Press Room

George Steel leads “Music from the Sarum Rite” at Trinity Wall Street

On February 3, Trinity Wall Street’s Director of Music and the Arts, Julian Wachner, welcomes guest conductor George Steel for an a cappella concert of English sacred music.  Steel – New York City Opera’s General Manager/Artistic Director and a respected interpreter of early music – leads the acclaimed Trinity Choir in “Music from the Sarum Rite: Sacred Music of the Pre-Reformation English Church.”  Steel has chosen a program that explores repertoire from the 13th to 16th centuries, including compositions from the bloody reign of Mary Tudor and pieces by such celebrated composers of the period as Thomas Tallis, John Sheppard, and Robert Parsons.
The pre-Reformation liturgy in England was the most elaborate, ornate, and theatrical of Western Christendom.  The polyphonic choral embellishments to this gorgeous music – too seldom performed because they are so carefully woven into the tapestry of the liturgy – are some of the most exquisite beauties of any age, with their soaring soprano lines and rich choral textures.  Steel and the Trinity Choir of Trinity Wall Street will bring to light these rarely heard treasures, including Robert Wylkinson’s monumental Salve Regina.
“Music from the Sarum Rite” will be performed at 7:30pm (special preview concert at 1pm) on Thursday, February 3, at Trinity Church, Broadway at Wall Street, New York City.  Tickets are $20 (general admission) and $10 (student/senior, available at door); they can be purchased at Trinity Church or online at the Gotham Early Music Scene Web  All concerts at Trinity Wall Street are professionally filmed and broadcast live at

Full program: “Music of the Sarum Rite”
Part I: A Brief History of Sarum Music from the 13th Century to the Eton Choirbook:
Anonymous: Perspice Christicola (c.1260)
Anonymous: O sponsa dei electa (Worcester Fragment, c. 1300)
Anonymous: Gaude virgo immaculate (Chapel Royal of Edward III, c.1350-60)
John Forrest (c.1365/70-1446): Quam est dilectus (Old Hall MS, c.1420)
Robert Wylkinson (c.1450-c.1515): Salve Regina (Eton Choirbook, c.1500)
Part II: The Last Flowering: Sarum Music in Context during the Reign of Mary Tudor:
Thomas Tallis (c.1505-85): Loquebantur (Vespers respond)
Robert Parsons (c.1535-1571/2): “Magnificat” (from Magnificat)
John Sheppard (c.1515-58): In manus tuas III (Respond for Compline)
John Sheppard (c.1515-58): Libera nos, salve nos (Votive antiphon)
Trinity Wall Street
One of the oldest, largest and most vibrant of all Episcopal parishes, Trinity Wall Street is located in the heart of New York’s financial district, where it has created a dynamic home for great music.  Trinity Wall Street opened its 2010-11 season with an exciting new appointment, as noted conductor, composer, and keyboardist Julian Wachner took over as director of Trinity’s Music and the Arts program.  Serving as principal conductor of the Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra, he also oversees all liturgical, professional, and community Music and Arts programming at Trinity Church and St. Paul’s Chapel.  For Wachner’s season-opening debut, he led an account of Handel’s oratorio Israel in Egypt that the New York Times praised as “superbly performed.”  In December, Wachner continued Trinity Wall Street’s 240-year-old tradition of presenting Handel’s Messiah.
The Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra offer a full season of concerts ranging from large-scale oratorios to intimate evenings of a cappella singing and chamber music.  Further concerts this season include the Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion (April 14) and the Trinity Choir in works by contemporary American composer Elena Ruehr (May 19).  Trinity Wall Street, located at Broadway and Wall Street, also presents the popular “Concerts at One” recital series; held on Thursdays at 1pm, this features an array of soloists and ensembles, and is free and open to the public.
All concerts at Trinity Wall Street are professionally filmed and broadcast live at
Trinity Choir and Trinity Baroque Orchestra: 2011 concerts
February 3
Trinity Choir / George Steel
Music from the Sarum Rite (incl. works by Thomas Tallis, John Sheppard, and Robert Parsons)
April 14
Trinity Choir & Trinity Baroque Orchestra / Julian Wachner
J. S. Bach: St. Matthew Passion
May 19
Trinity Choir / Julian Wachner
Music of Elena Ruehr
Concerts begin at 7:30pm, with previews at 1pm on concert days.  Tickets may be purchased at or at the Trinity Church gift shop, located on Broadway at Wall Street.

Return to Press Room