WMC Receives NEA Art Works Grant

For immediate release
December 4, 2014
Contact: Joseph F. Gradisher

Washington Master Chorale Receives National Endowment for the Arts Grant

National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Chairman Jane Chu announced December 2, 2014 that the Washington Master Chorale is one of 919 nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive an NEA Art Works grant. Washington Master Chorale will receive a $10,000 grant to support a commissioning and choral arts performance project.

The Washington Master Chorale is a Washington, D.C.-based choir of sixty voices, comprised of both volunteer and professional singers. The Chorale was founded in 2009 with the goals of increasing public awareness of choral music as art and contributing to the American choral cannon by facilitating the creation of new choral works of the highest caliber. Under Artistic Director Thomas Colohan, the Chorale has quickly a reputation throughout the region for vocal excellence and discriminating concert programing.

NEA Chairman Jane Chu said, “I’m pleased to be able to share the news of our support through Art Works including the award to the Washington Master Chorale. The arts foster value, connection, creativity and innovation for the American people and these recommended grants demonstrate those attributes and affirm that the arts are part of our everyday lives.”

“Our project will focus on American choral repertoire and will include the commissioning of a new choral work by composer, conductor and keyboard artist Julian Wachner, music director of The Washington Chorus, as well as performances of choral works by composers Norman Dello Joio and Morten Lauridsen,” according to Maestro Colohan. “We’re delighted that the NEA chose to support the Washington Master Chorale and this project.”

Titled Romantics in the Modern Age: Lauridsen, Wachner, Rilke and Rodin, the concert program will be performed in Washington, D.C., and will include a pre-concert panel that will explore the influence of Auguste Rodin’s sculpture on the poet Rainer Maria Rilke, as well as Rilke’s connection with the English sibling poets Christina and Dante Gabriel Rosetti.

“On behalf of the Washington Master Chorale, Maestro Colohan and our Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Chairman Chu and the NEA for this generous grant,” said Board Chair Diane Kresh. “Our approach to choral music directly aligns with the goals of the NEA and this grant will allow us to produce a program that we can all be proud of.”

This holiday season, Washington Master Chorale will present its winter concerts – on Sunday, December 14 and Monday, December 22 – at the historic National City Christian Church in Washington, D.C. Peace and Grace will explore the relationship between peace within oneself and the pursuit of peace in the global community. The concerts will feature Kirke Mechem’s moving anthem to global peace “Island in Space” and the world premiere of “Sanctus” by area composer Scott Humburg. The programs will also include time-honored carols and anthems including Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” Paul Manz’s “E’en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come,” and other seasonal works.

For more information on the Washington Master Chorale, including ticket information for the winter concerts, visit www.washingtonmasterchorale.org.

Art Works grants support the creation of art, public engagement with art, lifelong learning in the arts, and enhancement of the livability of communities through the arts. The NEA received 1,474 eligible applications under the Art Works category, requesting more than $75 million in funding. Of those applications, 919 are recommended for grants for a total of $26.6 million.

For a complete listing of projects recommended for Art Works grant support, visit the NEA website at arts.gov. Follow the conversation about this and other NEA‐funded projects on Twitter at #NEAFall2014.