The Oratorio Society of Queens (OSQ) is a community chorus that welcomes adults and young people of all faiths, ages and ethnic origins. OSQ has a Student Choral Program for talented high school and college students (click here for more info). We are the oldest performing arts organization in Queens with over 125 members who share the exhilaration of preparing and performing the great choral masterpieces and bringing musical excellence in Queens.
Our Artistic Director and Conductor, Maestro David Close, is a joy to work with. He's an all-around splendid musician - conductor, concert pianist, organist, music director, former opera coach, teacher and a fine tenor in his own right. He has worked very hard - and succeeded, we feel, in developing us into semi-professional performers.
We give two primary performances annually: a Holiday Concert in December and a Spring Concert in May featuring great choral and oratorio masterpieces, opera arias and choruses.
OSQ is an independent non-profit corporation registered in New York State. Dues, contributions, grants, ticket sales and much more help us sustain ourselves. Dues are $200 for two concert cycles (September full year membership -or- January full year membership). Please make your check or money order out to the Oratorio Society of Queens. We also take Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express and payment can be made at rehearsal. Also, please note that there is a $25 fee for bounced checks.
The Oratorio Society relies on the generosity of its members and supporters. Please try to make a contribution to the Oratorio Society of Queens in addition to your dues payment. In addition, check out Matching Grant policies with your employer.
Auditions for membership for the Oratorio Society of Queens will consist of singing scales, matching pitches, and some vocalizing. This vocalizing might be a piece you've prepared, or a tune that's familiar to everyone. The choice is yours. This prepared piece can be sung a cappella or with piano accompaniment. If piano accompaniment is required, you must bring the music for the pianist.
Auditions for the FALL 2018 term are:
- Monday, September 10
- Monday, September 17
Please note that if you are accepted as a member, you will go right into rehearsals that evening! Please come prepared to stay and sing.
If you would like to become a singing member of OSQ, please call us at 718.279.3006 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule your audition.
All auditions will take place at the Oratorio Society of Queens' rehearsal space. Latecomers will NOT be accommodated. You MUST register for your audition by sending an email to email@example.com with your name, phone number and email address. Someone will then contact you.
All voice parts are welcome and although you are not required to have had formal voice lessons, all members are expected to be able to sing on pitch and in accurate rhythm. PREVIOUS CHORAL EXPERIENCE IS PREFERRED.
AUDITIONING: DON’T LET AUDITION ANXIETY HOLD YOU BACK
an article from our artistic director,
David W. Close
Lay a 6” plank that’s 10’ long on the ground and ask anyone to walk on it. “It doesn’t present any challenge,” I hear you say. Take that same plank, raise it 100 feet in the air and ask anyone to walk on it. What happens? Panic, fear and trembling, sweaty palms, heart palpitations, copious perspiration, a heart wildly racing and a knot in the pit of the stomach. It’s obvious what the difference is. The first instance provokes no fear; the second, absolute terror.
Auditions can be like that. Highly accomplished musicians are not immune. A superb violinist at an audition for a major orchestra pointed out, “You work all your life for an opportunity like this and, if the audition does not go well because of nerves, the whole trajectory of your career can be ruined in an instant.”
Enter the prospective chorister who saw an ad in the paper or online or a poster in the local laundromat. He or she summons the courage to make the phone call to inquire about how to become a member. She may have sung a little in college or he might have sung in his high school glee club for a semester or two. They both may never have auditioned for those groups. Now they are ushered into a room of strangers who appear to be sitting in judgment and a renowned “maestro” who is about to ask them to do things they’ve never done before...TERROR!! We at the Oratorio Society of Queens know how daunting this all can be. How do we know? We’ve all been through it – and some of us, many times!
When prospective members make the call to the OSQ phone number, they are greeted by a welcoming voice who gives them an overview of the chorus and the process, all the while calming their fears and developing a relationship of trust. When they arrive at the audition, they are welcomed again and ushered into the audition room where they are again welcomed and introduced to the members of the ‘listening’ committee who are themselves caring and sensitive members of the chorus. The “Maestro” also welcomes them and gently demonstrates the simple little scale patterns that they will sing while he accompanies and encourages them. He explains to them that this is done to see if they will be comfortable with a higher or a lower part in the chorus. He has them match pitches to check to see how well they can manage learning by ‘ear’ while he encourages their correct choices. Finally he asks them to sing something: a song, a tune, whatever is most comfortable and shows off their voice to the finest. All of this is designed to allay their fears while trying to gain some insight into their musical abilities.
While we do our best to take the terrifying aspects out of the experience of auditioning, we do recognize that is still a stressful experience. But we know and hope they recognize that it is worth ‘rising to the challenge’ because it means they have a really good chance at singing great music with a super chorus for some really wonderful audiences.