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Oh What Fun! Program

December 2, 2022 •  Cynthia Powell, Artistic Director  (celebrating 20 years!) • Eric Sedgwick, Pianist


Welcome to Oh What Fun!


Welcome to the Stonewall Chorale's 2022-2023 concert season!


As we embark on a fresh concert year of sharing wonderful choral works with all of you, we do so in ways that are both reminiscent of the past and hopeful toward the future. Particularly during the month of December, many of us find ourselves musing on our own traditions and memories, so often tied to favorite musical pieces and the experience of live performances. The winter season in New York City is often awash with music, creating opportunities for all of us to form new memories and traditions. We at the Stonewall Chorale treasure being part of that memory-making for our audiences each holiday season, and come to you this year with a collection of beautiful melodic offerings, some quite familiar, and others creating new joyful wishes for a bright and promising new year.  


In the spirit of the holidays being both about the familiar and the new, this concert marks the first in a season that celebrates the incredible legacy of our own beloved Cynthia Powell, who this year marks her 20th anniversary as our Artistic Director. We look forward to celebrating this landmark achievement throughout the concert season, and hope you will all join us in applauding her dedication and talents at our future performances in the coming months. Likewise, I am personally honored to begin this season as the Stonewall Chorale's new President; I look forward to serving along with our talented and dedicated Board of Directors as we continue our mission of excellence in choral music performance while promoting LGBTQI+ visibility and advancement through our artistry. 


This 2022-2023 concert season promises to be one of promoting hope and light through our music, inspired by both lessons of the past and promises of what we know can be a bright new tomorrow. Thank you so much for joining us!


In Solidarity and Song,
Emily McSpadden, President

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Texts & Translations

Hymne au Soleil

Du soleil qui renaît bénissons la puissance.

Avec tout l'univers célébrons son retour.

Couronné de splendeur, il se lève, il s'élance.

Le réveil de la terre est un hymne d'amour.

Sept coursiers qu'en partant le Dieu contient à peine, Enflamment l'horizon de leur brûlante haleine.

O soleil fécond, tu parais!

Avec ses champs en fleurs, ses monts, ses bois épais,

[La]2 vaste mer de tes feux embrasée,

L'univers plus jeune et plus frais,

Des vapeurs [de]3 matin sont brillants de rosée.


Let us bless the power of the reborn sun.

With all the universe let us celebrate its return.

Crowned with splendor, it rises, it soars.

The waking of the earth is a hymn of love.

Seven rushing steeds that the God scarcely holds back

Ignite the horizon with their scorching breath.

Oh, vivid sun, you appear!

With its fields in bloom, its mountains, its thick forests,

The vast sea set ablaze by your fires,

The universe, younger and fresher,

With morning vapors are glistening with dew.

Lo How a Rose/The Rose

Lo, how a Rose e'er blooming
From tender stem hath sprung!
Of Jesse's lineage coming
As men of old have sung.
It came, a flower bright,
Amid the cold of winter
When half-gone was the night.


This Flower, whose fragrance tender
With sweetness fills the air,
Dispels with glorious splendor
The darkness everywhere.
True man, yet very God,
From sin and death He saves us
And lightens every load


Soloist: Some say love, it is a river,
That drowns, the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor,
that leaves, your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you it's only seed.

It's the heart, afraid of breaking,
That never, learns to dance.
It's the dream, afraid of waking,
That never, takes the chance.
It's the one, who won't be taken,
Who cannot, seem to give.
And the soul, afraid of dying,
That never, learns to live.

When the night, has been too lonely,
And the road, has been too long.
And you think, that love is only,
for the lucky, and the strong.
Just remember, in the winter,
Far beneath, the bitter snow,
Lies a seed, that with the sun's love,
In the spring, becomes a rose.

Duerme Negrito

Duerme, duerme, negrito

Que tu mama está en el campo negrito


Te va a tra’é’ codonise para ti

Te va a tra’é’ fruta fre’ca para ti

Te va a tra’é’ cane de cedo para ti

Te va a tra’é’ mucha cosa para ti

Y so negro no se duerme, viene e’ diablo blanco y zas

Le come la patica, chica bú,

Apura, chica bú.


