The Queens College Choral Society celebrates 75 years
A 16-year old high school singer stands next to an octogenarian, open-mouthed
and inspired while rehearsing Verdi’s Requiem. A college music major performs
between an avocational pianist and a lawyer. A Queens College math professor
sings in the same choir with some of his students and three generations of a
family sing in different sections of the ensemble. These are just a few
snapshots of the membership of the Queens College Choral Society. As
we approach our May 21 performance of Verdi’s Requiem to conclude our 75th
anniversary season, we celebrate choral excellence, the diversity of our
singers, the longevity of the group and the joy of choral music.
The Queens College Choral Society was founded in 1941 and the first concert, featuring Handel’s
Messiah in a high school auditorium, was just days after
the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Over the past 75 years the group has
been dedicated to performing the most significant works in the choral-orchestral
repertoire, including recent performances of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, Bach’s
Mass in B Minor and Britten’s War Requiem.
St. George's Choral Society announces 2016 Summer Choral Festival
Tuesday, June 7, St. George's Choral Society will host a two-week choral
intensive, with two rehearsals a week, culminating in a free public performance
on June 18 at 7 PM of Brahms's Ein deutsches Requiem. This
performance will feature Brahms's arrangement of the work for chorus and piano,
four hands. Both the choral intensive and public performance will take place at
The Church of the Incarnation on Madison Avenue and 35th Street, New York City.
I spoke with Dr. Matthew Lewis, Artistic Director of the group, about his
founding of the Summer Choral Festival when “summer sings” abound.
Laura Daly: What did you think was lacking in the usual
summer sings that prompted you to start St. George’s Choral Society Summer
Michael Lewis: My goal is to allow the singers more time to
become more comfortable and confident with the music. Summer sings are great
fun, but it always seemed to me that singers would enjoy themselves more if we
had more time to rehearse. So, the Summer Festival really allows for that. At
the same time, there is a fun aspect to it. It’s summer time; we are all here to
enjoy ourselves through music, and camaraderie. So, there is a certain
comfortable aspect to it.
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- New York City conductor Harold Rosenbaum is working on a number of ambitious new projects, including an upcoming concert celebrating the music of acclaimed Puerto Rican-born composer Roberto Sierra. On May 15, Rosenbaum will conduct the premiere of a new arrangement of Sierra's celebrated work, Missa Latina, a boisterous Mass setting infused with Latin rhythms, newly scored by the composer for two pianos and 24 percussion instruments. The premiere will take place at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College under the auspices of El Centro, the College's institute for Puerto Rican studies. On Saturday, June 4, Rosenbaum will lead several choirs at Choral Fest USA at Symphony Space, a free marathon event he established to showcase diverse American choirs. He has been actively recording with his professional choir, The New York
Virtuoso Singers, and recently started
his own recording company, Virtuoso Choral Recordings
(virtuosochoralrecordings.com). Its first CD, Choral Music in the 21st Century –
Volume 1: Katherine Hoover, David Lipten and Paul Davies, will be released in early summer by 4Tay Records. (2016-4-30)
- Make Music New York Winter takes place on December 21. For details, visit makemusicny.org/winter-2015/. And this year, there are three opportunities that require singers. For details, visit the Info Exchange. (2015-12-2)
- The Washington Heights Choir School (WHCS), an outreach ministry of Holyrood Episcopal Church in the upper Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights, has announced the hiring of its new music director, Ellen Wright. Currently the Dean of the Brooklyn Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Ms. Wright has served as organist and director of music in several churches in the greater New York area as well as creator/teacher of music programs for elementary and secondary school students in New York and Long Island. The Washington Heights Choir School trains children from Kindergarten to 5th grade to achieve early excellence and growth through music and arts education. For more information, visit holyroodchurch.com/ministries/choir-school/. (2015-9-12)
- John Scott. Organist and Director of Music at Saint Thomas Church, died suddenly on August 12. Read a tribute at www.saintthomaschurch.org/about/news/342/john-scott-1956-2015. See also the obituary in The New York Times. (2015-8-14)
- Read a review of June's ChoralFest USA 2015 event by Jean Ballard Terepka on TheaterScene.net. (2015-8-12)
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- April 30, 2016: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for the New Jersey State Children's Chorus, an initiative of the Ars Musica Chorale. New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Mezzo, a contemporary women's a cappella ensemble based in Midtown Manhattan.
- April 28, 2016: New link for Composers Work, a site for new and innovative choral compositions.
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- January 15, 2016: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Long Island Consort, a Chinese-American choir based in Little Neck.
- October 27, 2015: New Choir Directory listing for Grassroots Harmony, an activist community choir based in Crown Heights.
- October 22, 2015: In the interest of keeping the Info Exchange as fresh as possible, the default duration for ads has been reduced from three months to two months. Longer or shorter durations remain available upon request.
- October 15, 2015: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Fieldston Choral Society, an SATB choir on the Upper West Side.
- September 12, 2015: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for The Kachanov Ensemble, a newly-forming professional chamber choir directed by Nikolai Kachanov. New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Christ Church Bordentown Choir in Bordentown, NJ.
- September 10, 2015: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Harmonic Insurgence, an a cappella vocal ensemble in Brooklyn.
- September 3, 2015: New Choir Directory listing and Choir Auditions ad for Elision Vocal Ensemble, based on the Upper West Side.
old "New on VAN" items
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- Need some exquisite beaded jewelry to complement your concert
attire? Or perhaps a distinctive gift for that special singer in your
life? Or maybe you'd like to host a jewelry show to benefit your
favorite non-profit organization? Try Carnelian
Knoll, where you'll find necklaces, bracelets and earrings of
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- Looking for rehearsal space or performance venues? Try NYC
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- Looking for an outstanding vocal ensemble coach? Mark
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your group. To arrange for Mark's services, e-mail Colette
- Liz Fleischer's Sight-Singing Program is offered each season
at the Kaufman Center (129
West 67th Street). Classes include ear-training, rhythm and pitch
reading, music theory, basic notation and terminology, with emphasis
on learning to hold a part with confidence. For more info, visit www.kaufman-center.org/lucyadults_mus_sight.htm,
or call (212) 501-3362. The sight-singing program is just one of the
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