The Mineola Choral Society of Long Island, now celebrating our seventieth concert season, continues to grow both in numbers and in the variety and quality of music that we perform. This past season, we welcomed members of the Waldorf Choral Society, which, unfortunately, performed its final concert in May of 2016. Now consisting of 80 amateur singers from many professions and walks of life, the Mineola Choral Society is still much the same as it was when we began, rehearsing Monday evenings in a friendly, congenial atmosphere and performing three major concerts each season. Over the years, our concerts have featured many classical masterworks from immortals such as Bach, Beethoven, Brahms, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Haydn, Handel and Schubert, as well as the music more modern composers including Berlin, Bernstein, Copland, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Gershwin, Webber, Orff, Duruflé, Poulenc and many others.
Our 2017 concert season began, as it has for the past 30 years, as guests of the Nassau Pops Symphony Orchestra’s at their annual Christmas concert. This was followed in January by our 2017 Winter Concert which highlighted more than two centuries of works that relate to the illusive search for peace in the world. The program included Johann Sebastian Bach’s beautiful and timeless plea for peace from his Mass in B minor—“Dona Nobis Pacem,” the dramatic and transcendent music Giuseppe Verdi’s Stabat Mater, and Ralph Vaughan Williams cantata Dona Nobis Pacem, which combines a vivid reminder of the agony of war with a final hope for peace. Our SRO performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Elijah at our 2017 Spring Concert conveyed with vivid presence, the power and intensity of his music, sometimes expressing deep tenderness and love and other times evoking images of violent fire, flood and whirlwind. The sold-out audience was transfixed by the seamless musical web woven by the orchestra, soloists and chorus. This was our first concert performed under the auspices of the Stephen C. Widom Cultural Arts Program at Temple Emanuel of Great Neck.
At our sold-out Winter Concert this past January, the chorus, with 42-piece orchestra, organ and soloists, performed Giuseppe Verdi’s Requiem, sometimes referred to as an opera in liturgical robes. From the subdued bass entrance of “Requiem aeternam” through the warning cadence of the bass drum in the “Dies Irae” and the eternal hope of the “Lux aeternam,” to the entreating “Libera me,” this concert was certainly one of our most successful. An excerpt from the "Dies Irae" is on this page. Our very successful Spring Concert opened with the music of Johannes Brahms, which included his opus 30 Lass Dich Nur Nichts Nicht Dauren (Let Nothing Ever Grieve Thee) and selections from his Liebeslieder Walzer. We concluded the concert with the youthful energy and rhythmic drive of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana.
Our 2014–2015 concert season was an overwhelming success. At the Winter Concert, the 65-voice chorus, with orchestra, organ and soloists performed Beethoven’s Mass in C major, followed by an orchestral excerpt from the Second Movement of his Ninth Symphony, and then the joyous Finale of the Ninth. The Cathedral resonated with the cry of hope for a world where “alle Menschen werden Brüder”— all men are made brothers, and Beethoven’s final 20 measures of his memorable Ninth were followed by a prolonged standing ovation from the SRO audience. Our Spring Concert, also presented to a packed church, featured the strong rhythms and distinct harmonies of Igor Stravinsky Symphony of Psalms. That was followed by a wonderful colaboration of mature and young voices for John Rutter's Mass of the Children. A 20-voice children’s choir from the Grace Christian Academy in Merrick, and a 24-voice senior treble choir from Mineola High School joined our chorus and chamber ensemble providing a truly inspirational and memorable concert experience.
Johannes Brahms' Ein Deutsches Requiem was the feature of our 2014 Winter Concert and our Spring Concert included Mozart's Vesperae Solennes De Confessorein the first half of the performance, and the music of Samuel Barber, Aaran Copland and Randall Thompson in the second.
Each year since 2001, we proudly present the Mineola Choral Society Peter J. Haller Vocal Music Excellence Award, a $1,000 scholarship, to a graduating Mineola High School student who has demonstrated talent in vocal performance and is planning to continue their musical education. The student is selected by the Music Department of Mineola High School.