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Queens College Choral Society Launches 70th Anniversary Season With Performance of Handel's Messiah

-- Annual Winter Concert Commemorates Society’s Connection with Popular Masterpiece --

FLUSHING, NY, December 6, 2010—To kick off its 70th anniversary season, the Queens College Choral Society (QCCS) will perform Handel’s Messiah on Saturday, December 11, at 8 pm in Colden Auditorium. Composed in only 24 days during the summer of 1741 and premiered in Dublin the following year, Handel’s Messiah is perhaps the most popular and beloved choral work of all time. Unique in its diverse membership, the QCCS brings together people of all ages (16 to 80+) and backgrounds to celebrate the joys of singing.

This year students from Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music will also participate. They include:  Soprano Sachie Ueshima, mezzo-soprano Francesca Lunghi, and  tenor Nathan Carlisle, who will perform the vocal solos.  Joining them will be bass-baritone John Maynard Burton, an accomplished young professional singer currently with the Metropolitan Opera Chorus.  James A. John, associate professor and music director of the QCCS, will conduct. 

John Castellini of the Queens College Music Department founded the Choral Society in 1941, and its annual performances of Messiah significantly supported community morale during World War II.  Since that time, Handel’s beloved masterpiece has been closely associated with it. The Choral Society defines itself as "a singing organization of and for the public, and the students and staff of Queens College." The Society typically performs two concerts per year with orchestra (in December and May) devoted to the great masterpieces of choral literature such as Verdi’s Requiem, Bach’s Magnificat, and Handel’s Messiah. The QCCS has also performed multiple premieres of new works, including pieces composed by School of Music faculty members.  For more information about the Queens College Choral Society, visit the group’s website at

Tickets for the December 11th performance of Handel’s Messiah are $20 and $18, and are available through the Kupferberg Center Box office at (718) 793-8080 or online at Group discounts for high school students and teachers are also available. To take advantage of this offer, visit

For directions to Queens College, visit





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