In September, the Mineola Choral Society will begin rehearsals for our 75th concert season. From our beginnings as a community based chorus, to a pre-Covid membership of approximately 80 men and women from over 30 Long Island communities (from Brooklyn to West Islip), MCS has remained true to its core mission, bringing amateur singers together for weekly rehearsals in a congenial atmosphere, culminating in two concerts with full orchestra each season. Over the years the group has performed classical masterworks, Broadway and American Songbook favorites, and choral works in a broad range of styles. Below is a synopsis of our last four concerts.
Spring Concert 2022
After a two-year absence due to Covid, the Mineola Choral Society returned to Corpus Christi Church to perform our Spring Concert, Our Prayer for Peace. The concert opened with the world premier of Thomas W. Jones' Lamentations, which speaks to the desolation and sadness following the fall of Jerusalem in the 6th century B.C. It is a stark parallel not only to the emptiness of our cities, and our periodic feelings of helplessness and despair during the pandemic lockdowns, but also to the ruinous destruction of so many cities in Ukraine, and the death, pain and anguish of their people as the war rages on. This was followed by Mozart's Requiem, a memorial to all who have died during the pandemic and in the war in Ukraine, and a prayer for all those who lost fathers, mothers, children, relatives and friends as a result of these tragic events. The conclusion of the concert from the resurrection section of Handel's Messiah spoke to our search for a return to peace and normalcy in the world when "the trumpets shall sound and death is swallowed up in victory, thanks be to God—AMEN!” This is our Prayer for Peace—peace that comes from understanding; from tolerance; from sharing and caring; from laughing together, crying together and mourning together; from support of one another; from love of one another. A peace where we all work together in harmony to emerge victorious over the diseases of the world.
Winter Concert 2020
In January of 2020, the 80-voice chorus and orchestra of the Mineola Choral Society united three beloved musical compositions from the Classical, Romantic and Modern eras to form our Winter Concert at Corpus Christi RC Church in Mineola. The program opened with Mozart’s Mass in C major, K. 317, generally regarded as Mozart’s greatest complete Mass setting. This was followed by an orchestral interlude featuring Samuel Barber’s hauntingly-beautiful Adagio for Strings which received national acclaim when it was premiered by Arturo Toscanini with the NBC Symphony Orchestra in 1938. The finale of the afternoon was Gabriel Fauré’s inspiring Requiem in D minor, opus 48, which, in contrast to the more grand Requiems of Verdi or Brahms, is distinguished by its comfort and solace, forgoing the theatrical to focus on sorrow, hope joy and peace.
Spring Concert 2019
Titled The Music of the Masters: LET FREEDOM RING!, this concet continued our plea for liberty and brotherhood throughout the world. From the sublime a cappella opening of Max Janowski's Sim Shalom (Create Peace) to the the Finale of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 (Ode to Joy), which has become the musical banner for harmony and peace throughout the world, the concert was a highly inspirational declaration: LET FREEDOM RING! With a 40-piece orchestra and soprano Adrienne Patino Dunn, mezzo-soprano Janara Kellerman, tenor Joshua Benevento and bass Edward Hanlon, the chorus also presented excerpts from Ernest Bloch’s Avodath Hakodesh (Sacred Service) and selections from part 1 of George Frideric Handel’s Israel in Egypt. Following an interlude, a tender and emotional performance of Max Christian Friedrich Bruch’s Kol Nidrei featuring solo clarinetist David Gould and the orchestra, the chorus returned to perform "Preghiera" (Prayer) from Gioachino Rossini’s Mosé in Egitto, "Va, pensiero" from Giuseppe Verdi’s Nabucco and the finale, Ode to Joy.
Winter Concert 2019
This concert marked our return to Corpus Christi RC Church in Mineola where over 350 people came to hear the chorus and orchestra perform Antonín Dvořák's Stabat Mater, op. 58 with soloists Eileen Mackintosh, soprano, Janara Kellerman, mezzo-soprano, Joshua Benevento, tenor, and Edward Hanlon, bass. The sensitivity and intensity of the chorus and orchestra poignantly portrayed the grief and suffering of the Virgin Mary as she watched her son being tortured and crucified to his death. The concert began with “O Nata Lux,” the a cappella third movement of Morten Lauridsen's Lux Aeterna.
Listen to MCS: Excerpt from Movement 1 of Dvořák's Stabat Mater performed January, 2019 at Corpus Christi Church, Mineola, NY