Education is a core mission of Choralis, and this commitment is reflected in the breadth of our education and professional development programs. We support the future of choral music with programs for high school singers and for young adults pursuing careers as soloists and conductors. Choralis also regularly offers sing-alongs and workshops that give community members the opportunity to sing and learn about choral masterworks as well as contemporary choral music works.
High School Singing Scholars Program
The High School Singing Scholars (HSSS) Program is a hallmark of Choralis and the most comprehensive program for high school singers offered by any Washington, DC-area chorus. Each year we accept 12-16 talented high school singers who then participate and perform as full members of Choralis for the entire season. The scholars also spend dedicated time with members of the artistic team to provide further learning opportunities and mentoring. All scholars receive a full waiver of Choralis dues. In addition, two exceptional singers are selected as the Brimberry Scholar and the J. Reilly Lewis Scholar, and receive additional benefits. Students interested in participating in the HSSS program should send an email to: email@example.com.
J. Reilly Lewis Outstanding Merit Award Winners
In 2017, Abby Hendricks was the recipient of the first J. Reilly Lewis Outstanding Merit Award, an annual award established by Choralis to honor the late Dr. J. Reilly Lewis, a long-time member of the Choralis Board of Advisors. Abby was a Choralis High School Singing Scholar and had been a long-time member of the Cantus youth choir program previously offered by Choralis. Abby used the $1000 merit award to support her first year of study as a theatre major at DePaul University.
The 2018 winner of the J. Reilly Lewis Award for Outstanding Merit award was Rachel Bell, a Choralis High School Singing Scholar who also sang with the Echos chamber ensemble this season. Rachel will use her merit award to support her college studies beginning this fall.
Young Artists Competition
Choralis sponsors an annual Young Artists Competition that gives aspiring young vocal soloists the opportunity to be featured in concert with Choralis. The winners also receive a cash prize and their names are included in publicity for the concert. The competition is open to singers ages 22 through 32 and is held on a Saturday in September or October. The Young Artist Competition is on hiatus during the 2019-20 season, but will return for the 2020-21 season.
Each year Choralis extends a Conducting Fellowship to a young conductor who is interested in gaining podium experience with choral groups. The Conducting Fellow gains skills and experience by leading rehearsal warm-ups and preparing and directing Choralis and Echos in at least one piece at a concert. The Conducting Fellow also sings as a member of Choralis to gain the further benefit of observing Maestra Kuhrmann’s conducting techniques. A modest stipend is provided to defray any expenses associated with the Conducting Fellowship. More information about the Conducting Fellowship can be obtained by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Workshops and Festivals
Choralis regularly programs workshops, singing days, or festivals that are open to the community. One example is the “Come and Sing with Bob Chilcott” days we have sponsored in recent years. In these workshops, Mr. Chilcott has led attendees in singing his newest and most popular compositions for Oxford University Press, and discussed his work as one of the most popular current composers of choral music in the world. In a 2015 “Come and Sing”, Mr. Chilcott was joined by British composers Cecilia McDowall and Francis Pott, and all participated in a “Composer Q&A” session as part of the day. In a 2016 “Come and Sing,” Mr. Chilcott and Maestra Kuhrmann also conducted a master class on conducting, with four developing conductors leading portions of the singing for the day.
Another example are the Choralis “Summer Sings,” in which community singers are invited to join with members of Choralis in a sing-along of a choral masterwork, under the direction of Maestra Kuhrmann, and with professional singers and accompaniment. We typically offer 2-3 such “sings” at the end of each season.