What a borough! Its newest ensemble is about to fill one of its most hallowed performance spaces with beautiful music.
The Queensboro Symphony Orchestra will present a Pre-New Year’s Eve Concert at Mary’s Nativity Church in Flushing on Thursday, Dec. 29, at 8 p.m. Beethoven’s “Choral Fantasy” and Haydn’s “Symphony No. 45: Farewell” are on the playlist.
The brainchild of Korean-born conductor, composer, pianist and violin teacher Dong-Hyun Kim, the orchestra is a mix of roughly 35 professional musicians and conservatory students. All members are Queens residents, and the ensemble – complete with string, wind, brass, percussion, vocal, etc. — basically formed naturally after aspirants got together for practice sessions.
They debuted on March 22, 2015, and since then they have offered various concerts in the Flushing/Whitestone area. Noted for their high energy and vibrancy, the musicians prefer masterworks of the symphonic repertoire, such as Tchaikovsky’s “5th Symphony” and Beethoven’s “5th Symphony,” and they do concertos featuring instrumentalists from within the group during their gigs.
Kim holds a master’s degree in conducting from the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and his resume includes stints as guest conductor with the Korea University Orchestra and the Astoria Symphony Orchestra.
Live music has always been a priority at Mary’s Nativity, which will celebrate its 90th anniversary in 2017. The Parsons Boulevard church got a custom-made organ a year after opening, and then hosted one of the only co-ed choirs at the time. At least 500 people can fit in the pews, which sit amid high ceilings, stained glass walls, and a variety of oil paintings, including a copy of Raphael’s “Mary with Christ and John the Baptist,” whose original hangs in Pitti Palace in Florence, Italy.
Editor’s note: The borough is also home to the Queens Symphony Orchestra and the Oratorio Society of Queens. These ensembles are large and very talented, but they are distinct from each other and the Queensboro Symphony Orchestra.
Photos: Queensboro Symphony Orchestra