Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Cathedral Choral Society Announces 2014-15 Season

From our friends at the Cathedral Choral Society...

J. Reilly Lewis and the Cathedral Choral Society Announce a Truly Exciting 2014/15 Season

On Friday, May 16, 2014, Music Director J. Reilly Lewis and Executive Director Genevieve Twomey announced the 2014/15 Season of the Cathedral Choral Society. The upcoming Season includes vibrant and dynamic programming and a few surprises that will inspire and transport audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds.

In its 73rd season, the Cathedral Choral Society will present a distinct concert series of four concerts with eight special guest artists, a guest choir, and over 25 works of music including a newly commissioned Christmas carol, all at Washington National Cathedral.

“This will be Reilly’s 30th season as Music Director. In this season he will continue to present creative programming that surprises and captivates,” said Twomey. “Each season our goal is to present a series of concerts that showcases major works of the choral repertoire alongside new and lesser heard works.  The 2014/15 season is no exception.”

The season will open with Grand Romantic. In order from the influencer to the influenced, this program will feature three of the pinnacle composers of the Romantic Era. The Schubert Overture in B-flat, D. 11 and the Schumann Nachtlied, Op. 108 set the stage beautifully for the Brahms, A German RequiemThis requiem was the central work of Brahms’ career, as well as his most personal work, composing it following the death of both his mother and long-time friend and mentor, composer Robert Schumann. Featured guest soloists for the Brahms Requiem are soprano, Martha Guth, this year’s winner of the Sorel Emerging Arts Award and bass-baritone, Dean Elzinga.

The season will continue with the annual and immensely popular Joy of Christmas concerts. The 2013/14 Season saw an attendance for these concerts of nearly 4,000 over two days. The program will include the procession of the acolytes and chorus with the traditional Advent wreath, candles and garlands. Traditional Christmas favorites will be performed as well as a new Christmas Carol commission from American composer, Armando Bayolo. The audience will have the opportunity to sing along throughout the concert. 

In March, French Elegy will bring a program of known and lesser known works to the majesty of the Cathedral. Opening with Langlais’ best known Missa in simplicitate for organ and unison voices this program is one of contemplation. Written following the death of his best friend, Poulenc’s Organ Concerto is recognized as a turning point in his career. Written at the end of her life, the Pie Jesu was Lili Boulanger’s requiem for herself. Written “purely for the pleasure of it”, Fauré’s intimate Requiem breaks the mold of the traditional requiem form. Each work on this program is noteworthy and will be unforgettable when presented in the context of Washington National Cathedral. 

The season will end with a dramatic program: Great Opera Choruses. Joined by soprano Jessica Julin, Grand Finalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Grand Auditions and baritone Ben Wager, lead baritone with Deutsch Oper, Dallas Opera and Opera Philadelphia, this concert will bring opera to the Cathedral for the first time. The program will include choruses and beloved arias from Masterworks including Wagner, Die Meistersinger and Tannhäuser; Bellini, Norma; Gounod, Faust; Verdi, Nabucco; Puccini, Tosca and more.

“I am so excited by our 2014/15 Season,” said Lewis. “This Season we will move through a vibrant landscape of sounds and experiences from Brahms and Schubert to operatic masterworks. It’s always a joy to share my plans for the season with our community.”

The Cathedral Choral Society, founded in 1941, is the symphonic chorus in residence at Washington National Cathedral. Known for its exciting performances and welcoming camaraderie, the Cathedral Choral Society is the oldest symphonic choral group in Washington, D.C. Its' mission is to welcome singers and audiences of all ages, cultural backgrounds and spiritual beliefs, to experience the joy of choral music through its inspiring performances and engaging outreach initiatives. 

For Subscriptions:
The Cathedral Choral Society is currently offering an early bird special with a savings of 15% over regular single ticket prices. This offer is valid through June 16. Subscriptions start at $101 for four concerts. Complimentary parking is available in the Cathedral’s underground parking garage courtesy of the Cathedral Choral Society. To purchase tickets, or for additional information please call please call (202) 537-2228 or visit the website,

At a Glance:
Program 1: Grand Romantic
Sunday, October 19, 4:00 p.m.
Schubert, Overture in B-flat, D. 11
Schumann, Nachtlied, Op. 108
Brahms, Ein deutsches Requiem, Op. 45 (A German requiem)
Soloists: Martha Guth, soprano, Dean Elzinga, bass-baritone

Program 2: Joy of Christmas
Saturday, December 13 noon & 4:00 p.m.  & Sunday, December 14, 4:00 p.m.
Program will include the procession of the Advent Wreath and Christmas favorites. 
Soloists: Washington Symphonic Brass, Armando Bayolo, composer 2014 Carol Commission,
Ed Nassor, carillon, C. D. Hylton High School Troubadours, guest choir
The Saturday noon performance is a shorter concert programmed just for families.

Program 3: French Elegy
Sunday, March 8, 4:00 p.m.
Langlais, Missa in simplicitate
Boulanger, Pie Jesu
Poulenc, Organ Concerto in G minor
Fauré, Requiem, Op. 48 (chamber version)
Soloists: J. Reilly Lewis, organ, Stefanie Moore, soprano, Andrew Sauvageau, baritone

Program 4: An Afternoon at the Opera
Sunday, May 17, 2015, 4:00 p.m.
Selections from: Wagner, Meistersinger; Bellini, Norma; Gounod, Faust; Verdi, Nabucco; Puccini, Tosca; Mascagni, Cavalleria Rusticana; Giordano, Andrea Chenier; Wagner, Tannhauser; Boito, Mefistofele.
Soloists: Jessica Julin, soprano, Ben Wager, bass