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The “Mass for Troubled Times” or “Lord Nelson Mass” was composed by Franz Joseph Haydn over a six-week period in 1798. The symphonic work’s unusual orchestration — strings, trumpets, timpani and organ (no woodwinds or low brass) — creates a stark sound, capturing the fear and turmoil of the time in Europe as Napoleon Bonaparte had just won four major battles and the French military chief was threatening to conquer the world.

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The Oratorio Society of Queens — which includes more than 125 chorus members and top-notch string and wind sections – will offer its time-honored, annual holiday concert at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center this Sunday.

Founded in 1927, this group is the borough’s oldest nonprofit dedicated to the arts, and this is its signature show. The first half will feature portions of Handel’s “Messiah” with Maestro David Close, a 40-year veteran, and soloists Geraldine McMillian (soprano), John Easterlin (tenor), Vaughn Fritts (bass-baritone), and OSQ’s Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens.

After the break, the audience will listen — and sing along — to Christmas favorites such as “O Come All Ye Faithful,” “Il est né le divin enfant,” a traditional French carol by John Rutter, and “Gesù Bambino,” which Italian organist Pietro Yon allegedly wrote while riding an NYC subway. There will also be a rollicking version of the Caribbean ditty “The Virgin Mary had a Baby Boy.”

The second half will also feature Jewish songs such as “Ocho Kandelikas,” a Ladino tune which celebrates Chanukah and its story of hope and redemption, and “The Lamp kept burnin’ on” by Long Island composer Linda Tsuruoka. Guest cantor Jerry Korobow will play guitar and lead the chorus and orchestra in a lively and spirited “Al HaNissim.” All the details are on jump…

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Go ahead, deck the halls. But for real holiday inspiration, head over to any one of four fantastic concerts scheduled for this upcoming, jam-packed weekend. The fun begins on Friday with a special show at Queens Museum featuring the Corona Youth Orchestra, the Corona Children’s Orchestra, and the No Frontiers Children’s Orchestra playing Beethoven and other classics. There’s a double dose on Saturday, as the Forest Hills Choir performs a collection of choral pieces, such as “Magnificat” and “O Magnum Mysterium,” which honor the Virgin Mary. At night, the Queens College Choral Society, whose membership includes high school students and adults who have been with the group for more than 40 years, does Handel’s Messiah and other favorites with a full orchestra. Finish the fix — and get another dose of Handel’s Messiah — on Sunday when Our Lady of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society joins forces with the Oratorio Society of Queens to offer an annual concert that always involves tremendous audience participation.

Four sets of details after the jump.

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Founded in 1927, the Oratorio Society of Queens is the borough’s oldest performing cultural organization. This year, David Close, the artistic director and conductor, is celebrating 40 years with the community-based chorus. In other words, it’s time to sing. This Sunday, the society will offer its spring concert with Maestro Close conducting more than 125 people through everything from solo recitals to orchestral performances. Anton Bruckner’s Mass in F Minor will be the centerpiece, but attendees will also get to hear opera highlights and the best of the country’s musical heritage, reflecting a wide range of music that is the American choral experience.

Details: Oratorio Society of Queens Annual Spring Concert, Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, May 18th, 4 pm. $30/$25 seniors and students with ID/$10 children (12 and under).

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Queens will be filled with beautiful music this Sunday. At 3 pm at Flushing Town Hall, Trio Cavatina will play classical and romantic music featuring works by Beethoven and Brahms. It will be the NYC premiere for Douglas Boyce, who writes chamber music that bridges the medieval and the modern, the visceral and the cerebral. This chamber ensemble, consisting of pianist Ieva Jokubaviciute, violinist Harumi Rhodes and cellist Priscilla Lee, won the 2009 Naumburg International Chamber Music Competition. Meanwhile at 4:30 pm, the Con Brio Ensemble will perform a twilight concert at the Church-in-the-Gardens in Forest Hills. World famous violinist Alexander Meshibovsky and pianist Diana Mittler will perform Respighi-Violin Sonata, Bloch-Baal Shem Suite and Sarasate-Introduction and Tarantella. Plus, Alan Hollander will play works for oboe and piano by Telemann, Ravel and Saint-Saens, and baritone Darian Worrell will sing the Four Serious Songs by Brahms. And if these concerts inspire their audiences, the Oratorio Society of Queens will hold auditions for those who enjoy choral singing at Flushing’s Temple Beth Sholom on Monday, January 13th, at 7:45 pm.

