BY ANGELA MATUA
The show was part of the Queens Symphony Orchestra concert series, which is taking place throughout Queens all summer. The free live performances are meant to educate “families and individuals of all ages about the universal value and necessity of orchestral music,” according to its website.
Five members of the orchestra played songs that paid tribute to New York City such as Frank Sinatra’s “New York, New York.” Orchestra members also educated the crowd of 40 people about the instruments they play, which included a clarinet, cello, flute and oboe.
Councilman Eric Ulrich sponsored the event and attended the concert with his daughter.
“From Richmond Hill to the Rockaways, Queens Symphony Orchestra delighted and entertained audiences in every corner of my district,” Ulrich said. “Each concert featured a distinctive genre of music and was well attended overall. I hope to continue these performances again next year.”
Charlene O’Dea, a resident of Hamilton Beach for 20 years, attended the event with her husband, Michael, and daughter, Heather.
“That show was great,” O’Dea said. “We enjoyed it very much. To my surprise, I knew most of the words to the music they played.”
Hamilton Beach Civic Association President Roger Gendron said he was glad to see an event like this hosted in his neighborhood.
“It was a wonderful thing,” Gendron said. “It’s nice to finally see Hamilton Beach get some of the events and the perks that other communities got in the past. It’s nice to see that.”
The Queens Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1953 by conductor David Katz, a Forest Hills resident who worked with Queens-based instrumentalists to bring free concerts to local communities so that they wouldn’t have to travel to Manhattan to experience classical music. Currently in its 63rd season, the Queens Symphony Orchestra is the only professional orchestra in Queens and the largest and oldest arts organization in the borough.
With their performance, the Queens Symphony Orchestra succeeded in making Hamilton Beach resident JeanAnn Giunta-Stetz a new fan of orchestral music.
“I’ve never listen to music like this before,” Giunta-Stetz said. “I thought I wouldn’t enjoy it, but found it fun and very entertaining.”