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The Tabernacle Choir Blog

A Bit of New York Music History

New York City—The history of Music in New York is a rich and vibrant one. Some of the earliest music came from the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam in New York City in the 1600s, and included songs such as the Dutch "Prayer of Thanksgiving” and “The Little Dustman.” By the mid 1700s, the first concerts were held in New York City, and with the arrival of composer William Tuckey from England, church music was established in the area. Tuckey was the first person to debut Handel’s Messiah in America in 1770. (It’s worth noting that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will release its highly anticipated album of the complete Handel’s Messiah in early 2016.)

By the 1830s, New York City was on its way to becoming the most influential artistic center in the United States. In fact, in the late 19th century, Carnegie Hall was founded and remains one of the most esteemed venues in the world for many types of music. Among other New York locations, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform at the famed Carnegie Hall on July 1 and 2, 2015, during this summer's Atlantic Coast Tour.

In the late 1800s, many sheet music publishers were established in New York City in the same Manhattan district, which became known as Tin Pan Alley. In the early 1900s, Broadway theaters were on the rise, and the music was considered to be among the first American popular music.

While New York City was the place that popularized many varieties of music, the music itself is certainly not limited to the city alone. 

Bethel, New York—The famed Woodstock Music and Arts Fair of 1969, simply known as “Woodstock,” took place in Bethel, New York, on a dairy farm. While the festival was predicted to attract 50,000-100,00 fans, an estimated 500,000 showed up for a weekend of music from rock icons such as Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young; the Grateful Dead; The Who; and Jimi Hendrix. Now 46 years later, the Choir will perform on the very same site at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts on June 27, 2015.

Saratoga Springs, New York—The city of Saratoga Springs, famous for its mineral springs and horse racing, has been mentioned in the 1950 Broadway musical Guys and Dolls and in Carly Simon’s song “You’re So Vain.” Every summer since 1978, the Saratoga Performing Arts Center hosts a weekend-long jazz festival and is the summer home of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the New York City Ballet. On June 29, 2015, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will perform at the venue.

Here is a complete list of tour dates for the Choir’s 2015 Atlantic Coast Tour:

Bethesda, Maryland on June 25»

Bethel Woods, New York on June 27»

Saratoga Springs, New York on June 29»

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall on July 1»

Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall on July 2»

Yankee Stadium on July 3»

Boston, Massachusetts on July 6»