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Tokyo Oratorio Will Join Queens College Choral Society in May 18 Spring Concert of Bach's Mass In B Minor

FLUSHING, NY, May 1, 2013 – As a gesture of international good will, members of the Tokyo Oratorio Society will join the Queens College Choral Society (QCCS) and Orchestra to perform J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor on Saturday, May 18 at 8 pm in Colden Auditorium.  Considered one of the great masterworks of all time, Bach's Mass in B Minor is a treasure trove of musical riches that will captivate listeners with its heavenly beauty and profound depth.  The Tokyo Oratorio will travel from Japan for a week of rehearsals and then perform what will be the QCCS’ 72nd annual spring concert.

The Tokyo Oratorio Society was founded in 1983 by Hiroshi Gunji to study and perform classical sacred music, especially Oratorio compositions. The choir's repertory includes work by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, Mendelssohn, Brahms, Verdi, Mahler, Britten and Stravinsky. The choir has made over 60 concert tours abroad since 1989 to such countries as Germany, Austria, Ireland, Korea, the United States, Norway and Israel. They have performed under the baton of renowned conductors including Giuseppe Sinopoli and Christoph Eschenbach, and with many choirs worldwide, such as the St.Hedwig Domchor, the Salzburg Domchor, Collegium Vocale Schwaebisch Gmuet, and the Prague Chamber Choir.

QCCS Music Director James John was a guest conductor for the Tokyo choir in June 2012, and he will return in October 2013 to conduct Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis.  A member of the college’s Aaron Copland School of Music for ten years, Dr. John conducts the QC Choir, Vocal Ensemble and Choral Society, teaches choral conducting, and serves as advisor to the graduate program in vocal performance.  In June 2010 he was named artistic director of the Manhattan-based vocal ensemble Cerddorion, a chamber choir dedicated to adventurous programs that span the breadth of the choral repertory. He has given presentations at national conventions of the American Choral Directors Association, and is in demand as a guest conductor 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 the recent premiere of 1001 Voices: A Symphony for Queens, commissioned by the Queens Symphony Orchestra; and is open to singers of all backgrounds and skill levels, from high school students to adult community members.

Tickets are $20 and are available through the Kupferberg Center Box Office at (718) 793 8080 or online at  For directions to Queens College, visit 

As it celebrates its 75th year, Queens College enjoys a national reputation for its liberal arts and sciences and pre-professional programs. With its graduate and undergraduate degrees, honors programs, and research and internship opportunities, the college helps its over 20,000 students realize their potential in countless ways, assisted by an accessible, award-winning faculty. Located on a beautiful, 77-acre campus in Flushing, the college is cited each year in the Princeton Review as one of the nation’s 100 “Best Value” colleges, thanks to its outstanding academics, generous financial aid packages, and relatively low costs. More info on Queens College at


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Deputy Director of News Services
(Position vacant)

(718) 997- 5597

Maria Matteo
Assistant Director of News Services
Kiely Hall, Room 809
(718) 997-5593

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