WASHINGTON — For the first time, the Washington National Cathedral and the Cathedral Choral Society will present a joint concert season for 2022-23, a musical tour-de-force that celebrates important moments across history, the performing arts, beloved poets and holiday favorites.
Under the direction of Canon Michael McCarthy, the Cathedral’s director of music, and Steven Fox, CCS music director, this joint season will give concert goers the opportunity to enjoy a cohesive music program throughout the season presented in one of the most awe-inspiring buildings in Washington, D.C.
“The Cathedral is extremely excited to be presenting this season jointly with the Cathedral Choral Society,” said Canon Michael McCarthy, the Cathedral’s director of music. “We are looking forward to offering immersive performances that resonate and inspire, where people can enjoy the world of music.”
Among the season’s many highlights are special collaborations between the Cathedral Choral Society and premier performance groups from around the country. This fall, the Atlanta Ballet will join the Cathedral Choral Society for a dramatic “Roméo & Juliette: Berlioz & Shakespeare,” one of French composer Hector Berlioz’s most original works that was inspired by the Shakespeare classic. This performance will include new choreography by Claudia Schreier and will offer a new perspective on the tragic love story. Later this year, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra will join the Cathedral Choral Society to present “To the Wild Sky: Rachmaninoff & Poe.” Inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who wrote, “Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,” the program blends poetry and music together to paint vivid landscapes, evoking unearthly vignettes from the minds of Poe and Tennyson.
The Cathedral will offer a series of organ recitals anchored in the nation’s civic holidays and sacred feasts, featuring Cathedral Organist Thomas Sheehan as well as guest performers, including Christa Rakich, Carson Cooman and Alcee Chriss. In addition, the Cathedral’s resident ensemble, Cathedra, will collaborate with Concert Theater Works in a production of Secret Byrd. William Byrd’s “Mass for Five Voices.” Presented in an intimate candlelit chapel, guests will be transported to 16th Century England, where secret worshippers gather behind closed doors against the threat of persecution during the height of Catholic-Protestant struggle. Monteverdi, one of the most important musicians of the first half of the 17th century, bridges the Renaissance and Baroque periods; his rarely performed masterpiece “Vespers of 1610,” combines a variety of styles, scoring and length. The 90-minute piece and is written for chorus, soloists and orchestra.
In a special performance honoring African American composers, Stanley J. Thurston, artist-in-residence at the Cathedral and artistic director of the Heritage Signature Chorale, will lead the Cathedral Choral Society and the Heritage Signature Chorale in a selection of works. Featured is Adolphus Hailstork’s “Done Made My Vow,” which draws from the early speeches of former President Barack Obama. This treasured work by one of the most important composers working today reminds us of the words that galvanized a nation, and explores African American narratives through music.
Subscription packages are available for purchase. Season pass subscribers receive free parking at all concerts, 10% off tickets at time of purchase, free ticket exchanges, and other perks throughout the season. Individual concert tickets will go on sale on Monday, August 22, with tickets starting at just $20. The concert season kicks off on Sunday, Sept. 25. For more information, visit the Washington National Cathedral’s Concert Season page.
The season’s inaugural performance is the Cathedral Day Organ Recital. The Cathedral’s organist, Thomas Sheehan, performs to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the laying of the Cathedral’s Foundation Stone. (Sunday, September 25, 2022, 2 p.m.)
The Atlanta Ballet joins the Cathedral Choral Society for a dramatic “Roméo & Juliette: Berlioz & Shakespeare,” French composer Hector Berlioz’s most original work, adapted from the Shakespeare classic. The performance includes new choreography by Claudia Schreier. (Saturday, October 22, 2022, 4 p.m.)
Alcee Chriss, university organist and artist-in-residence at Wesleyan University, joins Washington National Cathedral for an afternoon of organ music in celebration of Thanksgiving. (Sunday, November 20, 2022, 2 p.m.)
The Cathedral presents George Frideric Handel’s beloved holiday classic, “Messiah.” Surrounded by the Cathedral’s soaring architecture and Gothic splendor, enjoy one of Handel’s most famous masterpieces in a musical experience like no other. (Friday, December 2, 2022, 7 p.m.; Saturday, December 3, 2022, 12 p.m. & 4 p.m.; Sunday, December 4, 2022, 4 p.m.)
