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About Choralis

The Choralis Foundation, founded by Artistic Director Gretchen Kuhrmann in 2000, is dedicated to nurturing a passion for choral music in the greater Washington metropolitan area by offering excellence in choral performance and educational outreach. Choralis provides opportunities for area singers to participate in, and audiences to enjoy, professional-level concerts and musical experiences. The organization has established itself as a leader in the greater Washington, DC choral community, both through the quality of its sound and programming and through its creation and sponsorship of the Greater DC Area Choral Excellence (Ovation) Awards.

The Choralis Foundation is comprised of five auditioned choirs and a choral training program:

Choralis is a 100-person mixed-voice chorus with a paid professional core. Lauded by The Washington Post as “fully professional in the power of its singing...the variety of its emotional flavors,” the ensemble has performed such choral masterworks as the Brahms Requiem, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Haydn’s Creation, Verdi’s Requiem, and Mendelssohn’s Elijah, as well as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Choralis performed the Washington-area premiere of John Rutter’s Mass of the Children and the world premiere of Shadow Tides by Gary Davison, commissioned by Choralis for a 9/11 Tenth Anniversary concert. Choralis is open to adult and talented high school singers. Audition for Choralis!

Listen to Artistic Director Gretchen Kuhrmann speak to Classical WETA’s Deb Lamberton about Choralis and the 9/11 commemorative concert.

High School Scholarship Singers - Choralis offers 12 singing scholarships (3 per voice part) for high school–aged students who have exceptional musical ability. Scholarship students rehearse and perform alongside Choralis throughout the season. An outstanding high school scholarship singer also is recognized each year with a monetary prize. Audition for a high school singing scholarship.

Choralis

Ēchos (ee-kos) is a select vocal ensemble drawn from the ranks of Choralis for concerts, educational outreach, and special appearances. The singers are well-versed in all choral repertoire and styles, performing everything from Renaissance motets to Bernstein in a single season. Their exceptional musicality and artistry have afforded them recognition in the Washington metropolitan area as one of the leading amateur vocal chamber ensembles. In 2010, Ēchos performed the Washington-area premiere of Bob Chilcott’s Requiem (also the world premiere of the small ensemble version), and their sound was described by The Washington Post as “... full-bodied and thrilling.”

The Cantus Youth Choirs are four performing ensembles serving youth ages 5 through 16. Cantus Docere (grades K-3) provides young children with beginning music education and a strong basis for vocal music performance, as well as performance opportunities. The other three ensembles are Cantus Liberi (grades 4-6, treble voices), Cantus Medius (grades 7-10, both changed and unchanged voices), and the advanced treble choir, Cantus Primo (grades 5+). The Cantus Youth Choirs program offers young singers opportunities to learn and hone musical skills while experiencing choral music beyond the usual school curriculum.  Find out more!

Artistic Staff

Gretchen Kuhrmann
Artistic Director

Todd Fickley
Assistant Director &
Keyboard Artist

Trevor Manor
Conducting Fellow

Cynthia Young
Director, Cantus Liberi and Cantus Docere

Victoria Shields
Cantus Medius Director

Board of Directors

Gretchen Kuhrmann
Founder & Artistic Director

Lori Wicks
Chair

Neil Dellar
Vice Chair

Alison Eck
Treasurer

Susan Frieswyk
Secretary

Marcy Owens Test
Immediate Past Chair

Sarah Braesch

Claudia Dulmage, Esq.

Susan Frost

Julie Jernigan

Erich Knausenberger

Advisory Board

Gisele Becker
Cantate Chamber Singers,
Music Director

William Carroll
University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Associate Dean of the School of Music &
Hinshaw Music, Educational Consultant

Bob Chilcott
Composer

Dennis Edelbrock
The National Trumpet Competition,
Founder/Director

Stan Engebretson
National Philharmonic Chorale,
Artistic Director

Anne Hodges
Florida State University,
Director for the Graduate Arts Admissions Program

Jean Fritter Jawdat
Cathedral Choral Society,
Associate Director

J. Reilly Lewis
Cathedral Choral Society,
Washington Bach Consort,
Music Director

Donald McCullough
Composer

Mark Ohnmacht
Performing Arts Consultant

Robert Shafer
The City Choir of Washington,
Artistic Director

André Thomas
Florida State University,
Director of Choral Studies