Wed., Mar 11, 2020
My Prayer is a Song
To benefit The Ali Forney CenterCocktail BenefitsRelaxed candlelit evenings in Wallace Hall combine music, wine, food, and friendship with dedication to social justice. The full price of every ticket—plus every donation—goes directly to an organization devoted to improving the situation of the homeless, survivors of human trafficking, refugees, the incarcerated, and the impoverished, to name a few.
Alongside inspiring musical performances, audience members hear stories about these organizations’ challenges and triumphs, and can also connect directly to become more involved. | Wallace Hall
Music, wine, food, and friendship for social justice
Bruce Rameker, vocalist
Michael Sheetz, piano
St. Augustine said, “He who sings prays twice.” Prayers are twofold in this evening of sung prayers from every time and place, ranging from chant to spirituals to songs of the living composers here at St. Ignatius, from Schubert’s Ave Maria to unlikely selections by Marc Blitzstein and Meredith Monk. Longtime parishioner and cantor Bruce Rameker uses both baritone and countertenor ranges and picks from a lifetime’s collection of prayer-songs, demonstrating that there’s more than one way to pray.
Composers include Hildegard von Bingen, Schubert, Brahms, Poulenc, Ravel, Ives, Copland, Vaughan Williams, Roger Gillen, Scott Warren, Roosevelt Credit, and Bobby Reuter.
Our organization’s namesake Ali Forney was a gender-nonconforming teen who fled his home at 13. He entered the foster care system where he was bounced around to several homes, and was beaten and abused. Ali ended up living on the streets at the age of 15. Ali was dedicated to helping other young people and publicly advocated for the safety of homeless LGBT youth. Tragically, in December of 1997, Ali was murdered in Harlem—shot in the head and left for dead.
Committed to saving the lives of LGBTQ young people, in 2002 Carl Siciliano founded the Ali Forney Center (AFC) in memory of Ali. Since AFC’s launch with just six beds in a church basement, the organization has grown to become the largest agency dedicated to LGBTQ homeless youths in the country—assisting nearly 1,400 youths per year through a 24-hour Drop-In Center which provides over 70,000 meals annually, medical and mental health services through an on-site clinic, and a scattered site housing program.
Our mission is to provide LGBTQ young people housing and a continuum of supportive services to help them thrive and prepare them for independent living.
AFC has been heralded for our full continuum of care approach to services for LGBTQ homeless youth. AFC’s founder, Carl Siciliano, was named a White House Champion of Change by President Obama citing the wide recognition AFC’s programs have received for their quality and innovation.
General concert and ticket information
Doors open at 7:00pm.
Music and presentation begin at 7:30pm
Late seating is at the discretion of the House Management. Latecomers may be asked to remain in the back of the church until there is a break in the program, so as not to disturb the performance or other audience members.
Will call is available when the doors open at 7:00pm.
Children seated on an adult’s lap do not need a ticket. Children seated in a chair or pew do need a ticket.
We no longer offer tickets for sale or any ticket pickup at the Parish House Reception desk.
Audio and/or video recording and flash photography are not permitted during performances.
Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable. All artists and programs are subject to change.
Wallace Hall is not an accessible space. While there is a new ramp entrance to the Parish House (installed fall 2018), there are still steps to gain access to Wallace Hall. Please call ahead (212-288-2520) to discuss any special seating requirements.
An accessible restroom is located just inside the Parish House on the ground floor. The Parish House is located closer to 83rd Street on Park Avenue. PLEASE NOTE the Parish House accessible restroom is not in the same building as Wallace Hall, where the concert is located.
Street parking can be difficult to find, but there are a number of parking garages nearby. There are garages on 83rd Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues) and 84th Street (between Park and Lexington Avenues), as well as near the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
There are a number of fine and casual eating establishments located nearby on Madison Avenue (one block west of the church), Lexington Avenue (one block east of the church), Third Avenue (two blocks east of the church) and Second Avenue (three blocks east of the church).
The Church of St. Ignatius Loyola is easily reached via the 4, 5, and 6 subway lines (86th Street station), or buses on Madison, Lexington and Fifth Avenues, and on 86th Street. View a map with interactive driving and transit directions.