Celebrate the coming of the Christmas season and warm your spirits with music of the holidays past and present. The Cathedral Choral Society presents Joy of Christmas in a series of three performances. (Saturday, December 10, 2022, 2 p.m. & 6 p.m.; Sunday, December 11, 2022, 4 p.m.)
Spend your Christmas Day with the Cathedral at the Christmas Day Organ Recital. Cathedral organist Thomas Sheehan performs a program of festive holiday music on the Cathedral’s Great Organ. (Sunday, December 25, 2022, 1:30 p.m.)
The Cathedral welcomes Christa Rakich, visiting professor of organ at Oberlin College & Conservatory, for the President’s Day Organ Recital. Enjoy an afternoon of music that commemorates our nation’s history. (Sunday, February 19, 2023, 2 p.m.)
Bill Barclay and Cathedra, a highly skilled ensemble of professional singers in residence at the Cathedral, present Secret Byrd, an intimate candlelit concert centered around English composer William Byrd’s “Mass for Five Voices.” (Sunday, March 5, 2023, 4 p.m.)
The world-class Baltimore Symphony Orchestra joins the Cathedral Choral Society to perform “To the Wild Sky: Rachmaninoff & Poe,” a stunning marriage of the music and words of Sergei Rachmaninoff and Edgar Allen Poe. (Sunday, March 19, 2023, 4 p.m.)
The Cathedral marks Palm Sunday with a performance of “In Paradisum.” Listeners will experience Poulenc’s penitential motets and the orchestral technicolor of his Tenebrae responsories as well as Duruflé’s explorations of Gregorian chant and his breathtaking “Requiem.” (Sunday, April 2, 2023, 4 p.m.)
The Cathedral celebrates Easter with the Easter Sunday Organ Recital. Cathedral organist Thomas Sheehan plays a selection of uplifting music on the Cathedral’s Great Organ to celebrate the Resurrection. (Sunday, April 9, 2023, 2 p.m.)
Experience an afternoon of musical texture and sacred sound with Monteverdi’s “Vespers.” Monteverdi’s 1610 work “Vespro della Beata Vergine,” a rarely performed piece, bridges the Renaissance and the Baroque. (Sunday, April 30, 2023, 4 p.m.)
Stanley J. Thurston, artist-in-residence at the Cathedral and artistic director of the Heritage Signature Chorale, leads the Cathedral Choral Society and the Heritage Signature Chorale in “Our Work Unfinished: Hailstork & Obama,” a selection of works from African American composers. Featured is Adolphus Hailstork’s “Done Made My Vow,” which calls upon words from the early speeches of former president Barack Obama. (Sunday, May 14, 2023, 4 p.m.)
Guest organist Carson Cooman joins the Cathedral for a Memorial Day Organ Recital in celebration of the resilience and fortitude of our armed services, honoring their bravery and their myriad achievements for our country. (Sunday, May 28, 2023, 2 p.m.)
The final performance of the 2022-2023 season is the Independence Day Concert. Join Cathedral organist Thomas Sheehan and Washington Symphonic Brass for a performance to celebrate the enduring values that make America strong, resilient and compassionate. (Tuesday, July 4, 2023, 11 a.m.)
About Washington National Cathedral
Grounded in the reconciling love of Jesus Christ, Washington National Cathedral is a house of prayer for all people, conceived by our founders to serve as a great church for national purposes.
Cathedral Choral Society
As Washington, DC’s oldest symphonic chorus, the GRAMMY-nominated Cathedral Choral Society continues to set the standard for vibrant, engaging concerts in one of the world’s most important places of worship. Each season, CCS presents four mainstage concerts in Washington National Cathedral, and in its programming, the chorus commits itself to presenting works from many musical traditions that challenge, excite, and inspire audiences.
Washington National Cathedral
Kevin Eckstrom, Chief Communications Officer
202-390-0240 | [email protected]
Cathedral Choral Society
Erin Haar, Creative Media & Marketing Manager
(202) 537-5538 | [email protected]