Queens College Orchestra
The Queens College Orchestra is the premier orchestral ensemble at the Copland School. Concertizing across more than five centuries of repertoire, it is a contemporary musical laboratory for the refinement of ensemble skills, student leadership, and presents a regular season of popular public concerts. Its constituent ensembles, the chamber orchestra, the studio orchestra, and the opera orchestra all draw upon its membership. Regularly engaged in recording projects and reading sessions, the orchestra also collaborates with Queens Opera and the Queens College Choir and Choral Society. The ensemble's music director and chief conductor is Copland School Associate Professor Mark Powell.
Queens College Wind Ensemble
The Queens College Wind Ensemble 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.
Queens College Choir
The Queens College Choir, conducted by James John, is a select ensemble of 35-40 music majors,and is the School of Music's principal undergraduate choral organization. The group engages in a wide variety of performances throughout the academic year, including concerts of a cappella choral music, opera productions, and major works with orchestra. Recognized as one of the finest collegiate choirs in the region, the QC Choir has appeared in many of Manhattan's prestigious venues, including St. Patrick's Cathedral and Carnegie Hall, and has been invited to perform at the New York State School of MusicAssociation Convention in Rochester, New York, as well as the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Conference in Providence, Rhode Island, in February 2012.The ensemble recentlyrecorded Bright Sheng's Two Folksongs from Qinghai on a forthcoming CD for Naxos.
Queens College Treble Choir
The Queens College Treble Choir, conducted by Dr. Eric Rubinstein, is a select, auditioned ensemble with a membership of approximately 30 singers. Comprised of both music and non-music majors, the Treble Choir performs repertoire exclusively for soprano and alto voices. This ensemble is committed to the study of culturally responsive and reflective repertoire and highlights a broad spectrum of music ranging from the Medieval to the Modern. The Treble Choir engages in a variety of performances throughout the academic year and is open by audition only.
Queens College Choral Society
The Queens College Choral Society, Founded in 1941, is "a singing organization of and for the public, and the students and staff of Queens College."
From its inception, the Society has had strong ties to the Queens community. Its founding Music Director, Queens College Professor John Castellini, is credited with helping to deepen the Queens community's exposure to the fullest breadth of musical literature, by leading the Society in premieres of major works -- a tradition that continues to this day.
The Society's Music Directors have been John Castellini (1941 - 1969), Carl Eberl (1970 - 1978), Lawrence Eisman (1978 - 2001), Harold Rosenbaum (2001 - 2002), and James John (2002 - Present).
The Society's Members
From its earliest days, the Society has drawn families and individuals of every age, ethnic background, and profession to its Wednesday evening rehearsals.What attracts members to the Society? The factors that drew early members are the same ones that attract members today: a chance for amateurs to participate in the musical life of Queens; an opportunity to deepen appreciation for musical genius by bringing its fruits to life; the Society's organizational verve and spirit; and by a common bond, the love of fine choral music.
The Society's Repertoire
The Society typically performs two concerts per year with orchestra (in December and May) devoted to the great masterpieces of choral literature. Recent performances have included Benjamin Britten's War Requiem, Verdi's Requiem, Bach's Magnificat, Haydn's Creation, Beethoven's Mass in C, Brahms's Requiem, Haydn's Lord Nelson Mass, Bernstein's Chichester Psalms, and Handel's Messiah.
The Society has also performed multiple premieres of new works, including pieces composed by Queens College Music Department faculty members Allen Brings, John Castellini, Joel Mandelbaum, Karol Rathaus, Bruce Saylor, and Hugo Weisgall.
For more information visit the Choral Society's website at http://www.qcchoralsociety.org.
Queens College Vocal Ensemble
The Queens College Vocal Ensemble, conducted by James John, is a select chamber choir of 18-24 graduate students, faculty, and advanced undergraduate students, specializing in a cappella music from the Renaissance to the 21st-century.Programs from the past few years have included Bach's Jesu, meine Freude, Britten's Five Flower Songs, Frank Martin's Songs of Ariel, the American premiere of Mondendinge (a set of three pieces by contemporary Swiss composer Rudolf Jaggi), Monteverdi's Sestina, Brahms's Drei Gesänge, Op. 42, Barber's Reincarnations, Poulenc's Un Soir de Neige, an evening of Scandinavian choral music, as well as world premieres of works written for the group by Leo Kraft and Sidney Boquiren. In 2006 the Vocal Ensemble appeared at the American Choral Directors Association Eastern Division Convention in New York City as part of a conducting master class with Jerry Blackstone of the University of Michigan, and was one of four featured collegiate choirs in "An Evening of Choral Artistry" at Alice Tully Hall. In March 2009 the Vocal Ensemble released a CD featuring the partsongs of Scottish composer Hamish MacCunn, funded through a PSC-CUNY grant.
