2017-2018 Season

The City Choir of Washington
is pleased to present its
2017-2018 Season

During the 2017-2018 season, The City Choir of Washington celebrates Maestro Shafer’s fiftieth anniversary as a conductor in the Washington, DC, area. To that end, we have cultivated a collection of works ranging from beloved favorites to rarely-heard gems, and even a world premiere. Each piece serves to highlight Maestro Shafer’s accomplishments throughout the past fifty years, and to underscore his standing as the dean of choral conductors in Washington.

Barber Adagio for Strings | Bruckner Mass in F Minor
Sunday, November 5, 2017
4:30 PM
National Presbyterian Church

Our season opens by featuring the City Choir Chamber Orchestra in Barber’s most revered work, Adagio for Strings. Composed while the depression slogged on at home, and war in Europe drew menacingly closer, perhaps no other work of the twentieth century quite captures the passionate-yet-tentative ethos of the era through music that is, in the words of Toscanini, semplice e bella (“simple and beautiful”). Barber’s achingly beautiful work has become “the nation’s funeral music,” and has exquisitely captured our collective anguish immediately following September 11th, 2001. Of Bruckner’s Mass in F Minor, conductor Johann von Herbeck was heard to exclaim, “I know only two masses—this one and Beethoven’s Solemnis!” Our performance is quite timely. 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of the composition of this work, and the 50th anniversary of its Washington, DC, premiere—a fitting nod to the beginning of Maestro Shafer’s 50th Anniversary Season.

The Holly and the Ivy: Music for Christmas
Sunday, December 17, 2017
4:30 PM
National Presbyterian Church

The City Choir of Washington’s annual holiday concert brims with seasonal cheer and traditional favorites, along with a few undiscovered joys. Join us for a performance of beautiful seasonal choral works and sing-along carols with the choir and audience. This year’s concert features music by Vaughan Williams, Duruflé, Whitacre, and a world premiere setting of “Sweet was the Song the Virgin Sang” by Robert Shafer.

Each year, The City Choir is pleased to showcase a local-area high school choir as our “Partner in Song” to share the joy of the season. This year we are pleased to be joined by A CAPPELLA! from James Hubert Blake High School in Silver Spring, MD, under the direction of Sandra Zinkievich. This concert is always popular, so we encourage you to order your tickets early.

Handel Laudate pueri dominum | Finzi Magnificat | *Bartoldus Magnificat | Charpentier Te Deum
Sunday, April 22, 2018
4:30 PM
National Presbyterian Church
Featuring Metropolitan Opera soprano Danielle Talamantes, soprano Crossley Danielle Hawn, countertenor Geoffrey Silver, tenor Allan Palacios Chan, and baritone Erik Grendahl
*World Premiere

Our final concert will be a spectacular tribute to Maestro Shafer’s fiftieth anniversary as a conductor in Washington, DC, including a world premiere piece and even ballet! Opening the concert will be the youthful and exuberant Laudate pueri dominum by Handel, composed when he was only 22!  Gerald Finzi’s lyrical and dramatic Magnificat follows, along with selections from the world premiere of a new Magnificat setting by Brian Bartoldus.

The program concludes by transporting you to the shimmering court of Louis XIV. Come be dazzled by the beauty of baroque dance with Lully’s Entrée d’Apollon, as well as the thrilling and justly famous Te Deum of Marc Antoine Charpentier.

This concert will feature the acclaimed Metropolitan Opera soprano, Danielle Talamantes, a favorite of City Choir audiences, as well as baroque dancer Brynt Beitman.

Click here to buy a tickets to individual concerts this season.