American Youth Chorus (AYC) at Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW)

American Youth Chorus at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop

American Youth Chorus (AYC) started in the fall of 2008 with 35 students in the two divisions and has steadily grown in size each year.  The AYC holds its rehearsals at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop (CHAW), which is located in an easily accessible location and provides families with bus transportation that picks up students directly from some schools. 

The AYC program is music, humanities, and performance focused program that provides students with an enjoyable and supportive curriculum that encourages healthy vocal production. AYC nurtures their understanding of music theory, note-reading, singing in three-part harmony, stage presence, and team work through ensemble performances. AYC’s goals are not only to strive to develop students into strong singers and musicians, but also into determined citizens of the community with high levels of self-esteem, determination, and focus on school work and personal life goals.

AYC stands apart from other youth choral organization through the systemic teaching of the historical context and values of social justice pervasive in the AYC song-curriculum. AYC students are encouraged to ask questions about the meanings and cultural nuances present in the songs that they sing from around the world as part of their memorization and performance preparation. In this way, Artistic Director David Simmons strives to instill a life long love of music, community awareness, and responsibility through choral singing.

American Youth Chorus has performed all over the Washington area, most notably at the National Archives, Kennedy Center, the White House Christmas tour, the Library of Congress, the 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees luncheon at the State Department, and the Children's Inaugural Ball. The AYC singers have also performed at the H Street Festival, countless assisted living facilities for the elderly, and at a White House holiday reception where the students met First Lady Michelle Obama. 


CHAW Junior Division Rehearsals for Ages 8-10 are held on Tuesdays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm.

CHAW Senior Division Rehearsals for Ages 11-14 are held on Thursdays from 4:30 - 6:00 pm.

Auditions take place primarily in the summer and in January.  AYC also has rolling auditions throughout the year per request.

Get more information here about auditions and singing in American Youth Chorus.