the vault to celebrate the sun’s ascent, and the traditional evergreen takes the shape of a a 28-foot spiral “Tree of Sounds,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes, to symbolize the diversity of the life on Earth.

  • “An immersive, multimedia extravaganza, as grand and expansive as its location.”

    The New York Times

  • “Feasts for the ears and eyes”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “We dare you to keep a smile off your face as Theresa Thomason belts gospel tunes and the giant earth ball soars to the ceiling of the spectacular Byzantine cathedral.”

    Gotham Magazine

  • “Fueled by Winter’s soaring soprano saxophone, the annual concerts unfold as a spectacle of theatre, dance and music from around the world.”

    National Public Radio

FREE SOLSTICE COLLECTION

PAUL WINTER CONSORT FREE DOWNLOAD

Once again, we are pleased to offer you our free Winter Solstice Collection. This has become a solstice tradition for us. Our intent is both to give a sampling of the artists who will be performing in this year’s Solstice Celebration, and to share recordings we love. 

Please enjoy these tracks, featuring recordings by Theresa Thomason and the Paul Winter Consort.

This Winter Solstice we will pay homage to the half-century lineage of the Consort. 

Please enjoy 8 tracks from the Paul Winter Consort’s first period (1968 to 1972). 

FREE THERESA THOMASON DOWNLOAD

FREE PAUL WINTER SOPRANO SAX COLLECTION

Our Winter Solstice Celebration has long been graced by the exquisite, exuberant and exhilarating singing voice of Theresa Thomason. This year will be her 25th annual performance with us, and that in itself is cause for celebration. 

Among folks who have attended our solstice events over the years, Theresa has become somewhat of a legend. She “lifts the roof,” in a building that already has a rather high ceiling. 

We want to share with you some recordings from her past solstice performances.

From the first time Paul ever played in the Cathedral, in 1979, he was thrilled to find it a kindred space for his horn. Soprano sax carries well in these acoustics, and Paul can be heard, unamplified, from one end to the other, two blocks away. 

This is the first time a playlist of recordings that feature Paul’s playing has been compiled. Here are nine pieces, that come from Paul’s two favorite “sonic temples” on the planet: one he recorded in the Grand Canyon, and eight from the Cathedral (which we have long referred to as “Grand Canyon East”). 

FREE SOLSTICE COLLECTION

Once again, we are pleased to offer you our free Winter Solstice Collection. This has become a solstice tradition for us. Our intent is both to give a sampling of the artists who will be performing in this year’s Solstice Celebration, and to share recordings we love. 

Please enjoy these 10 tracks, featuring recordings by Theresa Thomason and the Paul Winter Consort. 

PAUL WINTER CONSORT FREE DOWNLOAD

This Winter Solstice we will pay homage to the half-century lineage of the Consort. 

Please enjoy 8 tracks from the Paul Winter Consort’s first period (1968 to 1972). 

PAUL WINTER’S WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATIONS (1.5min)

PAUL WINTER’S WINTER SOLSTICE CELEBRATIONS (1.5min)

BUS – FOR THOSE IN NORTHWEST CONNECTICUT

BUS FROM LITCHFIELD, CT

The Litchfield Community Center will be offering round-trip door-to-door bus transportation to the 40th annual Winter Solstice Celebration on Saturday, December 21st. The package fee is $75 per person for bus and Preferred General Admission tickets. The bus will leave the community center at 9am for 11:30am arrival in NYC. The concert starts at 2pm. The bus will depart the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, NYC at the end of the performance, around 4:30pm and is expected to arrive back in Litchfield at 7pm. Bus-only tickets are also available. 

LIVE STREAM

For the first time, we will be streaming the entire Friday night performance on December 21st, which is the solstice itself. We are happy that we can now share this event with those of our community around the country, and the world, who are not able to be in New York City with us for solstice. The performance will be streamed to Paul Winter’s Facebook page @paulwintermusic. For updates and more information on the stream, follow @paulwintermusic. We hope you will join us.

PERFORMERS

THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE

Manhattan’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine is more than a site of liturgy. It’s a home for the human spirit, meant to uplift, inspire awe, unite, and give refuge. It’s the perfect location for Paul Winter Consort’s ongoing exploration of the turning of the seasons and the tuning of the soul.

The world’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine is also one of its most extraordinary performance venues. The length of two football fields and tall enough to fit the Statue of Liberty under its dome, it was designed with sacred geometry to be a transformative space.

Known since the ’80s as the “Green Cathedral” and as an incubator for art, St. John the Divine became the center of a vital community of thinkers and seekers working on issues of ecology, environment, and world peace. It represented a global forum, where you could listen to the Dalai Lama, Buckminster Fuller, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Gary Snyder, Thomas Berry, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Cesar Chavez, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Secretaries General of the United Nations.

The Cathedral’s vastness overwhelms differences and welcomes and affirms diversity. It has been the perfect venue for the Paul Winter Consort’s Earth-embracing events, within the genre of “Earth Music,” in their aspiration to celebrate the cultures and creatures of the whole Earth. Since they began, the Winter Solstice Celebrations have been a forum for world music performers from around the globe.

