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Established in 2011 and hailed this summer by the Washington Post's Anne Midgette as “the most genuinely international ensemble I've ever heard, apart from the Olympic Games,” Classical Movements’ Serenade! Choral Festival is an exuberant celebration of choral music from around the world, offering unforgettable, life-changing experiences for both singers and audiences alike.


Presented free to the public, since its inception, Serenade! has showcased more than 75 choirs from some 30 countries to enthusiastic audiences at prestigious venues throughout the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.


Once again co-presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the 8th annual Serenade! Choral Festival will honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of South African revolutionary, politician and philanthropist, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.


From June 25—July 2, 2018, professional vocal ensembles hailing from nations sharing President Mandela’s prized notions of “Hope, Justice & Unity” will perform collaborative concerts and exchange cultures through shared workshops and side-by-side rehearsals with select community choral groups and youth choirs alike, all while participating in outreach and service projects across the Greater Washington region.


Featuring five multi-choral performances on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage—as well as the always anticipated Serenade! mass choir concert inside the Kennedy Center Concert Hall—Serenade! ensembles will perform seven additional concerts at stunning and historic venues in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia.


On Sunday, July 1, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. on the stage of the Kennedy Center Concert Hall,the Serenade! Choral Festival’s “Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Justice & Unity” celebration concludes with a truly grand finale, highlighted by individual performances from all participating ensembles, as well as two world premieres commissioned by Classical Movements’ own Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program for the entire 2018 Serenade! mass choir, conducted by Scott Tucker, Artistic Director of the Choral Arts Society of Washington: Ibn Arabī Recitation by Classical Movements’ Composer-in-Residence Kinan Azmeh and decorated South African composer Qinisela Sibisi’s brand-new setting of Nelson Mandela’s most famous words, Let the New Age Dawn.

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