Good things come in threes.

Three local ensembles will offer three concerts on three consecutive Thursdays next month. They’ll perform music from three different centuries, too.

The Forest Hills Choir, the Oratorio Society of Queens, and Schola Sine Nomina have joined forces to present a Summer Sings program at The Church-in-the-Gardens in Forest Hills.

Popular in Europe for years, “Summer Sings” are open, scratch performances of major choral works. There is no prior rehearsal, just a quick vocal warm up and a rehearsal of some of the harder sections or transitions, then it’s show time. Plus, anyone can join. The troupe consists of whoever shows up that night.

The atmosphere is relaxed, almost giddy, and conductors often take advantage of the informal setting to experiment with new techniques. Sometimes they change their plans depending on the size and talents of the choir.

The fun kicks off with Mozart’s “Requiem” on Aug. 1 at 7:30 p.m. Two graduates of Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music, Todd Wachsman and Ben Arendsen, will conduct this time-honored classic that the Austrian genius composed in the late 1700s. It’s actually in Latin, but organizers ensure that the language is easy to sing.

The “Fauré Requiem” headlines the second concert at the same Forest Hills church on Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. Adam Eggleston, who founded the Astoria Choir, will conduct this seven-movement classic that Fauré, a Frenchman, composed in the late 1800s. Again, most of the text is in Latin. (No problem.)

During the concert, the ensemble will also sing Fauré’s “Cantique de Jean Racine” in French and an English version of “How Lovely is Thy Dwelling Place” from the “Brahms Requiem.”

James John, a professor at Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music, will conduct “Carmina Burana” during the final concert, which is scheduled for Aug. 15 at 7:30 p.m. Written by Germany native Carl Orff in the 1930s, this cantata is based on 24 poems in a unique hybrid of old European languages, including Latin and Old Provencal. The text can be tough to articulate in the faster sections, but it’s perfectly acceptable to sing “la, la, la” at these intervals, the organizers say.

General admission is $15 per event, but music lovers can buy a season pass for $30 and get entry to all the shows. Attendees will get complementary scores.

The Church-in-the-Gardens is located at 50 Ascan Ave. It’s about five blocks from the 71st-Continental subway station for the E, F, M, and R lines. There’s ample free street parking, but attendees must pick up a parking pass and place it in the car windscreen to avoid getting booted. Concert organizers will stand outside the church and hand out these passes from 7 p.m. on concert nights.

Founded in 2011, the Forest Hills Choir consists of enthusiasts who love to perform choral music. Meanwhile, the Oratorio Society of Queens is the borough’s oldest performing cultural organization. Established in 1927, the society has about 100 singers and an ensemble. Schola Sine Nomina is an adult chamber choir in residence at St. Mary Gate of Heaven Roman Catholic Church in Ozone Park.

Images: The Church-in-the-Gardens (top); Oratorio Society of Queens (below)


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A romantic concert with poetry, music and passion in Astoria
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