About Congressional Chorus
Our mission is to foster and communicate the spirit, diversity, and transformative power of American music while advancing choral excellence, community outreach and affordable music education for all ages in the nation's capital.
The Congressional Chorus (CC), a multi-generational family of choruses reflecting the diversity of our nation’s capital, champions American music; promotes the choral arts through artistic excellence, innovative performances and active community engagement; and provides affordable music education and performance opportunities to aspiring singers of all ages and backgrounds.
Since its founding in 1987 by Congressional staff who wanted to share their love of singing by reaching out to the local Capitol Hill community, the Congressional Chorus has grown into an organization performing a full season of concerts, providing educational programs reaching singers from ages 8 to 96, and serving members and audiences from throughout the metropolitan area. From an original membership of 13, the 150 members in today’s family of choruses includes a 100-member auditioned adult chorus, a 24-member a cappella chamber ensemble, American Youth Chorus (AYC), a 40-member auditioned ensemble for children ages 8-14, and the NorthEast Senior Singers (NESS), a free musical engagement chorus for senior citizens. The chorus promotes the expansion of American choral music by commissioning new works from a wide array of American composers, and by presenting multi-disciplinary concerts involving dance, poetry and spoken word artists that appeal to an audience of a wide range of ages and interests. Although the chorus performs American music of many genres and time periods, its focus is on promoting new American choral works from the 21st century.
Appointed in 2006 as Artistic Director, David Simmons has focused on artistic excellence, multi-disciplinary programming, innovative collaborations, and audience cultivation, whether presenting Broadway highlights by Sondheim or introducing new 21st century works by American composers. In addition to its annual public performances, the choruses have performed at the White House, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Harman Center for the Arts, Atlas Performing Arts Center, the Library of Congress, National Building Museum, National Archives, Washington Nationals’ Ballpark, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Capitol, including two Presidential inaugurations.
Read about the 2017-18 concert schedule or read about highlights from past seasons.
What People Are Saying About Congressional Chorus
"Such a great conglomerate of folks who are all interested in the same thing, and being new to DC, it’s been a place for me to make friends while exploring my passions.” ~ Michael Brewer, tenor, in May 30, 2012 article in Roll Call
"If you stay too long at a Congressional Chorus rehearsal, you risk becoming a hopeless groupie or worse, a wannabe singer (lacking only talent and sight-reading ability). Such is the infectious camaraderie that governs this group. But scratch the surface of this party atmosphere and you find serious, dedicated musicians brought together by their love of singing and their devotion to American music of all types." ~ Hill Rag (February 2012)
"Under the outstanding and exuberant leadership of David Simmons... Congressional Chorus is a treasured part of the cultural life of Washington, DC.” ~ Jane Lang, Founder and Board President of the Atlas Performing Arts Center