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New Works Concert at The Church-in-the-Gardens Kicks Off ‘Making Music’ Series on Saturday

Oct. 19, 2018 Staff Report

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Musica Reginae Productions opens its 2018-2019 indoor season with New Music NYC, a concert featuring the latest creations for voice and ensemble by local composers, at The Church-in-the-Gardens in Forest Hills on Saturday, Oct. 20, at 7 pm.

Three composers from the Association for the Promotion of New Music are included in the program, whose works were inspired by nature writer and environmental activist Catherine Schmitt, Irish poet James Joyce, orchestra leader Duke Ellington, and jazz pianist Thelonius Monk.

The show’s headliner is the world premiere of “Swimming Upstream,” a one-act chamber opera in four scenes by Queens Council on the Arts grant winner Sheree Clement. The main character is a retired biology teacher from Maine who doubles as a water goddess. She reacts to human contamination of waterways in this piece, which is scored for soprano and includes pre-recorded audio and visual projections.

Clara Duo, which consists of Queens College graduates Asuka Elias on clarinet and Aleksandra Kocheva on piano, plays the first half’s tunes, while members of Manhattan-based Ensemble π (Ensemble Pi) do the honors during the second half.

Here’s the program:

  • “Small Hole at the Top of the Sky” by David Schober
    “Time Pieces, Op. 43” by Robert Muczynski
    “Duke/Monk” by Edward Smaldone
    “A Set of Chamber Music”


  • “Companion Piece” by Bruce Taub with Idith Meshulam on piano
    “Z’s Lied” by Erik Lundborg with Sheila Simpson on piano
    “Swimming Upstream” by Sheree Clement and conducted Carl C. Bettendorf with an excerpt from “The President’s Salmon” by Catherine Schmitt. Elizabeth Farnum sings soprano accompanied by Ensemble π.

Tickets are $20 , but students with valid identification can attend for $10.

Musica Reginae presented an educational, interactive children’s event at Queens Botanical Garden on Oct. 6, but New Music NYC marks the start of its Making Music 2018-2019 (–tickets) series, which includes “Bach Meets the 21st Century” on Dec. 1, “Beethoven Meets Stradivarius” on March 16, and “Istanbul to Kathmandu” on May 11.

Founded in 2000, Musica Reginae organizes family-friendly concerts—mostly classical, chamber, opera, jazz, and contemporary—throughout the borough. Most of the shows take place at The Church-in-the-Gardens at 50 Ascan Ave.

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