2017-2018 SEASON

“Art is the great democrat, calling forth genius from every sector of society.”
– John F. Kennedy, 35th President of the United States, November 29, 1962.

This season, the Chorale commemorates a trio of centenaries: the births of composer/conductor Leonard Bernstein and President John F. Kennedy, and the entry of the United States into World War I. Through a new choral commission, concert programming and special events, the Washington Master Chorale’s season of “remembrance” will encourage our audiences to reflect upon the man who was, arguably one of the most important composers of our times, a president whose commitment to the arts remains unparalleled and a war, so devastating, it was to be the war to end all wars.

Mozart, Martin and Bach
Oct. 29, 2017 at 5 PM

Christmas with the Chorale
Dec. 3, 2017 at 5 PM
Dec. 21, 2017 at 7:30 PM

Leonard Bernstein at 100
Celebrating the Legacy of Leonard Bernstein
Mar. 4, 2018 at 5 PM

Youthful Indulgence: Early Masses of Mozart and Martin

Youthful Indulgence: Early Masses of Mozart and Martin

The National Presbyterian Church
October 29, 2017 at 5 PM

The Washington Master Chorale opens its 2017-2018 season with a celebration of early works by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1757-1791) and Swiss composer, Frank Martin (1890-1974). While the works have in common a relative immaturity given the ages of the composers, they could not be more different stylistically. Mozart’s Missa Brevis in C major, KV 258 for chorus and chamber orchestra, one of three set in C Major he composed in November and December 1776, is lively, bright and buoyant. By contrast, Martin’s a cappella Mass for Double Chorus is a deeply personal work that the composer kept hidden for 40 years. Sober, modal, influenced by Gregorian plainsong, the Mass was composed in 1922 except the “Agnus Dei” movement which was added in 1926. After its premiere in November 1963 by Franz Brunnert and the Bugenhagen Kantorei of Hamburg, Martin explained why the Mass had remained unseen and unheard for 40 years: “I considered it to be a matter between God and myself,” he wrote. “I felt then that an expression of religious feelings should remain secret and removed from public opinion.”

Also on the program, Mozart’s “Regina Coeli,” KV 276, for soloists, chorus and chamber orchestra. An antiphon in honor of the Virgin Mary, it is the last of three settings of this text by Mozart.

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New Joy! Christmas with the Chorale

New Joy! Christmas With the Chorale

The Church of the Epiphany
December 3, 2017 at 5 PM
December 21, 2017 at 7:30 PM

The holiday season will be celebrated by a pair of holiday concerts, December 3rd and 21st presented at the historic Church of the Epiphany in Washington, DC.  Concert goers can look forward to hearing the seldom performed Lauda per la Natività del Signore by Italian neo-classical composer Ottorino Respighi (1879-1936). A cantata for soloists, instrumental ensemble and chorus, Respighi’s pastoral reading of the birth of Christ combines modern harmonies and instrumentation with late-renaissance and early baroque idioms to produce a work that evokes both the mystery and joy of the nativity.

A mix of time-honored carols, hymns and anthems and a spirited audience sing-along with Maestro Colohan will put you in a holiday mood.

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American Voices: Celebrating the Legacy of Leonard Bernstein

Bernstein at 100

The National Presbyterian Church
March 4, 2018 5 PM

The Washington Master Chorale is among 14 arts organizations partnering with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in honoring the legacy of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), Leonard Bernstein at 100. Longtime Washingtonians will remember Bernstein and his relationship to the Kennedy White House, an unprecedented time in modern political history when art and culture took their rightful places at the vanguard of American life. The Chorale will perform Bernstein’s Missa Brevis, a 1988 work based on incidental music he composed for the 1955 Broadway production of “The Lark” starring Julie Harris. In honor of the occasion, the Chorale will perform the world premiere of “To the Thawing Wind” by award winning composer and rising star Joshua Fishbein, from a poem by Robert Frost (1874-1963). Washingtonians will further recall Frost’s recitation of his poem “The Gift Outright,” a history of America in 16 lines of blank verse, at the blustery cold Kennedy Inaugural. A singer and pianist, Fishbein composes vocal and instrumental music and is a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate (A.B.D.) in Music Composition at UCLA.

The rest of the program is a celebration of American voices in words and music. Noted sopranos Angeli Ferrette and Marlissa Hudson will join the Chorale in a spirited musical journey moving from early American hymns, through iconic works by Aaron Copland, Moses Hogan, Alice Parker, Stephen Paulus and Randall Thompson among others.

A pre-concert lecture on Bernstein and his association with the Kennedy White House will be held at 4pm and is free and open to the public.

Listen to “Sanctus” from the Washington Master Chorale’s October 2014 performance of Leonard Bernstein’s Missa Brevis, featuring Lena Seikaly, mezzo-soprano.

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Washington Master Chorale
P.O. Box 53479
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 596-8934

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Photos, audio, and video by Arts Laureate.
Concert images by Diane Kresh.
Website design by Elizabeth Fulford.