Volume 16, Number 29 | December 16-22, 2003


Ringing in the holidays all around Downtown

By Erin Bruehl

Downtowners will be kept very busy this holiday season with events ranging from listening to holiday caroling and visiting Santa at the Winter Garden, to Big Apple Chorus performances at South Street Seaport to the annual lighting of the Christmas tree in City Hall Park.

On Tues., Dec. 2, the annual City Hall Tree Lighting will take place at 5 p.m. at the City Hall Park fountain. Mayor Bloomberg will light the tree that is decorated with ornaments made by children from local schools and recreation center after-school programs. The city’s Housing Authority chorus will perform and hot chocolate and refreshments will be provided. It is free and open to the public but R.S.V.P.s are preferred (212-788-2569).

Winter Garden

The World Financial Center’s Winter Garden kicks off its 2003 Festival of Light and Sound for the holiday season with Jim Dale, star of “A Christmas Carol: The Musical,” and the Metro Mass Choir lighting 100,000 lights at the Winter Garden, 220 Vesey St. on Tues., Dec. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in Battery Park City.

Dale will then read a short selection from Charles Dickens’ holiday classic, “A Christmas Carol.” The Metro Mass Choir will perform high-energy contemporary gospel music and holiday classics in R&B style to spread peace and hope for the holiday season.

The World Financial Center Arts and Events Program runs the Festival through Jan. 4, 2004 and features a packed schedule of performing arts. Admission is free to all events.

The world premiere performance of Aaron Jay Kernis’ Concerto for Toy Piano and Chamber Orchestra by Alarm Will Sound, comes to the Winter Garden on Tues., Dec. 9 at 7:30 p.m. The performance puts the clangorous and percussive sounds of this instrument into musical worlds ranging from Balinese gamelan to wild jazz-like flourishes. Written especially for toy piano diva Margaret Leng Tan, the 20-member Alarm Will Sound performs this new version commissioned by WNYC radio.

Tapestry will sing traditional carols at the Winter Garden Dec. 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 15, and 16 at 12:30 p.m. The Accidentals will perform “funky” carols at noon on weekdays and 1 p.m. weekends on Dec. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 21, 24. The Bottom Line’s Downtown Messiah will perform Dec. 18, 7 p.m. Metropolitan Klezmer will play Hanukah songs in folk, swing and tango styles Dec. 19, 20, 22, at noon. Santa Claus will be available for pictures on weekdays, 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. and on weekends from 10 a.m. –1 p.m. and 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. Proceeds will go to NYU Downtown Hospital.
For more information about Winter Garden events, visit the World Financial Center Web site at www.worldfinancialcenter.com or call (212) 945-0505.


South Street Seaport is once again featuring The Chorus Tree. The Tree was unveiled on Nov. 28 and will be at the Seaport through Dec. 28. It stands 50 feet tall with thousands of twinkling, white lights and will feature the Big Apple Chorus performing holiday tunes.

The Big Apple Chorus will give six performances a weekend each lasting around 45 minutes. On Fridays, performances are at 6 p.m. and 7 p.m and at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. There will also be a special performance on Christmas Eve at 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Joan Cooney, executive marketing assistant, says the Seaport is delighted to have the Chorus performing again this year.

“They’re a very good, entertaining, lively chorus. We’re very excited to have them back,” she said.
Santa Claus will also be strolling the Seaport from Nov. 28 – Dec. 28. He will be around from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays and from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.
On Sun., Dec. 14 and Sat., Dec. 20 at 1 p.m., the Seaport has a workshop in “Light Around the World.” It is a family workshop to make candles to take home as well as learn about Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and other holiday festivities. It is at the Melville Gallery at 213 Water St. Admission is $5.

The Gospel Soul Children of New York are performing gospel tunes at Schermerhorn Row Galleries at 12 Fulton St. at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16, with a three dollar suggested donation. In addition, the African Folk Heritage Circle is performing at the same location at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17 as it joins with the New York Story Exchange to share tales of holiday memories and explore holiday traditions from various cultures. A $3 contribution is suggested.

For more information about holiday events at the Seaport, visit www.southstseaport.org or call (212) 732-7678.

B.P.C. and Fraunces

The Battery Park City Neighbors and Parents Association, in conjunction with the Church Street School for Music and Art is having its annual holiday party on Sat., Dec. 6 from 1 p.m. -3 p.m. at the Embassy Suites Hotel, second floor, on North End Ave. It will be a two-hour holiday party filled with music, songs, and a craft area for neighbors and friends to celebrate the holiday season.
Last but not least, Fraunces Tavern Museum, at 54 Pearl St., is featuring a Colonial Christmas Concert on Tues., Dec. 16 at 6:30 p.m. featuring Linda Russell and Companie performing songs from the 18th century including “I Saw Three Ships.” Admission is $8 for members and $10 for non-members.


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