Choral Excellence “Ovation” Awards Nominations Announced!

Reflect Area’s Vibrant Choral Music Scene

 FALLS CHURCH, VA – The Choralis Foundation has announced that the Ninth Annual Greater Washington DC Area Choral Excellence “Ovation” Awards will be presented at its “Black and White” dinner and awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 at The Clarendon Ballroom.  Lisa Koehler, founder and operator of web resource Singer Source, LLC, will receive the J. Reilly Lewis Award for Outstanding Contributions to Choral Music, the Ovations’ highest honor.  Past winners of this award are Joan Gregoryk, Tom Hall, Pamela Lassell, the late J. Reilly Lewis, Mark Ohnmacht, the late Norman Scribner, Robert Shafer, and Stanley J. Thurston.

Nominees for three additional Ovation awards also were announced.  Most Creative Programming nominees are: National Philharmonic Chorale, Dr. Stan Engebretson, Artistic Director and Conductor; Reston Chorale, David Brian Lang, Artistic Director; and The Thirteen, Matthew Robertson, Founder and Artistic Director.  For Best A Cappella Ensemble the nominees are:  Polyhymnia, Steven Beck, Musical Director; The Alexandria Harmonizers, Joe Cerutti, Music Director; and Voices 21, Jesse Parker, Founder and Music Director.  For Best New Recording the nominees are:  Choralis, Gretchen Kuhrmann, Artistic Director; Eya, Allison Mondel, Director; and VOCE Chamber Singers, Dr. Richard Giarusso, Director.

Kate Marquis, Chair of The Choralis Foundation Board of Directors said, “The Ovation Awards are honored and pleased to recognize Lisa Koehler’s innumerable contributions to the DC choral community.  Lisa has been an invaluable partner to area choruses large and small, as well as to individual musicians looking for performance opportunities, for over 20 years.”  A veteran chorister and music educator who holds a BA in Music Theory and Composition from William Smith College and an MMEd from Catholic University, Lisa early on found a niche in helping to fill church musician and other musical job vacancies and in putting together ensembles for weddings and recording projects.  With the advent of email and internet, Lisa realized the potential of these electronic resources, and founded Singer Source LLC in 2002.  The site has solved many a director’s last-minute crisis and helped countless musicians find employment.  Lisa continues to serve as a church musician, including over 20 years with the St. John’s Choir of St. John’s Church, Lafayette Square, the Church of the Presidents.  She is a music educator who was Department Chair and Music Specialist during 14 years with St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School in Alexandria.  Lisa has performed widely with many of the best choruses in the DC area, including The Norman Scribner Choir, Cathedral Choral Society, The Choral Arts Society of Washington, Chantry, and many others.  She currently serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of The Thirteen, a professional vocal chamber group (Matthew Robertson, Artistic Director).

Claudia Dulmage, the Chair and originator of the Ovation Awards, said “We are also proud to recognize exemplary achievements in Creative Programming, New Recordings and A Cappella Ensemble singing as part of this year’s ceremony.  This year for the first time Choralis has accepted a nomination, recognizing its recording of Bob Chilcott’s holiday music (“In Winter’s Arms”) released in October 2017.”

The Greater Washington DC Area Choral Excellence (“Ovation”) Awards are the Choralis Foundation’s annual gift to the DC choral community.  Begun in 2010, they are not fundraisers for Choralis or The Choralis Foundation; rather, a combination of modest sponsorships, ticket sales and raffle ticket sales are relied on to cover the expenses of producing the event, including a generous number of complementary admissions for nominees.

As in the past, the “Black and White” event (black and white attire suggested) at which the 2018 Ovation Awards will be presented includes a reception, seated dinner, songs and tributes. It will be held at The Clarendon Ballroom on Wednesday evening, June 6.   Choral directors, choristers, board members, donors and appreciative fans of DC choruses are invited to attend; ticket information is available at

The Choralis Foundation is dedicated to nurturing a passion for choral music through excellence in performance and educational outreach. In addition to sponsoring the Ovation awards, The Choralis Foundation supports several choral ensembles – including the namesake 110-voice adult chorus and the chamber ensemble, Ēchos; offers singing opportunities, including scholarships, to high school students; supports the career development of young choral conductors through a Conducting Fellowship; and regularly performs new works by young choral music composers from the area

    Contact us:

  1. The Choralis Foundation
    PO Box 6012
    Falls Church, VA  22040
    (703) 237-2499 (t)