BY JOE MARVILLI
The Queens Choral Society will help wrap up Queens College’s spring semester with a concert of “Elijah” by Felix Mendelssohn.
Taking place on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Colden Auditorium, nearly 300 musicians from the Queens College Choral Society, Choir, Women’s Choir and Orchestra will come together for this performance of the 19th century oratorio.
Considered one of the most beloved works of all time, “Elijah” tells the story of the Old Testament prophet and miracle worker in a musical that covers the span of his life.
“I chose to perform Elijah because it is one of the most beautiful and inspiring choral orchestral masterworks in the repertoire,” conductor James John said. “It is also Mendelssohn’s last major work, and he displays his true brilliance as a composer in portraying a gamut of emotions, from deeply despairing to monumentally joyous.”
Joining the choir members is baritone Darren Stokes, a guest artist who has performed with prominent orchestra and opera companies throughout the country. He will take on the title role of “Elijah.” As an added bonus, boy soprano Gabriel Nichols, who sings in the Metropolitan Opera Children’s Chorus, will perform in the role of the Youth.
Eight students in the Aaron Copeland School of Music’s undergraduate and graduate programs are also going to have a chance to shine, as each one will get a solo performance in the spotlight.
“They’re doing a great job. For us, it’s exciting to feature our own,” harpist and composer Emily John said. “Darren is worth the price of the ticket as well.”
The concert will be the second of two annual performances held by the society. While the music is the main attraction, Emily said that the Choral Society is an example of a community working together.
“We have college students up to octogenarians. It’s building a community. People choose to come together. We hope that translates to the audience,” she said. “We hope people can just revel in the beauty of live music.”
“I hope people not only find the performance entertaining, but also can find a peaceful moment of repose from the hectic pace of everyday life in the gorgeous vocal and choral music Mendelssohn wrote,” James added.
Tickets for the concert are $20 and are available through Kupferberg Center Box office at (718) 793-8080.
Reach Joe Marvilli at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 125, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @Joey788.