Best Vocal Groups In Washington DC

April 4, 2013 9:00 AM

Photo Credit: Capital Accord Chorus

Sometimes it is easy to forget how much the city you live in has to offer. Washington DC is famous for its monuments and political culture, but many people don’t realize it also has a rich musical scene, complete with local bands and talented choral groups. Read on to find out about some of the best vocal groups in the Washington DC area. Their accomplishments are varied and impressive, and will make you want to buy tickets for their next performances right away.

18th Street Singers

The 18th Street Singers are a group of young professionals in Washington DC who all share a profound love of music. The ensemble of 50 individuals, who came together in 2004, are an exciting addition to the DC choral scene. They have performed all over the District throughout the last 10 years, most notably at the national Christmas tree lighting ceremony in 2009 which was attended by President Obama. According to Ron Lee, one of the group’s long-time members, “the key to our success is that we bring together people who love singing and enjoy sharing choral music with the public – to move and inspire people with this beautiful art form. This shared vision pushes us to be excellent, to be inventive and to push the envelope a little. On a more mundane but no less important note, it also helps that we have a very open and informal organizational structure, with new members rotating in to fill leadership roles. This means all of us have a stake in the group, and it helps to avoid burnout.” The 18th Street Singers’ 9th annual spring concert will be taking place on June 29, 2013. The theme of this concert will be “Defining the Times: American Music Through the Generations.” It promises to be a beautiful and exciting performance, highlighting the wide range of talent within the choral group.

Related: Best Places to Discover New Music In The Washington DC Area

Capital Accord Chorus
1 (301) 392-7664

The Capital Accord Chorus is a fun and innovative chorus group, comprised only of women. These talented 35 women perform all over the Washington DC area at public and private events. They sing predominately barbershop music, which is a style of cappella music that is sung without instruments. Barbershop is a part of American folk art. The chorus will next perform on April 7 at a benefit concert at James Blake High School in Silver Spring. They will then compete in the Region 19 2013 Convention from April 18 – 21 in Ocean City, Maryland. The competition is a regional event where choruses from the East Coast convene to compete before a panel of judges. More information about this event and how to buy tickets is on the group’s website.

Cathedral Choral Society
(202) 537-2228

The Cathedral Choral Society is one of the biggest and oldest choral organizations in the Washington DC area, as it was founded in 1941 and consists of 160 members. The group has held concerts all over the city, most notably at Wolf Trap and the Kennedy Center, but its main function is to perform at the Washington National Cathedral. They will be performing next at the Cathedral on May 12th at 4 p.m. Tickets are $31 and are available on the website.

World Children’s Choir
(703) 883-0920

One of the most unique choirs in town is the World Children’s Choir, which is a choral assembly only for children. The singers are all between the ages of four and 18. The organization seeks to provide an opportunity for children to explore their musical talents, while simultaneously raising money for children in need. This choral group has performed at the White House, as well as at locations all over the world, for dignitaries such as multiple presidents of the United States and justices of the Supreme Court. Their next concert will be on May 18 at 7 p.m. at the Falls Church Episcopal. Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for children. They can be purchased in advance on the website or at the door.

Related: Best Concerts to Look Forward To In The DC Area In 2013

Heritage Signature Chorale
(202) 808-0583

The focus of the Heritage Signature Chorale is to embrace and celebrate the music of African Americas, specifically negro spirituals, which are Christian songs sung by the enslaved African Americans. The Heritage Signature Chorale has been in existence for 13 years and has produced three CDs, in addition to a plethora of concerts throughout the DC metropolitan area. The group performs next at the Music Center at Strathmore on May 18th at 8 p.m. Tickets are available on the website and prices depend on seating choice.

Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at

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