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.
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!
Assistant Director &
Director, Cantus Liberi and Cantus Docere
Cantus Medius Director
Board of Directors
Founder & Artistic Director
Marcy Owens Test
Immediate Past Chair
Claudia Dulmage, Esq.
Cantate Chamber Singers,
The National Trumpet Competition,
National Philharmonic Chorale,
Florida State University,
Director for the Graduate Arts Admissions Program
Jean Fritter Jawdat
Cathedral Choral Society,
Performing Arts Consultant
The City Choir of Washington,
Florida State University,
Director of Choral Studies