The Queens College Orchestra, under the direction of Maurice
Peress, gives eight public performances each year. The Orchestra
exposes student musicians to a broad range of musical styles; and
its repertoire encompasses not only the standard symphonic
literature, but important operatic, oratorio and choral works as
well. The Orchestra has also premiered contemporary works by
faculty composers Thea Musgrave and Edward Smaldone.
The Queens College Wind Ensemble, directed by Richard Sang,
performs both traditional band repertory and original twentieth-
century works. Much of its repertory consists of arrangements of
compositions originally written for orchestra or other ensembles.
The Queens College Concert Choir is the principal choral
organization on campus. Directed by Harold Rosenbaum, admission
is limited to 50 students by audition only. The Concert Choir
explores choral literature ranging from major works (Mozart's
Requiem) to contemporary pieces (the world premiere of the opera
The Village) to standard repertory for mixed chorus.
Participation in the Choir enhances sight reading and other
musicianship skills, as well ensemble techniques.
The Queens College Glee Club, also directed by Professor
Rosenbaum, is open to any Queens College student by audition.
Like the Choir, it provides students with the opportunity to
learn and perform great works of the choral literature. Unlike
the Choir, members do not have to have any background in singing
in order to be able to join and participate.
The Opera Studio affords students the opportunity to perform
scenes from the standard operatic repertory. Led by Doris
Kosloff, each semester the Studio presents staged scenes in a
public concert. In 1995, the group performed the world premiere
of The Village by faculty composer Joel Mandelbaum, written to a
libretto by English Professor Susan Fox and staged by Drama
Professor Susan Einhorn. Recent performances have also included
scenes to operas by Professor Emeritus Hugo Weisgall and by
student composer Jerome Hughes.
The Guitar Ensemble, under the direction of William Matthews,
provides classical guitar players with solo and group
experiences. In recent years the ensemble has been extremely
popular, with as many as a dozen students registered at a time.
Thus, the group is often broken up into several ensembles that
The Brass Ensemble, directed by Adjunct Professor Philip Granger,
was formed to provide the brass players a more challenging group
experience. The group presents a full concert every semester.
The Percussion Ensemble, directed by Adjunct Professor Raymond
Des Roches, also provides ensemble experience for percussionists.
In recent years the group has included premiere performances of
new works written for percussion as well as standard repertory.
The Jazz Ensemble, led by noted saxophonist Jimmy Heath, performs
music for both big bands and small combos. An extremely popular
group, the ensembles performs at least once a semester.
The Vocal Ensemble is the School's vocal chamber choir. Led by
Harold Rosenbaum, the group focuses on repertory of the
Renaissance and the Baroque, though literature of all periods is
performed. The group's recording of the music of Josquin Desprez
was issued by Musical Heritage.
The Baroque Ensemble has been offered each Spring for nearly a
decade. Its mission is to present music of the Baroque period
performed in an "authentic" manner, sometimes on period
instruments as opposed to their modern equivalents. The manner of
performance, which may sometimes lead to the consultation of
historical and theoretical writings on the subject, has been
followed. The student string players can use Baroque bows owned
by the School of Music. The ensemble was recently taken over by
Professor and Dean of the Arts and Humanities Raymond Erickson.
The Nota Bene Contemporary Ensemble is dedicated to the
performance of twentieth-century music, including both classics
of the repertory such as Stravinsky's L'Histoire du Soldat and
Schoenberg's Pierrot Lunaire, lesser-known works, and even
student compositions. Led by Professor Ronald Roseman, the
ensemble has been very successful in recent years.
The Queens College Choral Society is a mixed College and
community chorus sponsored by the Aaron Copland School of Music.
Founded in 1941, the purpose of the Society is to provide
members of the greater College community opportunities to
experience masterpieces of the choral literature, either through
performance or as an audience. In addition, the chorus helps
make the community aware of the College and involves the
community in its activities.
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