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Queens College Choral Society and Orchestra to Celebrate 70th Anniversary Season with Spring Concert May 14

-- Will Present Beethoven’s Groundbreaking
Missa Solemnis, Seldom Performed --


FLUSHING, NY, May 2, 2011—In celebration of its 70th anniversary season, the Queens College Choral Society and Orchestra will perform with all of the choral ensembles of the Aaron Copland School of Music (ACSM)—a chorus that now numbers over 230 singers—in its annual spring concert Saturday, May 14 at 8 pm in Colden Auditorium.  Under the baton of Music Director James

John, the program will feature Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis, a masterwork that is seldom performed by non-professional choirs because of its complexity. 

Missa Solemnis is generally considered one of Beethoven’s supreme achievements created when the composer was at the height of his power.   A profound, monumental work, its setting of the Mass has been deemed groundbreaking—presenting the standard text in a new light.  Beethoven’s rich harmonic language and triumphant spirit make the work deeply compelling.


Soloists for Missa Solemnis include ACSM vocal program alumni Eleni Calenos, soprano,

and Gilad Paz, tenor, and current performance major Melisa Bonetti, mezzo-soprano.  Kevin Thompson, bass, is a recent graduate of The Juilliard School of Music. James John has been with ACSM for nine years, where he conducts the QC Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Choral Society, teaches choral conducting, and serves as advisor to the graduate program in vocal performance.  Dr. John was named artistic director in June of 2010 of the Manhattan-based vocal ensemble, Cerddorion, a select chamber choir dedicated to adventurous programs that span the breadth of the choral repertory. He has given presentations at both divisional and national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and is in demand as a guest conductor and clinician throughout the United States.


Founded in 1941, the QCCS is "a singing organization of and for the public, 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 ACSM’s faculty, and is open to singers of all backgrounds and skill levels, from high school students to adult community members.

Tickets 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  For a campus map, go to


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Deputy Director of News Services
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(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
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(718) 997-5593

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