Hymn Spotlight: And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Hymn Spotlight: And Can It Be That I Should Gain

Charles Wesley wrote six thousand Christian hymns, but this is arguably his best known.  Composed in 1738, he often worked in collaboration with his older brother, John, while they were both studying at Oxford. As part of a study group called The Holy Club, they were known to approach prayer, hymn writing and Bible study in an extremely methodical manner. As a result, their classmates […]

Hymn Spotlight: Now We Thank We All Our God

Hymn Spotlight: Now We Thank We All Our God

The Thirty Years’ War (1618-1648) was as long and as agonizing as it sounds. Martin Rinkart, a Lutheran minister, spent a good part of it in the walled city of Eilenburg, Saxony, where he wrote this hymn (circa 1636) amidst great distress and destruction. The walls did little good; armies had overrun the city three times, and pestilence, famine and overcrowding added to the pain […]

Aleeza Meir’s New York Life in Music

Aleeza Meir’s New York Life in Music

Aleeza Meir – Old First’s organist and pianist for the last decade – contends that musicians who come to New York to make a living must have more than just talent; they also have to have a little bit of luck. Looks like she’s been blessed with both: she is able to keep herself busy – actually extremely busy – working as a full-time musician. In addition […]

Cecilia Whittaker-Doe: First SRO Gallery Exhibit Runs To May 26

Cecilia Whittaker-Doe: First SRO Gallery Exhibit Runs To May 26

The artwork of Brooklyn-born painter and muralist Archie Rand is the first showing at Cecilia Whittaker-Doe’s SRO Gallery (1144 Dean Street). His work: Eugenio Montale: Men Who Turn Back is based on the work of Montale, an Italian poet. Archie created a painting for every line of the poem  — all 24 of them — fitting perfectly into the showing space. Cecilia says the gallery […]