Trabajando, trabajando duramente, trabajando sí

Trabajando y no le pagan, Trabajando y va tosiendo, p’al negrito chiquitito.

Sleep, sleep, little black one,

Your mama’s in the fields, little one

Sleep, sleep, little black one.


She’s going to bring quail for you,

She’s going to bring fresh fruit for you,

She’s going to bring pork for you,

She’s going to bring many things for you


And if the little black one doesn’t go to sleep,

The white devil will come and zap!

He’ll eat your little foot, chica bú;

Hurry, chica bú!


Duerme, duerme, negrito

Que tu mama está en el campo negrito


She’s working hard, working, yes,

Working and they don’t pay her, working, yes,

Working and she’s coughing, working, yes,

For her sweet little black one,

For her little one, yes!

Cradle Song 

Sweet dreams, form a shade

O'er my lovely infant's head!

Sweet dreams of pleasant streams

By happy, silent, moony beams!


Sleep, sleep, happy child!

All creation slept and smiled.

Sleep, sleep, happy sleep,

While o'er thee thy mother weep.


Sweet babe, in thy face

Holy image I can trace;

Sweet babe, once like thee

Thy Maker lay, and wept for me:


Wept for me, for thee, for all,

When He was an infant small.

Thou His image ever see,

Heavenly face that smiles on thee!


Smiles on thee, on me, on all,

Who became an infant small;

Infant smiles are His own smiles;

Heaven and earth to peace beguiles.



Sweet and low, sweet and low,
Wind of the western sea,
Low, low, breathe and blow,
Wind of the western sea!
Over the rolling waters go,
Come from the dying moon, and blow,
Blow him again to me;
While my little one, while my pretty one, sleeps.


Sleep and rest, sleep and rest,
Father will come to thee soon;
Rest, rest, on mother's breast,
Father will come to thee soon;
Father will come to his babe in the nest,
Silver sails all out of the west
Under the silver moon:
Sleep, my little one, sleep, my pretty one, sleep.

Quem pastores laudavere

Quem pastores laudavere

Quibus angeli dixere

Absit vobis jam timere

Natus est rex gloriae


Ad quem magi ambulabant

Aurum, thus, myrrham portabant

Immolabant haec sincere

Nato regi gloriae.


Christo regi, Deo nato

Per Mariam nobis dato

Merito resonet vere

Laus, honor et gloria.

Shepherds sang their praises o’er him, 

Called by angels to adore him,

“Have no fear but come before him:

Born is now your glorious King.”


Eastern sages came to view him, 

Judah’s conquering lion knew him 

gold and myrrh and incense to him.

As their tribute offering.


Christ our King, from Mary springing,

God made man, salvation bringing, 

Thee we worship ever singing:

“honor praise and glory be.”

Seven Principles

Umoja (unity):  unity that brings us together

Kujichagulia (self-determination):  we will determine who we are

Ujima (collective work and responsibility):  working and building our union

Ujamaa (cooperative economics):  we'll spend our money wisely

Nia (purpose):  we know the purpose of our lives

Kuumba (creativity):  all that we touch is more beautiful

Imani (faith):  we believe that we can; we know that we can; we will anyway that we can.

Mi Y’maleil

My y'maleil g'vurot Yisrael? Otan mi yimneh?

Hein b'chol dor yakum hagibor goeil ha'am.


Shema! Bayamim haheim bazman hazeh,

Makabi moshia ufodeh.

Uvyameinu kol am Yisrael

Yitacheid yakum v'higael.

Who Can Retell?

Who can retell the things that befell us? Who can count them?

In every age, a hero or sage came to our aid!


Hark! In days of yore, in Israel's ancient land,

Brave Maccabeus led the faithful band.

But now all Israel must as one arise,

Redeem itself through deed and sacrifice.

Mi Zeh Hidlik

Mi zeh hidlik neirot dakim kakochavim barom?

