About the Collegium
The Christopher Street Collegium was born from the passion of its founders for sublime and sacred music, and a desire to present liturgies where local community members of all backgrounds and identities could congregate for spiritual nourishment through word and music.
Based at St. John's Lutheran Church, on 81 Christopher Street in Manhattan, the Collegium gathers diverse combinations of New York's finest young classical musicians to create artistically fresh and profound opportunities for listeners to feed their souls with the sacred word clothed in celestial melodies. In its quest to produce music of the most beautiful and meaningful quality, the Collegium endeavors never to forget the humility of all human endeavors in the face of divine grandeur.
It calls to mind the words of Johann Jacob Rambach, set by J.S. Bach in his Cantata 25:
Öffne meinen schlechten Liedern,
Jesu, dein Genadenohr!
Wenn ich dort im höhern Chor
Werde mit den Engeln singen,
Soll mein Danklied besser klingen.
Open to my pitiful songs,
Jesus, your gracious ears!
When there in the choir above
I shall sing with the angels,
my song of thanksgiving will sound better.
Dr. Janet Sora Chung is an organist, violinist and educator in New York City where she is Music Director & Organist at St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church.
She earned her Doctorate of Musical Arts from the Manhattan School of Music, garnering the Bronson Ragan Award for outstanding ability in organ performance.
Chung’s interpretations of Messiaen and Bach have met with acclaim. She has performed at St. Mary the Virgin, St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, SUNY Purchase Performing Arts Center, the University of Scranton, Winspear Centre and Riverside Church.
She loves to arrange pieces for solo organ and for organ and saxophone duo. To expand this repertoire, she and Jay Rattman (saxophone) have commissioned or premiered works by Walter Hilse, Rachel Laurin, James Chirillo and transcribed pieces by Debussy and others. She recently premiered her arrangement of Bach’s Goldberg Variations for St. John’s Lutheran Church’s 200 Years: A Sacred Space Celebration.
Audrey Fernandez-Fraser, M.Div is a singer and composer of sacred music of diverse styles. As an early music specialist she has been a soloist with such ensembles as St. Peter's Bach Collegium, Gamut Bach Ensemble, Canto Armonico, and the Westchester Oratorio Society.
She has studied Arabic singing and recitation, and has sung for Byzantine and Antiochian Orthodox services at St. Michael’s parish in Geneva, NY. She sings on Sundays with organist and choirmaster Gwendolyn Toth at the Church of St. Ignatius of Antioch in Manhattan.
Audrey has performed and recorded various of her own solo and choral settings of spiritual texts, and in 2022 was thrilled to have her choral setting of the Gregorian chant “Qui Confidunt in Domino” performed by the choir at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany in Manhattan.
A graduate of Yale Divinity School and Institute of Sacred Music, Audrey also studied music at the American Bach Soloists Summer Academy, the European American Musical Alliance in Paris, and Harvard College.