Around the Diocese

Summer Sings in Forest Hills

The Forest Hills Choir, the Queens Oratorio Society and Scola Sine Nomine are sponsoring two Summer Sings at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills during August. Accomplished, local conductors will lead both requiems.

Mozart’s Requiem is set for Thursday, Aug. 16 and it will be conducted by David Close and Ben Arendsen. The Brahms’ Requiem will be held on the following Thursday, Aug. 23, and be conducted by Ronnie Oliver Jr. Both events will begin at 7:30 p.m. in church.

Open to everyone, Summer Sings are choral works of classical music that have been popping up in Europe for almost 50 years. Similar events have been held in Manhattan over the past decade.

A conductor and pianist are present, and the people are seated according to their voice range. Everyone gets a score. There is usually a short warm up, followed by the execution of the full piece.

You do not need to be a classically trained singer to participate. That is part of the fun, anyone can participate. It is educational for those unaccustomed to choir singing and is a lot fun.

To prepare for the first event, Maestro David Close suggested listening to Mozart’s Requiem and downloading the score to get familiar with the music. “The object is to have fun,” Close said. “This is a social night at the end of the summer for the community.”

Both Close and co-conductor Ben Arendsen hope this becomes a regular summer event.

“We are hoping for a healthy mix of professional and amateur singers. Our aim is for members of the community to be part of a creative and fun endeavor together,” Arendsen said.

Tickets are $15 each and are available at the doors, which will open at 7:15 p.m.

Anyone who loves to sing and enjoys music is welcome. No prior musical study is required.

More information is available at and

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