Yod'im gam tinokot rakim ki chanukah hayom

Kol ner aliz, kol ner chaviv, dolek, romez, notzeitz;

Hatinokot omdim saviv v'la simcha ein keitz.

Who Lit the Tiny Candles?
Who lit these thing candles that are shining like stars?

Even little children know that today is Chanuka.

All the little joyful candles, all the lovable candles, burn, move, twinkle;

The children stand around them, and there is no end of joy.


S’vivon sov chanukka hu chag tov,

Chanuukka hu chag tov, s’vivon sov,

Sov na sov ko va cho, nes gadol haya po.

Spin, little dreydl!

Dreydl spin, spin, spin, Chanuka is a lovely holiday,

Chanuka is a lovely holiday, Dreydl spin, spin, spin.

Spin and spin, here and there, a great miracle happened here.

Ukrainian Bell Carol 

Hark! how the bells

Sweet silver bells

All seem to say

"Throw cares away."

Christmas is here

Bringing good cheer

To young and old

Meek and the bold


Ding, dong, ding, dong

That is their song

With joyful ring

All caroling


One seems to hear

Words of good cheer

From ev'rywhere

Filling the air


Oh how they pound

Raising the sound

O'er hill and dale

Telling their tale


Gaily they ring

While people sing

Songs of good cheer

Christmas is here


Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas

Merry, merry, merry, merry Christmas


On, on they send

On without end

Their joyful tone

To ev'ry home

Let it Snow

Oh, the weather outside is frightful,

But the fire is so delightful,

And since we've no place to go,

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.


It doesn't show signs of stopping,

And I brought some corn for popping;

The lights are turned way down low,

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.


When we finally kiss good night,

How I'll hate going out in the storm;

But if you really hold me tight,

All the way home I'll be warm.


The fire is slowly dying,

And, my dear, we're still good-bye-ing,

But as long as you love me so.

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.

Winter Wonderland

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening

In the lane snow is glistening

A beautiful sight, we're happy tonight

Walking in a winter wonderland


Gone away is the bluebird

Here to stay is a new bird

He sings a love song as we go along

Walking in a winter wonderland


In the meadow we can build a snowman

Then pretend that he is Parson Brown

He'll say, "Are you married?" We'll say, "No man"

But you can do the job when you're in town


Later on we'll conspire

As we dream by the fire

To face unafraid, the plans that we've made

Walking in a winter wonderland


In the meadow we can build a snowman

And pretend that he's a circus clown

We'll have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman

Until the other kiddies knock him down.


When it snows ain’t it thrillin’

Though your nose gets a-chillin’

A beautiful sight, we’re happy tonight

Walking in a winter wonderland.

Hanukkah in Santa Monica

I'm spending Hanukkah, in Santa Monica,

Wearing sandals lighting candles by the sea.

I spent Shavuos in East St. Louis,

A charming spot but clearly not the spot for me.


Those eastern winters, I can't endure 'em,

So every year I pack my gear

And come out here til Purim.


Rosh Hashana, I spend in Arizona,

And Yom Kippa, way down in Mississippa.

But in December, there's just one place for me.

Amid the California flora,

I'll be lighting my menorah.

Like a baby in its cradle,

I'll be playing with my dreidl.

Spending Hanukkah, in Santa Monica by the sea

I'm spending Hanukkah, in Santa Monica….


Here's to Judas Maccabeus, boy if he could only see us,

Spending Hanukkah, in Santa Monica by the sea! 

Seasonal Sounds 

Santa Claus is Coming to Town 

I just came back from a lovely trip along the Milky Way;

I stopped off at the North Pole, to spend a holiday.

I called on dear old Santa Claus to see what I could see;

He took me to his workshop, and told his plans to me:


Oh, you better watch out

You better not cry

Better not pout

I'm telling you why

Santa Claus is comin' to town.


He's making a list

And checking it twice;

Gonna find out who's naughty and nice

Santa Claus is comin' to town


(He sees you when you're sleeping)

(He knows when you're awake)

He knows if you've been bad or good

{So be good for goodness sake}!


Oh, you better watch out….


