Herb Chain, Queens Symphony Orchestra President
by Jason Cohen
Feb 05, 2014 | 1667 views | 0 0 comments | 30 30 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Forest Hills resident Herb Chain has been an accountant for almost 40 years at Deloitte. But he grew up in the 1960s, when music ran through his blood and he and his friends would often jam out on guitars in a garage.

His passion for music led him to join the board of the Queen Symphony Orchestra in 1993 and he eventually became president in 2001.

The orchestra was founded in 1953 by David Katz, the father of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz.

“He wanted people to know that you didn’t have to cross a bridge for good culture and music,” Chain said.

Constantine Kitsopoulos became music director in September 2006, and he is only the third music director in the 59-year history of the Queens Symphony Orchestra. Currently, in its 60th season, Queens Symphony Orchestra is the borough's only professional orchestra and the oldest and largest professional arts organization in Queens.

Chain, who was a member of the Queens Council of the Arts, said music is an important part of the culture in a community. At first he didn’t know anyone in the orchestra, but he quickly became immersed in the organization.

“It was a logical transition for me to get involved in the symphony,” Chains aid. “I thought it served a great purpose.”

The orchestra is comprised of freelance musicians, many of which perform on Broadway throughout the year. Getting to meet so many talented people from Queens has been amazing, Chain said. Learning about the history of music, how the orchestra functions and how shows are produced has also been fascinating.

They hold four to five shows in the winter at Queens College and also have a huge collaboration with St. John’s University once a year. Additionally, the organization has a strong focus on family programing and hold many family events throughout the year. Chain said he is happy to serve a non-musical role on the board.

“You wouldn’t want to hear me perform or sing,” he said.

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