Who We Are

 

…just a few words used to describe one of New York’s most remarkable vocal ensembles, Spiritus. This cutting-edge group has been an integral part of the ministry at Unity of New York…a Spiritual Center for Creative Living since its inception in 1999.

The mission of Spiritus is to “Uplift Your Spirit Through the Power of Song” around the world. 

The group has attracted its members from the stages of Broadway, Off-Broadway, Opera, National and International Tours in productions such as Les Miserables, Guys & Dolls, Jekyll and Hyde, Jerome Robbins’ Broadway, Carousel, Peter Pan, as well as resorts, cruise ships, nightclubs, film, television and recording studios.

Spiritus (Latin for “breath of God”) was formed in 1996 by Unity of New York Founding Minister Paul Tenaglia as a part of his vision for ministry that includes the arts as an intrinsic part of the worship experience. While in ministerial school at Unity Village, Missouri, Paul imagined the creation of a professional vocal ensemble not unlike The Manhattan Transfer but with a spiritual focus. Five years later Spiritus was born.

In New York, venues where Spiritus has performed include Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, The Town Hall, The Rainbow Room, Symphony Space, The Friars Club, Manhattan Center’s Hammerstein Ballroom, Soho Playhouse and The Firebird.  They have been featured in the Noonday Concert Series at historic Trinity Church, The Boathouse in Central Park’s Red Tie Valentine’s Bash, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights Aids’ From Ballet to Broadway, The Broadway Theatre Institute’s Tribute to Irving Berlin and in cabaret rooms around the city.  They were also the musical hosts of the very powerful An Evening With Gandhi following 9/11. 

In 2003, Spiritus was brought to national attention in Kansas City at the Unity People’s Conference where they received invitations from around the country to share their music. Debbie Ball, Convention Coordinator, said “We were truly blessed by the awesome performance of Spiritus. This amazing group had the audience on their feet with standing ovation after standing ovation.” Since that time, Spiritus has indeed shared their music ministry and touched many hearts and lives at Unity churches and New Thought centers around the country. The group has been featured at music symposiums, conferences, retreats and celebrations and has shared the stage with such luminaries as Wayne Dyer, Arun Gandhi, Marianne Williamson and Bishop John Shelby Spong, to name a few.


What others say about Spiritus:

Bishop John Shelby Spong says, “Spiritus is one of New York’s most exciting and gifted singing groups.  I would travel miles to hear them and do.  They also regularly sing to me via CDs in my car.  If you ever have the chance to hear them, by all means go!”

Award-winning Broadway producer, author and lecturer Walter Starcke says “Spiritus makes bubbles of joy rise in your soul. They lift you into an experience you will never forget.”

Master prosperity teacher Edwene Gaines says “The powerful music of Spiritus embraces us with deeply healing love. With their profound talents, they lift us into an immediate experience of the Divine. They bring us the gift of grace.”

Author and minister Rosemary Fillmore Rhea, granddaughter of Unity co-founders Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, says “Spiritus is truly an outstanding, multi-talented vocal ensemble. Their music inspires, heals and makes ones spirit dance. It is as if the very best of Broadway is performing just for you. If they are in your city, don’t dare miss them because they will bless your soul.”

Accomplished songwriter David Friedman says of Spiritus, “As a secular writer of inspirational songs, I am always searching for those rare singers who can deliver the underlying spiritual message without sacrificing any of the style, sound or vocal pyrotechnics that my songs often demand. With their unique voices blending together to create a sound that runs the gamut from spiritual to secular, rock to theatre, jazz to classical, Spiritus does it all. They never fail to raise people’s spirits while raising their consciousness. I feel privileged to write for Spiritus, and when I hear them sing my songs, I realize I’ve been writing for them all my life.”

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Though the mission is to bring a spiritual and healing music message to its listeners, anyone, regardless of his or her spiritual beliefs, will be uplifted, entertained and moved by the musical mastery and spirit of Spiritus.

They recently released their CD, WE ARE ONE, with grammy/emmy award-winning producer Steve Ivey of Nashville, and can be experienced regularly at Unity of New York’s Sunday morning celebration services.  www.unityofnewyork.org.

Vibrant, Innovative and Uplifting...