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Advice on DC Area Choirs

Hello! I have just moved to the DC area and want to audition for choirs here yet I am finding myself overwhelmed with the number of choirs in this area. Trying to sort through these to find which would be the best fit for my current skill level doesn't seem to be a very easy task. Some background on myself - I spent most of my life in musical theatre, until college when I fell in love with performing choral music. I performed with the UCLA chorale under the direction of Donald Nuen, where I learned somewhat of a crash course in choral singing (admitted for my vocal quality with hesitations about my music theory knowledge and sight reading skills, I had to learn fast to keep up with the choir). I love making high-quality choral music, but I know that my music theory knowledge and sight reading ability is still not quite up to par. Any advice on what DC area choirs might be well suited for me?
Replies (9): Threaded | Chronological
on November 15, 2014 8:21am
Hard to say, Alyssa -- but I'll email you some thoughts.  Depends how big a group you are looking for and where you want to rehearse and perform.  Meanwhile, consider these two resources:
 
 
 
This embarassment of riches is why many of us think of Greater Washington as the choral capital of the country, with all due respect to Minneapolis / St. Paul!  
 
Good luck and welcome, chris
 
Applauded by an audience of 2
on November 15, 2014 2:38pm
Dear Alyssa:
 You have moved into an areas that is blessed with a lot of attributes... one of which is the number and quality of choral groups. The Washington-Baltimore region has a number of really good choral groups in almost every jurisdiction. The region is split into roughly three or four sections: Northern Virginia (Arlington, Fairfax, Loudoun and Prince William Counties... for starters), WDC, the Maryland suburbs (Montgomery, Prince George's and Frederick Counties, etc.)... and then there is metro-Baltimore... and each sector has some great choirs therein. And some choirs perform in multiple jurisdictions!!
 Without know specifics as to where you live and work -- two very important factors in a region with horrendous traffic conditions... and that's on a good day!! -- it would be hard to make a definitive recommendation. The dc.about.com website looks like a good list for starters. Another good place to start would be to contact your old choir director(s) and get their "take" -- do they have any recommendations on good choirs to watch for, or good directors to work with? Such a referral might serve you well in this very large region of the country!!
 Good luck!!
 
Ron Isaacson
Germantown, MD
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 16, 2014 5:46am
We'd love to have you! Voix de Femmes is a  Women's Chamber Choir based in Laurel MD. Maximum 16 voices. Interesting, varied, challenging repertoire for women voices. And we don't have to worry about finding enough tenors... 
 
on November 16, 2014 7:37am
What type of singing do you want to do, Alyssa? Do you want a show choir style? Contemporary A Cappella like you see on Pitch Perfect? Traditional Choir? Church Choir? There are also many Sweet Adeline Organizations that are around this area? You really have many options. I was a director of a Sweet Adelines Chorus for 3 years and those girls know how to have fun!
 
Also, how prestigious do you want the group to be? I know choruses that compete and are internationally ranked in the area in the Sweet Adeline world.
 
Musically yours,
 
on November 16, 2014 6:50pm
Just to add a little bit, I both live and work in Alexandria, and I definitely want a group with a classical repertoire. As for the size, I'm interested in Symphonic or mid-sized (probably not small, though it is something I would consider). Thank you to everyone who has commented so far!
on November 16, 2014 9:35pm
Alyssa, are you looking for a group like the UCLA Chorale, doing large works like Mendelssohn's "Elijah" and the Verdi Requiem, with orchestra?  (I'm familiar with the group through my children who sang in Chorale.)  Also, this is a good time of year to attend the concerts of groups you are considering joining.
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 17, 2014 6:56am
Ideally yes, and that's a good suggestion thank you!
Applauded by an audience of 1
on November 17, 2014 6:13am
Dear Alyssa,
Depending on where you are living there are many from which to choose. I am the chorus manager of Live Arts Maryland - the Annapolis Chorale. We are based in Annapolis. Our current membership is:  Full chorus - 165, Chamber Chorus - 40, Cantori a Women's Ensemble - 16. We also have our own Chamber Orchestra - the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra. We run, in conjunction with St. Anne's Episcopal Church, a free Thursday concert series at the church.  Our first concert this season was Carmina Burana, our second was with Jenny Oaks Baker - Movies, Magic and More. Fun to sing and to hear Jenny play Led Zepplin :)  In addition we run a series of Cabarets with singers from Broadway/New York.
Regardless - we would welcome you. Our email is annapchorale(a)gmail.com.   Would love to have you with us.
Regards
P. Everette
Applauded by an audience of 1
on March 9, 2015 7:39am
I sing with the Alexandria Choral Society and I love it. It has around 80 members currently. Check out www.alexandriachoralsociety.org for more info.
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