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Music at the Church of Saint Agnes

New York City

It's always enjoyable (and educational) to look at just what music is being used in neighboring churches... or churches across the country. We can learn a great deal by looking at various music programs, especially such fine examples that use the great music of our Catholic heritage. Here's a year of music at the Church of Saint Agnes in New York City, where James D. Wetzel is Organist & Choirmaster.

Saint Agnes Church

The Church of Saint Agnes on East 43rd Street in Manhattan offers one of the most active Catholic music programs in the country. The professional Schola Cantorum sings at nearly sixty Masses over the course of the season from October through Corpus Christi. Whether at the 11:00am Tridentine High Mass and the 12:30 English High Mass on Sundays, or the 5:15pm English High Mass on weekday Feasts and Solemnities, the Schola sings all of the Gregorian propers, a setting of the Mass Ordinary and motets.

Mass repertoire for the year includes the following, listed alphabetically by composer:

  • Missa della battaglia — Giovanni Francesco Anerio
  • Missa Il bianco e dolce cigno — Steffano Bernardi
  • Missa præparate corda vestra — Steffano Bernardi
  • Mass for Five Voices — William Byrd
  • Mass for Four Voices — William Byrd
  • Missa Phrygia — Pompeo Cannicciari
  • Missa I, in tempore paschali, Lux et origo — chant
  • Missa XVII, of Advent & Lent — chant
  • Missa XVIII, Deus Genitor alme — chant
  • Missa pro defunctis — chant
  • Missa prima sexti toni — Giovanni Croce
  • Missa Pange lingua — Josquin des Pres
  • Missa Ave Virgo sanctissima — Juan Esquivel
  • Missa Ich segge adieu — Johann de Fossa
  • Missa brevis — Andrea Gabrieli
  • Mass in C — Baldassare Galuppi
  • Messe Le bien que j"ay — Claude Goudimel
  • Mass No.1 in C — Charles Gounod
  • Missa Simile est regnum — Francisco Guerrero
  • Missa super Sancta Maria — Jacob Handl
  • Missa super Un gay berger — Jacob Handl
  • Missa Dixit Maria — Hans Leo Hassler
  • Missa secunda — Hans Leo Hassler
  • Kleine Orgelmesse — Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Missa Rorate coeli — Franz Joseph Haydn
  • Mass in the Dorian Mode — Herbert Howells
  • Missa brevis — Grayston Ives
  • Missa Il me suffit — Orlando di Lasso Saint Agnes
  • Missa O passi sparsio — Orlando di Lasso
  • Missa octavi toni — Orlando di Lasso
  • Missa quinti toni — Orlando di Lasso
  • Missa brevis in D minor — Antonio Lotti
  • Missa brevis in F Major — Antonio Lotti
  • Missa pro Defunctis á 4 — Cristóbal de Morales
  • Missa Quaeramus cum pastoribus — Cristóbal de Morales
  • Missa brevis in D Major, K.194 — W.A. Mozart
  • Missa Aeterna Christi munera — G.P. da Palestrina
  • Missa brevis — G.P. da Palestrina
  • Missa Iste confessore — G.P. da Palestrina
  • Tenebræ Responses — G.P. da Palestrina
  • Missa tertii toni — Costanzo Porta
  • Cantus Missæ in E Flat, Op.109 — Josef Rheinbeger
  • Plainsong Mass for a Mean — John Sheppard
  • Short Mass in C — R.R. Terry
  • Missa L"hora passa — Ludovico da Viadana
  • Missa Alma Redeptoris mater á 8 — Tomás Luis de Victoria
  • Missa Ascendens Christus — Tomás Luis de Victoria
  • Missa O quam gloriosum — Tomás Luis de Victoria
  • Passion of Saint John — Tomás Luis de Victoria
  • Mass in F — Charles Wood

The parish supports a Choral Scholarship Program, which allows college students the opportunity to study Catholic music and sing as part of the Schola.

The Organ Recital Series offers 30-minute recitals at 4:30 pm, on the second Saturday of the month, through June, preceding the 5:15 pm Mass. A free-will offering is taken. The organ is a two manual Mander (1998) tracker of 41 ranks. The series features some of the finest organists in Manhattan.

  • October 9 — James D. Wetzel (Church of Saint Agnes, NYC)
  • November 13 — Paul Murray (Church of the Holy Family, NYC)
  • December 11 — David Enlow (Church of the Resurrection, NYC)
  • January 8 — James Kennerley (Church of Saint Mary the Virgin, NYC)
  • February 12 — Ryan Jackson (Christ Church Methodist, NYC)
  • March 12 — Mark Bani (Church of Saint Vincent Ferrer, NYC)
  • April 9 — Ramond Nagem (Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, NYC)
  • May 14 — John Cantrell (Saint Michael Church, NYC)
  • June 11 — Mark Pacoe (Saint Malachy"s — The Actors" Chapel, NYC)

Sanctuary The Wednesday Concert Series, with a suggested donation for each event of $15 (general) and $10 (student or senior), includes:

  • November 17 — Concord (Ensemble-in Residence)

    This professional choral group seeks to bring a fresh perspective to lesser-known works in addition to favorite gems of the choral repertoire. This first concert includes Robert Fayrfax' Magnificat "Regale", and music by Cavalli, Byrd, and Grieg.

  • December 1 — Schola Cantorum The Church of Saint Agnes

    A program of Advent music in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including Victoria"s Mass and Motet Alma Redemptoris mater; Bruckner"s Ave Maria and Virga Jesse; Josquin"s Ave Maria, Virgo serena; Rheinberger"s rarely performed Rorate coeli, as well as English carols by Howells and Warlock. This is the premiere choral concert of the Schola with James D. Wetzel directing.

  • December 29 — Sebastian Chamber Players

    A program entitled Stylus Fantasticus: A Musical Journey through 17th Century Italy. Music of Castello, Fontana, Merula, and others. Members:

    • Daniel S. Lee, violin
    • Priscilla Smith, recorders
    • Ezra Seltzer, cello
    • Grant Herreid, lute, theorbo, guitar
    • Jeffrey Grossman, harpsichord
  • February 23 — Schola Cantorum The Church of Saint Agnes

    A program of Latin Catholic church music by two giants of the Anglican Cathedral music tradition: Herbert Howells and his teacher, Sir Charles Villiers. Stanford.

  • March 30 — Concord (Ensemble-in Residence)
  • June 22 — Concord (Ensemble-in Residence)

The Church of Saint Agnes
143 East 43rd Street
New York NY 10017

The Reverend Richard T. Adams, Pastor
Mr. James D. Wetzel, Organist & Choirmaster

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