THE LONG ISLAND CHORAL SOCIETY is proud of its unique existence as the
oldest continuously performing musical group on Long Island. Celebrating its
90th anniversary in 2019, it was founded in 1929 by Dr. Maurice Garabrant who
was the organist at the Cathedral of the Incarnation in Garden City.
Norman Hollett and Robert Kennedy, both organists at the Cathedral, were
subsequent conductors. In 1979, Meredith Elaine Baker became the fourth
conductor of the Choral Society, continuing after they became independent of
the Cathedral. 2019 marked her 40th year leading the group. Michael C. Haigler
was chosen to be the fifth conductor in 2021.
The Long Island Choral Society has a reputation for singing the finest works of
choral music in performances of the highest caliber with professional soloists
and orchestras. This fine all-volunteer choir is comprised of more than forty
singers, both amateur and professional, who come from more than forty
communities in the Metropolitan area. Among singers of note who have performed
with the Long Island Choral Society in the past are John Charles Thomas, Robert
Merrill, Gladys Swarthout, Ray deVoll, Betsy Norden, Muriel Costa-Greenspon,
and more recently Gary Glaze, Gregory Mercer and Patrick Carfizzi.
Since 1929, the Long Island Choral Society has presented premiere performances
of music by Honegger, Langlais, Britten, Bernstein, and Stravinsky. They also
performed in the movie This is Cinerama. In 1985 and 1986, the Long
Island Choral Society sang with the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point
in their 1812 Overture Concert on Labor Day Weekend, the first non-
military group to do so. The Choral Society was privileged to sing at Federal
Hall in New York City during the celebration of the Bicentennial of the U.S.
Constitution in 1987.
In 1998 they made their Carnegie Hall debut in Verdiís Requiem, and they have
returned there several times, notably for two performances of Mahlerís Eighth
Symphony with the Canterbury Choral Society of New York, conducted by one of
Meredith Bakerís mentors, Charles Dodsley Walker.