Upcoming Program

Poetic Notes

Poetry of Teasdale, Carroll, Dickinson, Shelley, Shakespeare, Tennyson, & Lorca set to music by Tarik O'Regan, Einojuhani Rautavaara, Andrew Rindfleisch, Stefan Weisman, Colin Britt, Dale Trumbore, Susan LaBarr, Gustav Holst, Rebecca Clarke, Lana Walter, Williametta Spencer & Ralph Vaughan-Williams

Tuesday Evening, June 14, 2016, 7:30pm
Rutgers Presbyterian Church, 236 West 73rd just west of Broadway

Advance Purchase: $15 available up to 24 hours before the concert.

Remaining Tickets: $25 ($20 seniors) at the door on the day of the concert beginning one-half hour prior to the start of the concert.

Sunday Afternoon, June 12, 2016, 5 pm
Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, 23-25 Newtown Avenue, Astoria, NY

Admission: By donation at the door: $20; $15 for seniors

About Us

Amuse is a small ensemble founded by Lee Ryder in the fall of 2002 to bring music written for women’s voices to New York audiences. An often overlooked area of choral literature, this repertory comprises serious works by a wide variety of composers throughout the last twelve centuries.

Writing in the New York Times, Allan Kozinn said, “This choir’s real magic is in its delicate balance of serenity and intensity...a pure transparent tone and solid ensemble.”

In addition to its three-concert season, Amuse singers have participated in a wide variety of other programs and events including the US premiere of John Tavener’s The Veil of the Temple, the closing work of the Lincoln Center Festival. The ensemble sang the chants in a collaborative performance of François Couperin’s Messe pour les couvents with organist Renée Anne Louprette at St. Ignatius Loyola and that same year saw Amuse singers joining the Dessoff Symphonic Choir for performances of Britten’s War Requiem and Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 with the New York Philharmonic under the baton of Lorin Maazel for the maestro’s concluding two performances with the Philharmonic.

Amuse has also appeared twice on the Music on Madison series at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church and has toured to the Boston area under the baton of it’s first music director. The group was presented on the Serenade Concert series at the historic Christ Church on Staten Island and made its debut with the Oratorio Society of New York in a cameo role in Mendelssohn’s Paulus at Carnegie Hall with Kent Tritle conducting.

Dr. Stephen Black enjoys an active career as a choral conductor, and has conducted numerous choirs in New York and Los Angeles. He is currently the Music Director of Amuse, a select women’s chamber choir in New York City which sings a cappella repertoire from all periods.

He previously was the Artistic Director of the Central City Chorus and has prepared choruses for performances of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 at Riverside Church with the Park Avenue Chamber Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Astoria Symphony, and William Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast with the Empire State Youth Orchestra.

In addition, Dr. Black has been a guest conductor for the Empire City Men's Chorus, St. George’s Choral Society, the West Village Chorale, the Association of Connecticut Choruses, the American Opera Project, the National Association of Composers East Coast Chapter, Lincoln Center Theater and HarlemStage.

Active as an organist and church musician, Dr.Black is currently the Director of Music at St. Gregory the Great Church in Harrison, NY. Prior to that he was the Director of Music at St. Joseph's Church Yorkville, New York City’s German national parish on the Upper East Side of Manhattan for 11 years. Dr. Black is continually involved in the performance of new music.

As a professional singer specializing in contemporary music, he has sung in premieres of new works in Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall. He has performed and recorded new music with the New York Virtuoso Singers, the Gregg Smith Singers, the Society for Universal Sacred Music and the Vedantic Arts Ensemble. He holds degrees from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, the Yale School of Music and the University of Louisville. He is a native of Kentucky.


We hear singers throughout the year. If you are interested in auditioning, please read more about how we work and what is expected of singers accepted into the ensemble.

Download the current Audition Form   >

Singers who would like to audition for the ensemble should have choral singing experience, strong sight-reading skills, a blending voice, and the willingness (and time) to have the music prepared before the first rehearsal. You can find out more about how Amuse works by reading the Expectations of Singers included in the auditions packer.

Please contact Lee Ryder > to schedule a time for an audition with the music director.

Auditions include sight-reading, pitch memory exercises, reading a series of rhythmic exercises, vocalizing, and preparing and singing the piece at the end of the audition form. While there are opportunities to do solo work, you do not need to be a soloist to sing in this ensemble. We are looking for good choral singers with solid skills and willingness to work hard.

About our Singers

Some of our singers have sung since childhood; some have degrees in music but have chosen to pursue other career directions. You don't need a solo voice to be part of the ensemble, just strong choral singing experience, solid reading skills and a willingness to work hard on the music.


Audio files from a variety of performances from 2005 - 2015. Title, composer and year of recording are noted with each piece.

Justorum Animae

William Byrd | 2010


Damien Mocnik | 2008


Frank LaRocca | 2011

Ignis Spiritus

Jeffrey Stone | 2014

Una Hora

Tomas Luis de Victoria | 2007

Four Seasons

Zhou Long | 2007

Jack's Valentine (Hey You)

Libby Larsen | 2011

In Heaven

Imogen Holst | 2007

Autumn Migration

Cecilia McDowall | 2015


Henk Badings | 2007

Excerpts from Six Fables de la Fontaine

M.M. Durufle | 2008

A Child Was Born

Mark Sirett | 2014

Four Peasant Songs

Stravinsky | 2006

Gloria from Mass in A

Miklos Koscar | 2006


Just as every voice matters in a small ensemble, every donation matters as well. Please consider making a donation to Amuse through PayPal. You'll help bring more great works for women's voices to New York audiences.

• $25 covers the cost of music for a singer who can't afford to pay for it.
• $50 helps with the costs of program printing.
• $100 pays for a rehearsal space for one evening.
• $250 helps defray the cost of marketing and promoting a concert.
• $500 covers the cost of an instrumentalist to enliven our programs
• $1000 will let you dedicate a concert to a loved one to mark an important occasion.

This link above will take you to our PayPal site that provides secure processing of all credit card payments. You do not need to have a PayPal account to use this service. If you would prefer to receive our fundraising materials by mail, please email me > 

Thank you in advance for you support!

Contact Us

We'd love to hear from you. Please send us a message using the contact form below.