First posted on December 13, 2013. Updated with new details.

To continue on the Christmas tradition theme, I have to tell you about a concert that’s happening this Thursday, December 18. It’s the 35th annual A City Singing at Christmas concert at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, and this year it features the St Patrick’s Cathedral  Choir, the Young People’s Chorus of New York, and the choir I sing with, the New York City Master Chorale. This is the second year since I joined the choir that we’ve been invited to sing at this concert, and I am hugely excited.

If you’ve never been to St. Patrick’s—well, I’ll save talking about it for another post. But, you should go, and this concert is a perfect time. Three choirs perform beautiful Christmas-themed sets, with sing-a-long carols interspersed, and it’s free! The most magical part is at the end of the concert, when all three choirs sing “Silent Night” together. The lights are turned off in the cathedral, the audience and the singers are given candles, and then the singers process down and back up the aisles. According to a friend of mine, one year, when as the concert came to its end the back doors were opened, she looked out on the cinematic sight of snow falling gently on the Atlas statue on Fifth Ave.
If you want to attend on Thursday, December 18, make sure to get there early. The concert starts at 7 p.m., but the line will begin a while before that. Two years ago my mom went to 5:30 mass and that helped her to secure a seat. Seating is limited this year due to construction, so it’s especially important to beat the crowd.
Music is, for me, the most important part of the season—or at least right up there with Christmas tree and lights. I’m sure it’s different for anyone—what’s your favorite sign that the holidays have arrived?
Looking for more holiday inspiration? Check out the marathon reading of A Christmas Carol at Housing Works this Saturday, December 20 (and my post about it from last year), or visit Bryant Park and go shopping and ice skating (read about it from last year here!) Or check out the NYC Master Chorale’s other holiday concert this Friday at St. Mary the Virgin, where we’ll be performing Britten’s “A Ceremony of Carols”.