The mission of the Oratorio Society of Queens is to engage, educate and uplift the Queens community by presenting musical programs that span the repertoire from great choral masterpieces to popular all-time favorites.
We are a community-based chorus and accomplish our mission by:
Providing our diverse membership of volunteer singers with joy-filled rehearsal and exhilarating performance experiences that expand their musical abilities, build community and richly contribute to the cultural life of Queens
Offering opportunities for local high school and college students to learn music theory, voice production, stage presence and civic responsibility by attending regular rehearsals and performing with the chorus, professional soloists and orchestra
Presenting Holiday and Spring concerts which are widely-recognized as the premiere choice for Queens audiences who want to hear excellent choral music
The Oratorio Society of Queens is the oldest performing cultural organization in the borough. Its inception in the Spring of 1927 preceded completion of the subway (the #7 line) in 1931 and the Triboro Bridge in 1940. Through the "Great Depression" and WWII, the chorus continued to rehearse and perform, contributing to "life as usual" in the most extraordinary of times. The founders of the organization did not think of Queens as a place to sleep when they were not working in Manhattan - but rather as a place to live. Churches, temples, elementary and secondary schools, colleges and performing arts centers were built to enhance the quality of life in the borough. Today, thousands of immigrants come to Queens because it is a vital place to live and make a life in America. Our presence as a cultural institution in this borough for more than 90 years is an indication of the success with which we continue to meet the cultural needs of our fellow citizens.
The Oratorio Society of Queens (OSQ) continues in its cultural mission - sharing a love of classical choral music with its friends and neighbors throughout Queens. With semi-annual performances in such venues such as Queensborough Performing Arts Center (at Queensborough Community College), Bayside High School, St. Andrew Avellino Church, Cross Island Y, Temple Beth Sholom, Christ the King High School, Temple Beth-Am (Merrick, LI), Queens Terrace on the Park, Flushing Meadow Park, Forest Park Bandshell, Trinity Lutheran Church, Maria Regina Convent (Brentwood, LI), Bethany Baptist Church (Jamaica), Reform Temple of Forest Hills, and the Immaculate Conception Center, OSQ has thrilled thousands with exciting, high-quality musical events.
Artistic Director David Close is a major reason for the success of OSQ and the devotion of its members. A joy to work with, David is an all-around splendid musician - conductor, concert pianist, organist, music director, former opera coach at Queens College, composer, arranger and teacher.
The chorus began as the Oratorio Society of Flushing, and was later incorporated as the Oratorio Society of Queens. Our membership spans most of New York City and Long Island. Throughout its history, OSQ has been nonsectarian and welcomes adult members of all ages, faiths and ethnic groups. The roster includes active and retired educators, lawyers, health professionals, engineers, homemakers, secretaries, writers, librarians, computer wizards, artists and students.
OSQ traditionally presents a Holiday Concert featuring Part I of Handel’s "Messiah" along with a selection of holiday favorites and a Spring Concert. Our repertoire includes many classic choral compositions such as Verdi's "Requiem," Beethoven's "Ninth Symphony," Rutter's "Magnificat," Mozart's "Requiem" and Rossini's "Stabat Mater."
The Oratorio Society of Queens, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, is one of those remarkable community organizations that has survived and prospered through change and adversity and thrives with voluntary efforts of its friends, board of directors and members. The real cost of presentations is not reflected in ticket prices. Tax-deductible contributions are gratefully acknowledged in our programs.