Now Santa is a busy man, he has no time to play

He’s got millions of stockings to fill on Christmas Day.

You’d better write your letter now and mail it right away,

Because he’s getting ready his reindeer and his sleigh.


With little tin horns, and little tin drums,

Rooty-toot-toots and rummy tum tums,

Santa Claus is comin' to town


And curly head dolls that cuddle and coo,

Elephants, boats and kiddie cars too.

Santa Claus is comin' to town.


The kids in Fun and Joyland

Will have a jubilee.

They're gonna build a toy land town

All around the Christmas tree.


So, you better watch out….

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen

Comet and Cupid and Donner and Blitzen

But do you recall...

The most famous reindeer of all?


Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer

Had a very shiny nose

And if you ever saw it

You would even say it glows


All of the other reindeer

Used to laugh and call him names

They never let poor Rudolph

Join in any reindeer games


Then one foggy Christmas eve

Santa came to say...

“Rudolph, with your nose so bright

Won't you guide my sleigh tonight?"


Then how the reindeer loved him

As they shouted out with glee:

“Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer

You'll go down in history!”

Frosty the Snowman

Frosty the snowman was a jolly happy soul

With a corncob pipe and a button nose

and two eyes made out of coal

Frosty the snowman is a fairy tale they say

He was made of snow but the children

know how he came to life one day


There must have been some magic in that

old silk hat they found

For when they placed it on his head

he began to dance around


Oh, Frosty the snowman

was alive as he could be

And the children say he could laugh

and play just the same as you and me


Frosty the snowman knew

the sun was hot that day

So he said

"Let's run and

we'll have some fun

now before I melt away”


Down to the village

with a broomstick in his hand

Running here and there all

around the square saying

“Catch me if you can!”


He led them down the streets of town

right to the traffic cop

And he only paused a moment when

he heard him holler “Stop!"


For Frosty the snow man

had to hurry on his way

But he waved goodbye saying

"Don't you cry

I'll be back again some day!”

Jingle Bells

Dashing through the snow, in a one-horse open sleigh

Over the fields we go, laughing all the way

The bells on bob-tail ring, making spirits bright

What fun it is to ride and sing a sleighing song tonight. 


Oh, Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way

O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh, Hey!

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way

O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh


A day or two ago, we thought we’d take a ride

Both so gay and bright, and seated side by side

The horse was lean and lank, misfortune seemed his lot

He got into a drifted bank and we, we got upsot!


Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way

O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh

Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way

O what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh!


Program Notes


It’s such an honor to present great classics of choral music as we approach the season of Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. While stores are stimulating sales by blaring holiday golden oldies, one can thankfully hear music tonight that celebrates the essence of the season: light, hope, joy and the hope for peace on earth.


We open with a paean to the sun, source of all life. Lili Boulanger was the younger sister of Nadia Boulanger, perhaps the greatest pedagogue of the 20th century. Nadia, who taught just about every composer of note (Copland, Rorem, Bernstein, Glass….) considered her sister Lili the more gifted musician of the two. Lili’s tragically short life (she died at the age of 24 of chronic illness) was the first woman to win the Prix de Rome. Her Hymne au soleil is a bold thanks to the sun for all its life-giving properties.  


Several hymns follow, the first to Mary, which we devote to the memory of people in Colorado Springs who were killed in the gay nightclub “Q” just two weeks ago. Described as “a home, a sanctuary, a haven for countless people….it was more than a night out. It was a safe space for the LGBTQ community…” R. Nathaniel Dett’s (an African-Canadian composer) setting is a fitting dedication to the victims of this senseless tragedy. 


Lo, How a Rose/The Rose is the creative pairing of “The Rose,” made famous by Bette Midler, with 17th century composer Michael Praetorius' “Lo, How a Rose e'er Blooming,” by Craig Hella Johnson, the music director of Conspirare, a Grammy award-winning choral ensemble from Austin, Texas. 


