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Bronx Arts Ensemble Presents: Jay St. Flono in Recital at Christ Church Riverdale

February 25 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm


In honor of Black History Month, Bronx Arts Ensemble presents soprano vocalist, author, cook, and composer Jay St. Flono for an evening of unique expression.

In collaboration with the Bronx Arts Ensemble, join Jay Saint Flono (sopranist) and Edward Callahan (piano) as they
perform two esoteric vocal recitals celebrating stories of lost love and spiritual passion with music from the 17th to the 21st centuries.

This program also includes the world premiere of “An Hymn to the Evening” an art song by James Thomas Dargan with text from celebrated African- American poet, Phillis Wheatley (1753- 1784).



There’s not a Swain
Z. 587 no. 1 from Rule a Wife and Have a Wife (1693)
John Fletcher (1579 – 1625), playwright
Henry Purcell (1659 – 1695)
Strike the Viol
Z. 323 no. 5 from Come Ye Sons of Art (1694)
Nahum Tate (1652 – 1715), poet
Come All Ye Songsters
Z. 629 no. 7 from The Fairy Queen (1692)
Elkanah Settle (1648 – 1724), poet


Amarilli mia bella
published in Le nuove musiche (1601)
Giovanni Battista Guarini (1538 – 1612), poet
Giulio Caccini (1551 – 1618)
Spesso vibra per suo gioco
Anonymous, poet
Alessandro Scarlatti (1659 – 1725)
Che fiero costume
op. 14, published in 1678
from the cantata Echi di reverenzia
Anonymous, librettist
Giovanni Legrenzi (1626 – 1690)


Breit über mein Haupt
Op. 19 no. 2 from Sechs Lieder aus Lotosblätter
Adolf Friedrich Graf von Schack (1815 – 1894), poet
Richard Strauss (1864 – 1949)
Op. 10 no. 8 from Acht Gedichte aus Letzte Blätter
Hermann von Gilm zu Rosenegg (1812 – 1864)
Op. 10 no. 1 from Acht Gedichte aus Letzte Blätter
Hermann von Gilm zu Rosenegg (1812 – 1864)


I’ll Make Me a Man (Gen. 1:26)
A song sermon excerpted from God’s Trombones
No. I in My Favorite Spirituals
James Weldon Johnson (1871 – 1938), poet
arr. Roland Hayes (1887 – 1977)
Trad. Spiritual
No. II in My Favorite Spirituals
Roun’ About de Mountain
An Appalachian folk song
No. X in My Favorite Spirituals


An Hymn to the Evening
No. XVI in Poems on Various Subjects Religious and Moral (1773)
Phillis Wheatley (1753 – 1784), poet
James Thomas Dargan (1984 – )
Sacred Ones a-Glowin’
from the opera-in-progress Spirit in the Vine: a Sankopera
Jay Saint Flono (1990 – ),  librettist
James Thomas Dargan (1984 – )
Jorge Avila, violin


JAY ST. FLONO is a classical singer, actor, librettist, composer and author from Brooklyn, New York. Jay’s professional life in music began in 2004 after a successful audition as a treble/boy soprano for the Choir Academy of Harlem, singing with the Boys Choir at the Summer Music Institute at Skidmore College and at Madison Square Garden for the Republican National Convention. Jay initially trained as a lyric tenor in the Vocal Performance program at Mannes School of Music, minoring in Creative Writing at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts, programming recitals of Lieder, Spirituals and Baroque art song and arias. Jay has performed as a soloist and ensemble-member in the world of Oratorio and African-American Sacred Music, including the Wendell Whalum Recital at the Hampton University Ministers’ Conference and Choir Directors/Organists Guild Workshop in Hampton, Virginia (2014) the Brooklyn Ecumenical Choir and most recently with the Brooklyn Contemporary Chorus as an Alto Soloist.

During the 2019/2020 season, Jay joined the Ensemble cast of New York City Opera for the premiere of Stonewall at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Shortly after, Jay began privately studying Voice with mezzo-soprano, Kori Jennings. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jay listened intently to their instrument as their voice began to further shift in a higher direction and vocally transitioned back to soprano during the Great Pause. Jay marked their return to live performance in autumn 2021 as the soprano soloist in the premiere of “Deep Blue Sea” with Bill T. Jones.

Jay has appeared as a chorister and as a soloist with the Unsung Collective in engagements at
Lincoln Center, The CARA, Co-Cathedral of Brooklyn and with visual artist Bethany Collins for America: A Hymnal. Recent engagements include recital, orchestral and chamber appearances with Harlem Opera Theater, the Grace Chorale of Brooklyn in Oratorium nach Bildern der Bibel and with SugarHill Salon for an in-progress cantata entitled Praise Song for the Flying Africans.

Jay was a 2019-2021 Librettist Fellow with Composers and the Voice (AOP) where they
completed the libretto, Spirit in the Vine. In 2024, Jay returns to opera performance where they will sing the title role in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo with Killer Queen Opera.

Jorge Avila, violin


EDWARD CALLAHAN admired classical performers who wowed audiences in their tuxedos, but they didn’t look like him. He wanted to change that. As a teen, he won state and national competitions and was selected for a three-city musical by the Gilmore International Keyboard Festival. He represented his hometown of Kalamazoo, Michigan in the National NAACP ACT-SO Competition, and later moved to New York to pursue his dream to perform at Carnegie Hall.

While attending Nyack College, he served as pianist for the Nyack Touring Gospel Choir and
also opened at Lincoln Center with the ensemble. In addition to being a lead musician for such productions as, “The Wiz” in Central Park, he self-produced, “ The Minor Keys,” (2019) with works by Chopin and Schubert, and “Crazy Etudes” (2021) They ranked #1 on the Classical itunes charts, and #1 on the Billboard Traditional Classical Album Charts, respectively making history as the first African American pianist to reach #1. In 2023 he was a participant of the Inaugural Nina Simone Piano Competition, where he reached the quarterfinals. Callahan is on the music staff at The Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and Union United Methodist Church in Brooklyn. He plans to release his third album in 2024.

Howard Gilman Foundation

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council, and by District 11 Councilmember Eric Dinowitz and Assemblymember Jeffrey Dinowitz


February 25
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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Christ Church
5040 Henry Hudson Pkwy E
The Bronx, NY 10471 United States
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