June 17th - NYC

4:30am at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
Preferred General Admission: $50
General Admission: $40

Paul Winter's 22nd Annual Summer Solstice Celebration

On Saturday morning, June 17th 2017, at 4:30am, the Paul Winter Consort, with special guests, the renowned 32-voice choir Florida Singing Sons, will be presenting their 22nd annual Summer Solstice Celebration, a one-of-a-kind sunrise concert, celebrating one of the great turning points of the year, at New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine. The Consort will premiere new music, along with traditional pieces from their repertoire, and will collaborate with the choir in music ranging from Bulgarian chant to the work of Eric Whitacre and the sublime nocturnes of Morten Lauridsen.

“This event is our musical welcome to the summer. Summer Solstice is one of the great turning points of the year, when the sun is at its peak and the days abound with the promise of life’s fullness. My dream, with this sunrise celebration, is to offer an experience of this resonance, in the mystical ambience of these early morning hours, through a deep listening journey within the awesome space of this largest cathedral in the world. Our music begins in total darkness, and proceeds in a continuous flow, emanating from different places in the Cathedral. Gradually, as the great stained glass windows begin to illuminate, the light joins the sound to carry us into the first dawning of the summer.” – Paul Winter

This sunrise concert is a unique musical journey, beginning in total darkness, with the light gradually joining the sounds, to usher in the dawning of the summer.

In early morning there’s a sense of timelessness and possibility…

“When I’m awake in the darkness before dawn – as the birds begin to sing, and the Earth prepares for the Sun – I feel as if life is beginning again. There’s something magical about that virgin time, when we’re free of our habitual patterns and obligations. My dream of evoking this feeling in music was the original inspiration for Summer Solstice. We begin playing in total darkness at 4:30 a.m. within the awesome space and acoustics of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. We embark on a continuous two-hour musical journey, with players stationed in distant corners or moving among the audience. Somewhere near the halfway point, listeners gradually realize that the Cathedral’s great stained-glass windows are beginning to illuminate. The light joins the sound to carry us into the first dawning of summer.” ~ Paul Winter


Morning Sun

“Morning Sun,” the theme for this year’s Summer Solstice Celebration, is also the title of the new Living Music album MORNING SUN: Adventures with Oboe – Paul McCandless with the Paul Winter Consort, an anthology of Paul’s great recordings with the Consort over the past 45 years. The concert will feature Paul on oboe, English horn, and bass clarinet in this salute to his new album, and in honor of his 70th birthday.

The concert will be followed by a free tea and coffee reception in the nave of the Cathedral.

Free Download

The title track of the new Paul McCandless anthology, “Morning Sun” was originally the finale of the Consort’s album Miho: Journey to the Mountain, the culmination of this evocation of the mythical “Shangri-La.” Paul improvised a sublime and serene solo over an exquisite harmonic journey provided by Don Grusin on keyboard, I then came in on soprano sax, and finally Eugene Friesen on cello.


“Thank you from the bottom of my heart…. For the music, the celebration, and the incredible sense of connected community your solstice concerts offer us all! The music of the summer solstice beautifully resonates with me still.”

– J.C.

“An extraordinary experience. I loved how you sculpted sound. You brought forth something that was much more than music; it was an experience with a deep seasonal sense that some would call religious. For me, you simply made me feel part of something in this very disconnected world. It was a being-in-the-world experience. Thank you.”

– D..L.B.

“This early morning at the cathedral I had a most profound experience and I want to thank you! You are such a bright light and source of healing. Words cannot describe my deep feelings of gratitude for this life-changing experience that you facilitated.”

– LS


The Consort includes: Paul Winter on soprano saxophone, cellist Eugene Friesen, double-reed player Paul McCandless, keyboardist Jeff Holmes, organist Tim Brumfield. The renowned 32-voice choir Florida Singing Sons will be featured guests. The Consort will premiere new music, along with traditional pieces from their repertoire, and collaborate with the choir in music ranging from Bulgarian chants to the sublime nocturnes of Morten Lauridsen.


Paul Winter

Soprano Saxophone


Paul McCandless



Eugene Friesen



Tim Brumfield



Florida Singing Sons



Jeff Holmes


Bus Package for northwest ct

Dear Northwest CT friends and fans! We are offering an exclusive travel package for our upcoming annual Summer Solstice Concert arranged by Kelley Transit Company and the Litchfield Community Center.