Duerme Negrito is a popular Latin American folkloric lullaby, originally from an area near the Colombian/Venzuelan border. The song tells the story of a mother who leaves her child in the care of a friend while she goes out to work in the fields. It is sung to the little black child who has been left in their care. The baby is promised treats, such as quails and pork, if he falls asleep. The caregiver tells the boy if he doesn't fall asleep, the white devil, meaning the slave driver, will come to cut his little feet off, an actual practice to prevent slaves from escaping. 


David Hurd, who for many years served as organist-choirmaster of this very church, is now at St. Mary the Virgin in Times Square. He is a prolific composer, organist and improviser, and he calls his Cradle Song his “lounge carol.” 


Inna Onofrei is an emerging Armenian composer based in Cleveland, whose gentle Lullaby came to my attention when she applied to the composer’s competition for Melodia Women’s Choir. I love her sensitive setting of Tennyson’s famous poem and am impressed by her personal motto: “my hands are my brushes, sound is my paint and air is my canvas.”


NYC’s James Bassi has written a gorgeous anthem on the poem Quem pastores laudavere,  which invokes the onlookers of the manger scene: shepherds and three wise kings from the East. 


Hanukkah celebrates both hope and light, and the resolve to persevere in the face of  insurmountable destructive forces. Bob Chilcott’s Three Israeli Folksongs are rhythmic and spirited arrangements of traditional Jewish songs. 


The Ukrainian Bell Carol is among the best-known Christmas tunes. The will and amazing courage of the Ukrainian people in this current horror is an inspiration to all of us.                                        


A well-written medley of Christmas pops is hard to find. How lucky we are to have Randol Bass’ cheery setting. Enjoy!

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Artist Bios

CYNTHIA POWELLConductor and Artistic Director, celebrates her 20th season with the Stonewall Chorale.  A graduate of Westminster Choir College, she has worked with many musical groups in the NY metropolitan area and has conducted major works for chorus and orchestra. She has served on the guest faculty at Sarah Lawrence College, led the St. George's Choral Society in NYC, and was a guest conductor at the International Choral Festival in Havana, Cuba. She is also the Artistic Director of Melodia Women’s Choir, and currently serves as Organist/Choirmaster of Temple Sinai in Tenafly, NJ. Her passion for music and commitment to the choral art is coupled with a desire to generate awareness and funds for timely causes, and she has produced recitals, oratorios and concerts to benefit Bailey House, a homeless residence for people with AIDS, for Doctors Without Borders, the Pastors for Peace Cuba Caravan, and Water is Life, Kenya. 

ERIC SEDGWICK, Pianist, has performed with many of music’s top talents including Leona Mitchell, Sanford Sylvan and Marni Nixon, Broadway leading ladies Sarah Rice, Carole Demas and Debra Monk, and English hornist Thomas Stacy of the New York Philharmonic. A frequent performer and collaborator in the NYC area, he is also a vocal coach at the Manhattan School of Music and the faculty collaborative pianist for the Tanglewood Music Center. He has served as rehearsal pianist for the Boston Symphony Orchestra, under the batons of Michael Tilson Thomas, Bramwell Tovey, John Williams and Andris Nelsons. He is a regular pianist for events with the Metropolitan Opera Guild, and has worked for Carnegie Hall’s Music Education Workshops with Joyce DiDonato, as well as for the International Vocal Arts Institutes in New York and Montreal, and for Beth Morrison Projects. For ten years he was the music director for the Junior Opera Theater scenes program at Manhattan School of Music, directed by Catherine Malfitano. On the west coast, he has been a longtime coach and music director for the OperaWorks training program in Los Angeles.

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The Stonewall Chorale

Soprano: Michelle Ammirati, Beth Bertekap, Suzanne Cohen*, Jeanne Fahrenbach, Julia Feikens*, Scarlett Ferman, Larissa Flint McDowell**+, Kaila Galinat*, Joan Gardner, Beth Kelly, Rachel Oladimeji, Deb Reiner, Sarah Rhoads, Lyndsey Richardson, Emma Shilliday, Ann Sweeney, Joyce Weinstein

