– 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
PASSION and PRAISE
Ancient Glory in New Form
Mar. 4, 2018 at 5 PM
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.
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.
Carolyn Forte has performed throughout the D.C. metro area with such groups as the Advent Project, Alexandria Choral Society, St. Luke Festival Choir, Washington Master Chorale, and Washington Summer Sings. Solo concert work includes Handel’s Messiah, Brahms’ Ein Deutsches Requiem, Faure Requiem, and Mozart’s Exultate, jubilate. Carolyn recently sang Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 with the Kenwood Symphony (Mn.), as a 2017 winner of their Masters’ Concerto and Aria Competition. Her recent opera roles include Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine with Undercroft Opera (Pittsburgh, Pa.), Florencia (cover) in Daniel Catan’s Florencia en el Amazonas with Opera Steamboat (Co.), and Mimi (La Bohème) with the Boulder Symphony.
Hailed as “a lyric soprano of ravishing quality” by the Boston Globe, Laura Choi Stuart has appeared on the mainstage with Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Annapolis Opera, Lake George Opera, the In Series, and Opera North in roles including Musetta, Adina, Gilda, Pamina, and Frasquita. Highlights of the upcoming season include a return to the Washington National Cathedral as Soprano Soloist for Handel Messiah, B Minor Mass and solo cantata 82a Ich habe genug with Washington Bach Consort, Bach Magnificat and Bruckner Te Deum with Choralis, and Laura’s Washington National Opera debut in the American Opera Initiative 20-minute operas in January.
Hailed by the Washington Post for her “supple, haunting soprano,” Katelyn G. Aungst has soloed with the Washington Bach Consort, the Nashville Symphony Orchestra, and the City Choir of Washington. She was the first soprano Vocal Fellow at the Oregon Bach Festival under Matthew Halls and completed the American Bach Soloists Academy in August 2017. Her choral and chamber experiences include performances with Third Practice, Church Circle Singers, and the choir at Christ Church Georgetown. This spring, she will make her professional debut with the American Bach Soloists and appear as the soprano soloist for the Washington Bach Consort’s St. John Passion.
A native of Laurel, MD, Matthew Hill has performed with Washington National Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Annapolis Opera, Ohio Light Opera, and Opera Saratoga. Past solo concert work includes Handel’s Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Rachmaninoff’s All-Night Vigil, and the Evangelist in J.S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. He has won first place in a number of vocal competitions, including both the local and regional rounds of the National Association of Teachers of Singing competitions, the Choralis Young Artist Competition, and the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions at the Washington DC District Level, as well as 3rd place in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Metropolitan Opera National Council auditions. Hill received his Bachelor of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Maryland on a Creative and Performing Arts full scholarship, and recently finished his Master of Music degree in Opera Performance at the University of Maryland.
Passion and Praise: Ancient Glory in New Form
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 (1917-2017), Leonard Bernstein at 100. The Chorale will perform Bernstein’s Missa Brevis, a 1989 work based on incidental music Bernstein composed for the 1955 Broadway production of “The Lark” starring Julie Harris. Award winning composer and rising star Joshua Fishbein has been commissioned by the Chorale to compose a new work for the occasion. A singer and pianist, Fishbein composes vocal and instrumental music. Currently, he is a Teaching Fellow and PhD candidate (A.B.D.) in Music Composition at UCLA.
Also on the program, “O Vos Omnes” an a capella piece by celebrated cellist Pablo Casals. Long time Washingtonians will remember when Casals performed in 1961 at 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.