42nd Candlelight Carol Service, Sunday Dec. 18th, 6 p.m.

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BROADWAY ACTOR ARBENDER ROBINSON 
TO READ “A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS” AT CCC’s 42nd ANNUAL CANDLELIGHT CAROL SERVICE 

The nondenominational Chelsea Community Church’s 42nd Annual Candlelight Carol Service, comprising Scripture lessons, a choir and congregational singing, will take place on Sunday, December 18, at 6 p.m. at its host church, the historic St. Peter’s Chelsea (346 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).  The event is free; an offering will be accepted.

The choir, under the direction of Larry J. Long (see below), will present choral music from the ancient plainsong chant “Hodie Christus natus est” (Today, Christ is born) to John Rutter’s contemporary “Shepherd’s Pipe Carol” (UK). Other music includes Stephen Paulus’ “Halelu” (US), the early 17th century British composer Thomas Weelkes’ “Magnificat,” “Lo, how a rose e’er blooming” by Michael Praetorius (Germany), the opening movement of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria in excelsis” (Italy) plus Jacques Berthier’s Taizé chant “Gloria in excelsis” (France). The choir will be accompanied by internationally recognized organist Christopher Houlihan (see below), along with harp and flute/piccolo.

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Veteran Broadway singer/actor Arbender Robinson (right) will read Clement Clarke Moore’s famous poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”  St. Peter’s Church stands on land that was part of Moore’s estate. Mr. Robinson has appeared on Broadway in Hairspray, Disney’s The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, Hair, Ragtime, The Book of Mormon, Beautiful, and Shuffle Along. He is also a teaching artist working with many organizations across the country, and is a huge advocate for autism awareness and research.


CCC’s 41st Annual Candlelight Carol Service, December 6, 6 p.m.

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I.WhitlockJr.

ACTOR ISIAH WHITLOCK JR. TO READ A VISIT FROM ST. NICHOLAS AT
CHELSEA COMMUNITY CHURCH CANDLELIGHT CAROL SERVICE
featuring music from the 15th to the 21st centuries

Chelsea Community Church’s 41st Annual Candlelight Carol Service, comprising Scripture lessons, a choir and congregational singing, will take place on Sunday, December 13, at 6 p.m. at its host church, the historic St. Peter’s Chelsea (346 West 20th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues).  The event is free; an offering will be accepted.

The choir, under the direction of Larry J. Long, will present choral music ranging from the 15th century French carol “Saw you never, in the twilight” arranged by Robert J. Powell to Mr. Long’s own “Annunciation Carol,” premiered at the 2014 service. Other music includes J.S. Bach’s “Break forth, O beauteous, heavenly light”; Hans Leo Hassler’s “Dixit Maria”;  early American composer William Billings’ “Methinks I see an heavenly host”; Carl Schalk’s “Before the Marvel of This Night”, and a wonderfully fun arrangement of “Ding! Dong! Merrily on high” by Swedish composer Anders Öhrwall. The choir will be accompanied for the third year by internationally recognized organist Christopher Houlihan and a string quartet.

Film, stage and TV actor Isiah Whitlock Jr. will read Clement Clarke Moore’s “A Visit from St. Nicholas.”  St. Peter’s Church stands on land that was part of Moore’s estate. Mr. Whitlock has amassed a wide variety of powerful roles, from his portrayal of Senator Clay Davis on HBO’s popular series The Wire to playing a sympathetic doctor in Martin Scorsese’s Goodfellas and his captivating portrayal of Joe in Christopher Shinn’s renowned Off-Broadway play Four, for which he was nominated for a Lucille Lortelle Award as Outstanding Featured Actor.  He has had memorable guest appearances on Law and Order, along with noteworthy characters developed in Spike Lee’s 25th Hour and Peter Hedges’ film Pieces of April. (Mr. Whitlock’s photo by Leslie Hassler)