Washington Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir was awarded the 2014 Greater Washington D.C. Area Choral Excellence Award in the category of the “Best Gospel Choir” by the Choralis Foundation.
The 120-voice choir was formed in 1991 to showcase a community of adult voices in concert, performing the tradition of the gospel music genre on main stages. As a result of this programming initiative, the choir expanded through a city-wide audition to form the Children of the Gospel Choir in 1993.
Washington Performing Arts’ Men and Women of the Gospel Choir has appeared on main stages, most recently at DAR Constitution Hall performing in Washington Performing Arts’ presentation “Of Thee We Sing: The Marian Anderson 75th Anniversary Celebration and in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall with Choral Arts Society in Living the Dream…Singing the Dream, A Choral Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Men and Women of the Gospel Choir has also performed with noted gospel greats such as the late Walter Hawkins, Richard Smallwood, Dottie Peoples and other renowned artists such as Sweet Honey In The Rock, Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, and the Ramsey Lewis Trio. The choir has performed at the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony ; a swearing in ceremony at The Department of State; at Carnegie Hall with Sweet Honey In The Rock; and at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and Concert Hall.
The Children of the Gospel Choir has performed at the White House, Inaugural Prayer Breakfast for President Obama as well as the Inaugural Prayer service at National Cathedral, on NBC’s Today, and at numerous other venues,.
Formal auditions for the choir are held annually in early fall. The Choir is currently led by Artistic Director Stanley J. Thurston. Other Washington-based music directors with whom it works with include Michele Fowlin, Ronald Johnson, Nolan Williams, Jr., Evelyn Simpson Curenton.
Funded in part by the D.C. Commission on the Arts & Humanities, an agency supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
About Washington Performing Arts
Since 1965, Washington Performing Arts has had a foundational role in the arts in our nation’s capital, creating profound opportunities that connect community and artists, in both education and performance. Through live events in 11 venues that criss-cross the D.C. metropolitan area, the careers of emerging artists are launched and nurtured, and established artists return to develop closer relationships with Washington Performing Arts audiences and creative partners.
As one of the leading presenters in the nation, Washington Performing Arts embraces a broad spectrum of the performing arts, including classical music, jazz, gospel, contemporary dance and music, international music and art forms, and new work. Dynamic education programs in the public schools and beyond, are hallmarks of Washington Performing Arts, as are the Embassy Adoption Program and two resident gospel choirs.
In the 2012–13 season, Washington Performing Arts was twice honored for its work at the intersection of arts presenting and education: by President Barack Obama with a National Medal of Arts (becoming only the fourth D.C.-based arts group and the first arts presenter of its kind to be so honored), and the Mayor’s Arts Award for Excellence in Service to the Arts.
About Choralis Foundation
Founded by Artistic Director Gretchen Kuhrmann in 2000, the Choralis Foundation 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, D.C. choral community, both through the quality of its sound and programming and through its creation and sponsorship of the Greater D.C. Area Choral Excellence (Ovation) Awards.