Details: Trio Cavatina, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, January 12th, 3 pm, $25/$20 for Queens residents/$15 for students.

Bonus details: Con Brio Ensemble, The Chuch-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, January 12th, 4:30 pm, $12/$10.

Final details: January 13th, Oratorio Society of Queens Auditions, Temple Beth Sholom, 171-39 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, January 13th, 7:45 pm, free but make reservations at 718.279.3006. 

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It’s the oldest performing cultural organization in Queens — founded in 1927 before the 7 train was completed — and its members have sung in countless churches, synagogues and schools throughout the borough. The Oratorio Society of Queens will perform a holiday concert at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center on Sunday. This group, which features a 125-plus-member chorus under the direction of 40-year veteran Maestro David Close, will come alive with appropriate portions of Handel’s Messiah along with a healthy amount of Christmas and Hanukkah favorites by the chorus, soloists and special guests.

Details: Oratorio Society of Queens Holiday Concert, Queensborough Performing Arts Center, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, December 22nd, 4 pm, $30/$25 for seniors and students with ID.

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‘Tis the season to attend concerts… many, many concerts. Various top-notch Queens ensembles are set fill local venues with holiday spirit in the upcoming days. Each gig is unique, and each one offers a slightly different take on Christmas, the new year and winter. On Friday, Grammy-nominated jazz guitarist and composer Amanda Monaco brings her quartet, Formula One, to Flushing Town Hall. The first part of the show will feature original compositions inspired by car racing, while the second half will consist of seasonal favorites. On Sunday, there are three fantastic choices. At 3 pm at LeFrak Concert Hall, the Queens Symphony Orchestra (above) will take the audience on a world tour through music emblematic of various cultural traditions, all bound by the common theme of joy, unity and winter. At 4 pm, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church’s Sacred Music Society will host the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens. At 5 pm at St. Joseph Church, the Astoria Symphony will celebrate with music by two great French masters: the Bach-inspired Oratorio de Noël by Camille Saint-Saëns and Francis Poulenc’s Gloria. Exactly a week later, the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens will do another show with the Oratorio Society of Queens at the Queensborough Performing Arts Center. Expect Handel’s “Messiah,” Christmas carols and Hanukkah favorites.

December 13th details: Carols and Car Races, Flushing Town Hall, 137-35 Northern Boulevard, Flushing, 8 pm, $15.

December 15th details: Holidays Around the World, LeFrak Concert Hall, Kissena Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway, Flushing, 3 pm, $20/$10 children under 13 and adults over 64; A Christmas Concert, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church, 110-06 Queens Boulevard, Forest Hills, 4 pm, $25/$10 for children 12 and under; Noël!, St. Joseph Church, 43-19 30th Avenue, Astoria, 5 pm, $20/$15 seniors and children.

December 22nd details: Annual Holiday Concert 2013, QPAC, 222-05 56th Avenue, Bayside, 4 pm, $30/$25 seniors and students with ID/$10 children 12 and under.

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He’s the mesmerizing master of the marimba. Makoto Nakura‘s artistry, virtuosity and showmanship enlighten and entertain audiences at the same time. On Saturday, the Japanese percussionist will offer a concert in his adopted hometown, Forest Hills, thanks to Musica Reginae. The program includes Nakura’s own transcriptions of Bach’s Solo Partita in E major and Saint-Saëns’ Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso; the pyrotechnic display of Paganini’s Caprice no. 24 and Stravinsky’s Three Movements from Petrushka, and more recent works by Japanese composers Toshi Ichiyanagi and Toshio Mashima. Plus, he will be accompanied by violinist Jesse Mills and pianist Barbara Podgurski from the Oratorio Society of Queens.

Details: Making Music with the Marimba, The Church-in-the-Gardens, 50 Ascan Avenue, Forest Hills, December 7th, 7:30 pm. $20 adults/$15 seniors/$10 students/free children under 12.