New York City’s Trinity Church and Handel’s Messiah have a long, long relationship dating back to 1770 when the historic church presented one of the first North American performances of the Oratorio. Some of the earliest performances came with colorful stories of people from the days when the city was just a small village.

Conductor Andrew Megill will lead The Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Trinity Baroque Orchestra in what The New York Times calls “the best Messiah in New York.” WQXR’s Jeff Spurgeon hosts this live broadcast on Friday, December 9th at 7 p.m. 

Elliott Forrest, WQXR

I was alerted to this year’s performance through an email I received from Elliott Forrest, an afternoon host at WQXR. He wrote:

“I have a special fondness for The Choir of Trinity Wall Street. This August and September, the singers and I spent four intensive weeks together building the world of Craig Hella Johnson’s oratorio, Considering Matthew Shepard for performance at St. Paul’s Chapel. Oh, these marvelous musicians – what can I say about these folks except that they are truly some of the most amazing choral singers in the world!

“They perform tomorrow at 7 p.m. alongside the equally tremendous Trinity Baroque Orchestra for the presentation of another oratorio: Handel’s Messiah. I was supposed to join them, but alas, it’s the most wonderful time of the year: I’ve been summoned to jury duty. My friend and colleague Jeff Spurgeon has kindly offered to host the broadcast in my place.

“Tune in as Andrew Megill leads the superb musical forces in what’s certain to be a tour-de-force rendition of Handel’s holiday favorite. Jeff will bring you the music, the drama, the history, and more live on WQXR. Please sing along to the Hallelujah chorus a little extra loud for me. Happy holidays! Cheers,”

Listen to a replay of the presentation from Trinity Church Wall Street. Here’s a pdf of the program.

Here’s some additional background from Trinity Church archivists on the history of Messiah at the church.