Queens Festival Orchestra

Association Inc.

Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra

107-23 71 Road Suite 240
Forest Hills, NY 11375





2014-2015 SEASON








The Queens Festival Orchestra Association, Inc.
The Forest Hills Symphony Orchestra

Forest Hills Symphony Holds Auditions In September


Rehearsals begin September 3, 2014

 Orchestra players of Queens, it is time to unpack your instruments and try out the Forest Hills Symphony for a good fit.

 Under the direction of Franklin Verbsky who has been the artistic director and conductor of the orchestra since 1968, and has been offering programs in the Forest Hills area since 1980, is looking for new members who play stringed instruments and selected woodwind and brass instruments.

 Auditions are informal and will start with the first rehearsals in September on Wednesday evenings at 7:30. FHSO rehearses every Wednesday evening from 7:30-10:00 at the Forest Hills Jewish Center, 106th Street and Queens Blvd. (or 69th Rd) in Forest Hills.

 The orchestra is a classical sized orchestra and can use as many stringed instruments (Violin, Viola, Cello, and Bass) as wish to join. In the Woodwinds we have an open seat in the Oboe and Bassoon section and in the Brass section we have openings for French Horn players. Members come from many different backgrounds, ages, and playing abilities. So dust off those instruments, put new strings on and maybe rehair that bow and blow the cobwebs out of the wind instruments.

 Our repertoire is from the Classical and early Romantic periods with later music using a chamber ensemble. All we ask is for a willingness to work hard during rehearsals and some home practice. The Overtures and Symphonies scheduled are a challenge but not impossible. We have ample time to prepare (8-10 rehearsals per program) each of three programs through the concert season, taking place in November, February, and June.

 For more information call 718-374-1627 or visit our website—www.fhso.org.

 Don’t be afraid, even if you have not touched your instrument since high school. Many members, past and present, have found that with a little practice it all comes back. The thrill of playing orchestral music of the 18th and 19th Centuries is the most exhilarating feeling that our players comment about over our 50 year history.





The QFO/FHSO is a non-profit, tax-exempt, educational organization whose philosophy is, in practice, as well as by charter, an educational organization. Our primary aims are:

1. to teach the young and offer them skills necessary for an eventual career in music:

2. to offer adults of varying musical abilities a place to improve their musical skills;

3. for everyone, to create music in the positive social experience of community service.

We are a community made up of people from the Queens, Nassau, and greater New York Metropolitan areas whose ages span eight decades from 11 to 92/ we cross all ethnic lines and include all occupations, from student to retiree. We give three concerts annually at the Forest Hills Jewish Center and rehearse there weekly on Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 10:00 pm.

Since its founding in 1964, and incorporation in 1969, the orchestra has seen many of its students members and soloists graduate to various professional schools and eventual music careers. For our adult soloists, we have been the platform for the start of a concert career.

The symphony offers a service to the Forest Hills community and its surrounding environs. The elderly, without a comfortable and safe means of transportation do not seek out musical entertainment outside their neighborhoods. In the daylight hours they will congregate in a local park, or at a large indoor auditorium. We aim to be able to bring music to these people where they are without making them travel a significant distance. For our senior citizen orchestra members, being able to give these programs would move us closer towards our desire of community service in the form of musical entertainment. There is a great deal of spirit that can be galvanized if the proper performing environment were to exist.

Our regular concert audience is largely senior citizen. We offer more than 400 tickets per concert without charge to senior citizen centers and residential homes for the handicapped in the Forest Hills and Queens County area. Out programs are designed for this audience and their tastes. This, however, does not mean that we play down to them. We provide high quality classical and light classical music for this audience. We offer our programs at 2:00pm on three Sunday afternoons especially for this audience so that come to and from the concert does not entail their traveling after dark.

The QFT/FHSO is embarking on a long-range program designed to upgrade the educational product. It is called the TEACHER/SECTION LEADER PROGRAM. Each section of the orchestra will have a section leader in the first chair position at every rehearsal. These leaders will conduct sectional rehearsals to teach the finer points of performance based on their own professional experience. In addition, they will see that the music is correctly marked for greater understanding of the music. At the concerts these people will add their playing skills to the performance, thereby firmly grounding what has been taught at the rehearsals. These sectional leaders can also be called upon to play solos at concerts where a student soloist is not available.

The program will start with a core of ten TEACHER/SECTION LEADERS evenly spaced through the orchestra:

5 string players
2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 bass

2 woodwind players
1 oboe, 1 bassoon

2 brass players
1 french horn, 1 trombone

1 percussion player

As funds are available, extra positions can be added to ensure that each non-professional is near a “teacher” or an “assistant”. This program will improve the playing standards of the students and community player as well as the ensemble as a whole. Once established, we feel that we would have an orchestra of great value to our community and be able to play a more important part in our young aspiring student musicians as well as our non-professional adult and senior citizen members.

Salary is a prime consideration  for each of these positions in order that we may be able to obtain qualifies personnel and create a stable core of musicians.


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