It’s holiday season, and stores are playing the same boring songs as last year. Queens music lovers shouldn’t give up hope, though, as three cheer-raising concerts are on the horizon.

The Queens College Choral Society strikes first with its 79th Annual Winter Concert at Colden Auditorium on Saturday, Dec. 14, at 8 p.m.

Members of this eclectic ensemble range from high schoolers, undergrads and staffers to local enthusiasts, and the night’s program is “Cantata Carmina Burana.” Written by German composer Carl Orff in the 1930s, this choral work is based on 24 poems and texts from the 11th, 12th and 13th centuries that celebrate life’s sorrows, passions, perils and joys. The opening chorus, “O Fortuna,” is part of the soundtracks for such movies as “The Hunt For Red October,” “Glory” and “Excalibur.” (Not to forget an advertisement for Old Spice aftershave.)

James John, a professor at Queens College’s Aaron Copland School of Music, will conduct. Other main performers include pianists Max Midroit and Sarang Kim, percussion students from the Copland School, and professional soloists Stefanie Izzo (soprano), Sungwon Jin (tenor) and Sidney Outlaw (baritone).

Tickets are $20, and Colden Auditorium is in the vicinity of Horace Harding Expressway and Kissena Boulevard in Flushing.

Then, Our Lady Queens of Martyrs will host a Christmas Concert in Forest Hills on Sunday, Dec. 15, at 4 p.m. The Roman Catholic church’s Sacred Music Society will join forces (and voices) with the Oratorio Society of Queens and the Orchestra Arts Ensemble of Queens to present a program whose first half is the Christmas portion of Handel’s “Messiah.”

The second half, entitled “The Many Moods of Christmas, Suite 1,” is all carols with “Adeste Fideles,” “Silent Night,” “Ten Thousand Joys,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing” and “O Holy Night.” Maestro David Close will conduct the several dozen singers and musicians, but expect solos by Jennifer Gliere (soprano), John Easterlin (tenor) and Nathan Bahny (bass-baritone).

Queen of Martyrs is at 110-06 Queens Blvd., near Ascan Avenue. General admission is $35, but children under age 13 can attend for $10.

The Oratorio Society of Queens and the Orchestral Arts Ensemble of Queens will then share the stage with Cantor Jerry Korobow during the annual Holiday Favorites concert at Flushing’s St. Kevin Church the following Sunday, Dec. 22, at 4 p.m.

Again, the first half will consist of excerpts of Handel’s “Messiah.” In the second half, Korobow will do “Nun Gimel/Chanukah, O Chanukah” and “Ocho Kandelikas,” a Ladino song celebrating the eight candles of Chanukah. Then, Maestro Close will lead “A Christmas Cradle Song,” “Won’t You Come A-Christmasing” and “O Holy Night” with help from Gliere, Easterlin and Bahny.

St. Kevin, which is also Roman Catholic, is at 42-21 194th St. Tickets are $40, but $35 for seniors and students with ID, and $10 for children age 12 and under.

Images: Oratorio Society of Queens (above); Queens College Choral Society (below)


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