For centuries, Christians have set sacred stories in song to praise and glorify God, giving voice to the deepest longings of the heart. Join Washington National Cathedral as we celebrate the beauty, breadth and power of liturgical music.
This two-day Festival of Sacred Music features choral, organ and conducting master classes led by Cathedral musicians. Join us for a day of study on Saturday, and a day of worship on Sunday. Explore the expanding world of global song, jazz and Gospel music, and experience soaring Cathedral liturgies with organ and choir.
Registration includes the full day of study on Saturday 2/25, with workshops and classes. Registered participants are invited to attend all weekend worship services, and to join the choir for Festival Evensong on Sunday.
Saturday, February 25:
Day of Study & Jazz Vespers
- Registration required for Saturday workshops, master classes, and Choral Symposium
- Saturday night Jazz Vespers is free and open to all
Organ Master Class
Seated around the console of the Cathedral’s 197-rank Aeolian Skinner organ, we focus on hymn playing and liturgical improvisation. Cathedral organists Benjamin Straley and George Fergus offer insights and tips for creative and inspired hymn playing that encourages congregations to sing well. One session offered. Though participation in the masterclass is full, new registrants are invited to listen and observe.
Global Song Workshop
Join Theodicy Jazz Collective on a musical tour of Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas. As ensemble-in-residence at the Cathedral, Theodicy players introduce global song that fits gracefully within Christian worship, focusing on lyrics and melody, and techniques for musicians and song-leaders to use to introduce these songs to the congregation and accompany the music authentically.
Conducting Master Class and Adult Evensong Rehearsal
Canon Michael McCarthy, Cathedral director of music, talks about the Cathedral music program and its choristers from the schools. He addresses common issues that conductors of volunteer choirs face, provide suggestions and demonstrate “quick fixes” that are often overlooked. The conducting masterclass will also serve as a platform for adult evensong participants to learn the Sunday Evensong music. All are welcome to sing along with the music provided. One session offered.
Gospel Choir Workshop
Join the Cathedral’s “house band” on a musical tour of Africa, the Caribbean and the Americas. As the music leaders for the Cathedral’s 9 AM service, the players introduce global song that fits gracefully within Christian worship, focusing on lyrics and melody, and techniques for musicians and song-leaders to use to introduce these songs to the congregation and accompany the music authentically.
*Adult participants will indicate choices of workshops and master classes at time of registration
Choral Symposium for Kids and Adults
Don’t miss this opportunity to join choristers from across the D.C. area to learn and perform great music at your National Cathedral and experience cathedral music like never before! This unique experience for children, young adults, and adults promises to inspire singers. Rehearse with world-renowned music directors to prepare a prelude program, help lead Sunday Evensong, and take part in workshops taught by local and national musicians, which will strengthen and challenge chorister musicality. Register today!
5:30 pm – free and open to all • please RSVP
For centuries, people have asked God for guidance and care as day turns to night. This night, we ask God to refresh, inspire and call us to action. Enter into song, silence and Scripture as you feel moved. Allow jazz rhythms and harmonies to transform beloved melodies. Free and open to all!
Sunday, February 26:
Day of Worship
- Registered participants are invited to attend all weekend worship services, and to join the choir for Festival Evensong on Sunday
- Worship services conducted in the Episcopal tradition and are open to all
As part of the Episcopal Church, worship at the Cathedral follows the form of the Book of Common Prayer. Cathedral services are open to the public and span a diversity of styles—formal and informal, spoken and musical, intimate and large.
- Holy Eucharist (Rite I), 8 am
- Holy Eucharist (Rite II), 9 am
- Holy Eucharist (Rite II), 11:15 am
Evensong Prelude, 3:20 pm
Choral participants of Saturday’s workshops join together to sing a prelude Festival Evensong.
Festive Evensong, 4 pm
Choral participants of Saturday’s workshops join together with the Cathedral Choir to sing a Festive Evensong. The tradition of Choral Evensong is deeply rooted in the Anglican Church and has been a contemplative yet vibrant part of the Episcopal Church at prayer. Prelude begins at 3:20 pm. Free and open to all.
Organ Recital, 5:15 pm
Guest organist Joey Fala from Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, plays a recital on the Cathedral’s 10,650–pipe great organ.
Register today to reserve your place:
- Registration includes full day of study on Saturday 2/25
- Registered participants are invited to attend all worship services on Saturday and Sunday, and to join the choir for Festival Evensong on Sunday
- All worship services, including Jazz Vespers on Saturday, are free and open to the public
- $20 per adult (over 18)
- $5 per chorister (under 18), with 1 free adult chaperone for every five choristers
For each adult festival registration, please select your choices of workshops and master classes by clicking here.
Partial scholarships are available; contact the Rev. Andrew Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.