Beth A. Van Wagoner Lewis
Beth A. Van Wagoner Lewis is a native Washingtonian and graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design. She is currently the Rare Book Conservator at Virginia Theological Seminary’s Bishop Payne Library. An award-winning logo designer, she has served as a graphic artist for many prestigious area arts organizations such as the Cathedral Choral Society, the Washington Bach Consort, Choralis, the Georgetown Concert Series, the Children’s Chorus of Washington, and the McLean Symphony Orchestra. Her photographs have been published in the Washington Post, and used for recordings and publicity materials.
A significant part of Beth’s contributions to the musical life in DC was with the Cathedral Choral Society, formerly led by her beloved late husband, J. Reilly Lewis. In addition to singing in the alto section for 35 years, she served on the Board as Recording Secretary and as Chair of the Chorus Affairs Committee. She took a leadership role in planning and organizing numerous fundraisers and galas including the CCS celebration of Dave Brubeck’s birthday.
Prior to their marriage, Beth had already worked for five years as Reilly’s Executive Assistant, coordinating the myriad details of his work with all of his organizations: facilitating auditions, contracting musicians for performances, running his bi-annual Messiah Sing-Alongs, interacting regularly with many of Washington’s most prominent performers and arts patrons, and even applying her book repair skills to producing and repairing Reilly’s scores. Once she secured for him a position as guest conductor for the performances of the National Symphony Orchestra’s Messiah at the Kennedy Center.
Beth currently lives in Arlington in the lovely home that her husband grew up in, and which they had specially renovated to be a musician’s house. She carries on Reilly’s legacy through her supportive presence in the area music community by hosting concerts, rehearsals and small fundraising events, and by hosting many visiting musicians. She enjoys frequent visits with her daughter, Laura, and son-in-law, Jameson, both professional touring folk musicians. Beth’s latest joy in her busy life is her amazing granddaughter, Sunrise Hallelujah, Sunny-Lu for short.