Artistic Director, Thomas Colohan

Thomas Colohan (photo credit: Rhianna Victoria Nissen)

“…the Washington Master Chorale, superbly prepared by Thomas Colohan, sang the extended luminous opening chorus with commitment and grace.”
Washington Post

“the concert was skillfully wrought and moving”
Washington Post

“the singing was angelic throughout”
San Jose Mercury News

“A splendid example of care and taste in programming”
Richmond Times Dispatch

Award-winning conductor, composer, and teacher Thomas Colohan has served as Artistic Director of the Washington Master Chorale since its founding in 2009. He has led choruses at Carnegie Hall, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Washington National Cathedral, The Library of Congress, Prague’s Rudolphinum Concert Hall, and the Stephansdom in Vienna. Colohan is active as a guest conductor, teacher, and clinician on both the East and West coasts, and currently serves as Choral Instructor for Northern Virginia Community College as well as Artist-in-Residence for the Walden School’s distinguished Creative Musician’s Retreat in Dublin, NH. His choral works include commissions from the Montgomery County Public Schools and St Luke Catholic Church in McLean, Virginia. Among his choral/orchestral engagements he has conducted members of the Prague Radio Symphony, the National Symphony Orchestra, the San Jose Symphony, the California Chamber Symphony, and the Richmond Symphony. He has earned numerous honors, including regular recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. He has twice been the recipient of a Choralis Foundation Washington Area Choral Excellence Award.


Before coming to the Washington Master Chorale and Fairfax Choral Society, Colohan served as Music Director for All Souls Church, Unitarian in Washington, DC, Director of Choral Activities at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, California, Music Director of the Santa Clara Chorale, and Founder and Artistic Director of the James River Singers in Richmond, Virginia.

His teachers have included renowned choral musicians such as Robert Shaw, Dale Warland, Morten Lauridsen, Helmut Rilling, Donald McCullough, and William Dehning. He also served in the Virginia public school system as Choral Director for Henrico High School in Henrico County and Associate Choral Director at Gar-Field High School in Prince William County, and as Music Director for Little River United Church of Christ in Annandale, Virginia. A lyric baritone who maintains an active voice studio, Mr. Colohan has sung professionally with the Washington Bach Consort and on Public Television’s “Great Performances” series at the Kennedy Center with the Washington Opera Chorus. He holds a Master of Music in Choral Music from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Music in Voice Performance from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music