Alto: Kirsten Abrams, Olivia Beeman, Jane Bishop, Alva Bostick, Sarah Chapman, Erin Clancy, Nicole d’Alessandro*, Lidia Gallardo*, Stephanie Heintzeler, Siobhan Hotaling, Nora Isacoff, Grace Lazos*+, Elana Leifer, Cecelia Martin*, Leilani Massey, Emily McSpadden+, Nicole Mion, Marina Mulé, Lisa Reeves, Maya Sariahmed, Katherine Silva, Rebecca Smith*, Gwendolyn Stegall+, Kira Stockdale, Susan Strickler*, Jan Thompson, Janet Zaleon**, Ellen Zimmerli*

Tenor: Jose Cuevas, David Fanger**, Andrew Grant, Donald Johnston, John Kennedy, Bernie Mulvaney*, Debbie Mincer, Christina Richards*, Gilbert Robinson, Aaron Sanko, Scott Smith, Taronté Venable+, Mike Waldman

Bass: Alexsander Akers*, John Barrow, Michael Conwill**, Marsh Drege, Melissa Hsu, John-Charles Kelly, Eric Manlapig, Jason McDowell, Scott Munson, Craig Sabbatino, Steve Vasta

* 22-23 season member is on leave for this concert

** Section Leader

+ Board Member

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Sponsorships & Dedications


Debbie Mincer sponsors Mi Zeh Hidlik: Chag Sameach!

Deb Reiner sponsors Mi Y'maleil: to former Stonewall Chorale president Lou Fifer & the Y2K OUP Choir

The Altos sponsor Quem Pastores Laudavere

The Basses (who make a variety of seasonal sounds) sponsor Seasonal Sounds

The Sopranos sponsor Carol of the Bells: Slava Ukraini!

The Tenors sponsor Hymne a Soleil: Dedicated to Cynthia Powell, our fearless leader for 20 years!

Alan Cohn sponsors The Stonewall Chorale

In memory of my little brother, Richard Froehlich, who I miss every day!

Alan Cohn sponsors The Stonewall Chorale  In memory of my little brother, Richard Froehlich, who I miss every day!

Charles Abbott & John-Charles Kelly, Marianne Ardito, Susan Bargman, John Barrow, Alyson Ben-David, Jeanne Betancourt, Donald Bickford, Tom Bogdan, Alva Bostick, the Brode family, Angela Bucknell, Samphas Chhea, Alan Cohn, Aaron Comins, Michael Conwill, John Cunningham, Stephen and Nola Deutsch, Marsh Drege, Diane Duckler, William Erlbaum, Fidelity Charitable, Louis Fifer, MacKenzie Fillow, John Fischer, Marshall Foster, Verene Grigoletto, Louis Harrison, Hawkins Delafield & Wood LLP, Stephanie Heintzeler, Roger Hirsch, Ann Kaplan, John Kennedy, Pamela Knight, Beth Knobel, Aaron Koffman, Robin Krause, Becky Kurtz, Jennie LaCovey, Robert Lewis, Virginia Lowery, Tondra and Jeff Lynford, Cecelia Martin, Pamela McAllister, Marjorie McCoy, Larissa McDowell, Arthur McLean, Barbara Merjan, Deborah Mincer, Carolyn Mincer, Debra Monk, Elizabeth Neill, Andrea Newman, William Nye, Manuel Ovando, Theresa Pascoe, Alan Pasternack, Cynthia Powell, Geoffrey Proulx, Joyce Pyle, RBC Capital Markets, Lisa Reeves, Deb Reiner, Ellen Reiner, Michael Richardson & Ruthann Richardson, Scott Robertson, Verdery Roosevelt, Bruce Sandys, Serra Schlanger, Sara Sloan, Marjorie Sussman, Ann Sweeney, Twitter, Susan Ullman, Valerie Wald, Lee Warshavsky, Joyce Weinstein, Eric Weis, Jeffrey Whiting, Brooke Wiese, Janet Zaleon, Marilyn Zaleon, Ruthie Zaleon

Special Thanks

Michael Conwill, Lighting

Cecelia Martin, Logistical support

Michael Ottley, Holy Apostles

Deb Reiner, Inclusive language texts

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