The Jazz Ensemble Program at Queens College offers students hands on experience working with jazz groups under the tutelage of experienced jazz artists. Jazz Performance Majors are required to take 3 semesters of ensembles led by the jazz faculty:
David Berkman (Piano), Antonio Hart (Sax), Michael Mossman (Trumpet), Dennis Mackrel (Drums), Aubrey Johnson (Vocal), Charenee Wade (Vocal), Tim Armacost (Sax) and Paul Bollenback (Guitar).
Ensembles cover a broad range of topics from latin music, original compositions, the music of a particular jazz composer such as Dizzy Gillespie or Bud Powell, big band, odd and mixed meter, vocal performance and choir.Topics vary semester to semester.
The Percussion Ensemble is directed by Michael Lipsey. The group's repertoire has included premiere performances of new works as well as standard repertory.
The Brass Ensemble, directed by David Jolley, provides the brass players challenging group experiences. The group presents a full concert every semester.
Nota Bene Comtemporary Ensemble
The Nota Bene Contemporary Ensembleis dedicated to the performance of twentieth-century music, including classics of the repertory, new music, and faculty and student works. The ensemble is directed by David Jolley and Michael Lipsey. Inpast semesters,the Nota Bene Ensemble has performed at New York University's Black Box Theater, the Open Ears Festival Marathon, worked with violinist Todd Reynolds and improvised with Sylvan Leroux of the Fula Flute Ensemble.The last concert included worksby Andreissen and Rzewski.
Since its inception in the Spring of 2009 for Queens College's production of Monteverdi's Orfeo, the Queens College Baroque Ensemble has been performing works of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.Under the direction of baroque violin specialist Dongmyung Ahn, the group focuses on this music of the Baroque period using baroque bows and historically informed performance practice.In addition to the group's regular performances at Lefrak Hall (Queens College), the group has also performed at The Church of the Holy Trinity (New York), The Church in the Gardens (Forest Hills), King Manor Museum (Jamaica, Queens), and on the acclaimed Chamber Music Live series.
Dongmyung Ahn, Program Director
Queens College Saxophone Ensembles
The saxophone quartet has become the seminal chamber ensemble for the saxophonist, and has established itself as an active and vibrant part of music making in the 21st century.Comprised of soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxophones, the Queens College Saxophone quartet is dedicated to the performance of the full spectrum of original works from the 19th through 21st centuries, including classics of the repertory, new music, and faculty and student works. It has scheduled performances in fall and spring semesters. The ensemble is directed by Paul Cohen.
The saxophone ensemble is a conducted group of 8-14 saxophones ranging from sopranino to bass. A vast range of music is played, including transcriptions and original works spanning traditional to contemporary styles. Students have the opportunity to play different size saxophones as well as performing conducted music without part doubling. The ensemble performs each semester and is conducted by Paul Cohen.
Queens College Opera
The Queens College Opera, is a five-time winner of the National Opera Association Opera Production Competition.
Our mission is to give deserving students performing opportunities and exposure to a wide variety of repertoire in both staged productions and scenes. Outreach events allow us to broaden our audience and give the community at large a chance to hear our diverse and talented young artists. Performance assignments are tailored to students' individual needs in order to best foster the development of musical and dramatic skills.
Productions have included The Magic Flute, Le Nozze di Figaro, Dido and Aeneas, Hansel and Gretel, Bernstein's Mass, The Rape of Lucretia, Così fan tutte, and at least one world premiere; Bruce Saylor's The Image Maker. Scenes range from the familiar to the unexpected, and have included excerpts from The Chocolate Soldier, Der Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni, Cendrillon, I Capuletti ed i Montecchi, Werther, L'Italiana in Algeri and Pacific Overtures.
Admission to the Opera is by audition.
Queens College Opera is a member of the New York Opera Alliance.