There will be door-to-door bus transportation from the Litchfield Community Center to the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, for Paul Winter’s 22nd annual Summer Solstice Celebration, Saturday June 17, at 4:30am. This event’s performers include Paul Winter, Paul McCandless, Eugene Friesen, Tim Brumfield, Jeff Holmes, and the Florida Singing Sons Boychoir.

We’ve long been aware many folks find it daunting to drive into New York City but would love to attend our early-morning Summer Solstice Celebration.

For an all-in fee of $75, which includes the bus, and the concert ticket, you can park your car safely at the Litchfield Community Center, get on the bus, nap en-route to New York, attend the concert, as well as the coffee and tea reception that follows, and then relax or nap on the bus for the return trip, arriving back in Litchfield around 9:30am.

Tickets are going fast so book soon!

Call the Litchfield Community Center to reserve your seat and concert ticket. If you already have a Summer Solstice ticket and would like to take the bus, the fee is $35.

Call 860-567-8302 or email INFO@THECOMMUNITYCENTER.ORG to reserve your seat.

Click here for more information on the event: https://goo.gl/cDYhf5


Park your car safely at the Litchfield Community Center

Depart from Litchfield Community Center 1:00 a.m.

Doors open at 3:30 a.m. concert 4:30 – 6:15 a.m.

Coffee & tea reception to meet musicians 6:15-7:00 a.m.

Depart for Litchfield 7:15 a.m., arrive approx. 9:30 a.m.

$75.00 pp all inclusive (except this does not include pillows for bus ride)


Cathedral of St. John the Divine

The largest cathedral in the world, utterly unique as a venue, St. John the Divine's all-embracing vastness overwhelms differences, and yet welcomes and affirms diversity. Since 1980, when it began, the Winter Solstice Celebration has brought together musicians from around the world, everything from raucous Russian choruses and party-ready samba bands to powerfully contemplative performers, from Puerto Rican pop singers and prisoners of conscience to prayerful Tibetan vocalists. Over the years, the event has evolved into a theatrical celebration that inhabits the entirety of the Cathedral’s cavernous space, all the way up to the 150-foot ceiling. The titanic space transforms into a forest, or a night sky, where a giant earth globe spins from the vault like a tiny planet in the cosmic vastness. What other concert space could host the world’s largest sun gong as it rises, spotlit, 12 stories high? “Of all the places I've played in America, only two could host a concert on this scale: the Cathedral and the Grand Canyon,” Winter says. (The Cathedral happens to have the same seven-second reverberation as the Grand Canyon.)

1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY 10025

(212) 316-7540

at 111th St. & Amsterdam Ave., Manhattan; near Columbia Univ.

directions & parking

Summer Solstice Celebration

The two great celestial milestones of the year, the Summer and Winter Solstices, are perhaps humanity’s most ancient ritual observances. People paused at these times to reflect upon the journey of life, with its trials, blessings, hopes and promise.

The word ‘solstice’ comes from the Latin ‘sol’ (sun) and ‘stitium’ (to stand still). Summer Solstice occurs when the Sun reaches its northernmost point from the equator and seems to pause before reversing its course; at the Winter Solstice the Sun attains its southernmost point and, once again, seems to stand still before turning back.

The Sun, our great golden star, is the source of our life, and each of our lives is a multi-faceted journey with the Sun. On one level, we are cycling through each day and night, as the Earth rotates from dawn to dawn in the light of the Sun. On another, we are traveling through each year, being carried 584 million miles by the Earth as it swings around the Sun from one Summer Solstice to the next. Simultaneously, we are riding with the Sun as our entire Solar System travels within the Milky Way galaxy, which itself is one of the dozen galaxies in what astronomers call our Local Group. And this whole Local Group of galaxies, in turn, is revolving around the Virgo Cluster of 2000 galaxies, 53 million light-years distant from us.

Making music at Solstice is one way to celebrate our amazing journey. If, in our listening, we are carried by the music, then perhaps the experience of that moment can be a hologram of the entire journey. In reality, the journey is right now, wherever we are. And when we are listening, each moment is the beginning.

Thank you for being part of our ongoing Solstice journey.

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