But the music is only one layer. Over the years the Winter Solstice Celebrations have evolved into a theatrical extravaganza that inhabits the entirety of the Cathedral’s cavernous space. A giant gong, the world’s largest, rises with its player to the 100-foot vault of the Cathedral at the symbolic point of the Sun’s return; a 28-foot spiral aluminum “Solstice Tree,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes, to symbolize the diversity of the species, becomes a part of the music; and a giant Earth-globe comes through the Nave and ascends over the center-stage.

“Of all the places I’ve played in the world,” Winter says, “ only two could host an event on this scale: the Cathedral and the Grand Canyon.”

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THE CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE

Manhattan’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine is more than a site of liturgy. It’s a home for the human spirit, meant to uplift, inspire awe, unite, and give refuge. It’s the perfect location for Paul Winter Consort’s ongoing exploration of the turning of the seasons and the tuning of the soul.

The world’s largest cathedral, St. John the Divine is also one of its most extraordinary performance venues. The length of two football fields and tall enough to fit the Statue of Liberty under its dome, it was designed with sacred geometry to be a transformative space.

Known since the ’80s as the “Green Cathedral” and as an incubator for art, St. John the Divine became the center of a vital community of thinkers and seekers working on issues of ecology, environment, and world peace. It represented a global forum, where you could listen to the Dalai Lama, Buckminster Fuller, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, Gary Snyder, Thomas Berry, the Mayor of Jerusalem, Cesar Chavez, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Secretaries General of the United Nations.

The Cathedral’s vastness overwhelms differences and welcomes and affirms diversity. It has been the perfect venue for the Paul Winter Consort’s Earth-embracing events, within the genre of “Earth Music,” in their aspiration to celebrate the cultures and creatures of the whole Earth. Since they began, the Winter Solstice Celebrations have been a forum for world music performers from around the globe.

But the music is only one layer. Over the years the Winter Solstice Celebrations have evolved into a theatrical extravaganza that inhabits the entirety of the Cathedral’s cavernous space. A giant gong, the world’s largest, rises with its player to the 100-foot vault of the Cathedral at the symbolic point of the Sun’s return; a 28-foot spiral aluminum “Solstice Tree,” adorned with a multitude of bells, gongs, and chimes, to symbolize the diversity of the species, becomes a part of the music; and a giant Earth-globe comes through the Nave and ascends over the center-stage.

“Of all the places I’ve played in the world,” Winter says, “ only two could host an event on this scale: the Cathedral and the Grand Canyon.”

SOLSTICE TRADITION

The two great celestial milestones of the year, the Summer and Winter Solstices, are perhaps humanity’s most ancient ritual observances. People paused at these times to reflect upon the journey of life, with its trials, blessings, hopes and promise.

The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin ‘sol’ (sun) and ‘stitium’ (to stand still). Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator and seems to pause before reversing its course; at the Winter Solstice the Sun attains its southernmost point and, once again, seems to stand still before turning back.

The Sun, our great golden star, is the source of our life, and each of our lives is a multi-faceted journey with the Sun. On one level, we are cycling through each day and night, as the Earth rotates from dawn to dawn in the light of the Sun. On another, we are traveling through each year, being carried 584 million miles by the Earth as it swings around the Sun from one Summer Solstice to the next. Simultaneously, we are riding with the Sun as our entire Solar System travels within the Milky Way galaxy, which itself is one of the dozen galaxies in what astronomers call our Local Group. And this whole Local Group of galaxies, in turn, is revolving around the Virgo Cluster of 2000 galaxies, 53 million light-years distant from us.

Making music at Solstice is one way to celebrate our amazing journey. If, in our listening, we are carried by the music, then perhaps the experience of that moment can be a hologram of the entire journey. In reality, the journey is right now, wherever we are. And when we are listening, each moment is the beginning.

Thank you for being part of our ongoing Solstice journey.

WINTER SOLSTICE TICKETS

To purchase tickets over the phone, or for purchasing assistance,
call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111.

WINTER SOLSTICE PRESS

For Winter Solstice Press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at elizabeth@waldmaniapr.com.

CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL

Accessibility Questions
(212) 316-7540 (Visitor Center)

Lost and Found
(212) 316-7556 (Security)

STAY UP TO DATE
WITH THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.


STAY UP TO DATE
WITH THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.


CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL

Accessibility Questions
(212) 316-7540 (Visitor Center)

Lost and Found
(212) 316-7556 (Security)

WINTER SOLSTICE TICKETS

To purchase tickets over the phone,
or for purchasing assistance,
call Ovationtix at 866-811-4111.

WINTER SOLSTICE PRESS

For Winter Solstice Press inquiries, please contact Elizabeth Waldman Frazier at elizabeth@waldmaniapr.com.

CONTACT THE CATHEDRAL

Accessibility Questions
(212) 316-7540 (Visitor Center)

Lost and Found
(212) 316-7556 (Security)

STAY UP TO DATE
WITH THE PAUL WINTER CONSORT

Subscribe to our newsletter for updates.