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Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival

KENNEDY CENTER, CONCERT HALL:

Grand Finale

Date: MONDAY, JULY 3
Time: 6 p.m.
Tickets: FREE

 

Balkanes (Bulgaria) 
Escolania de Montserrat (Catalonia, Spain) 
Insingizi (Zimbabwe) 
Latvian Voices (Latvia) 
Egschiglen (Mongolia) 
Pihcintu (Refugee Girls Chorus from Portland, Maine, USA) 

 

Established in 2011 and hailed by theWashington Postas “true harmonic convergence,” Classical Movements’ Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival is an international choir celebration that offers an unforgettable, life-changing experience for singers and audiences alike. Presented free to the public, since its inception, Serenade! has showcased more than 50 choirs from some 25 countries to enthusiastic audiences at prestigious venues throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

 

The 7th annual Serenade! Festival, from June 27July 4, 2017, promises to be a very special edition, as it is co-presented with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, in celebration of President Kennedy’s centennial and one of his longstanding initiatives, the Peace Corps.

 

For 8 days and nights, select youth and adult choirs hailing from countries that have benefited from Peace Corps volunteers will perform collaborative concerts and exchange cultures through shared workshops and side-by-side rehearsals with select American choirs, all while participating in community outreach projects all across the region.

 

Featuring 5, multi-choral performances on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage—as well as 1 mass choir finale concert conducted by Joshua Habermann, director of the Dallas Symphony Chorus and Santa Fe Desert Chorale, in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall on Monday, July 3—Serenade! choirs will perform 8 additional concerts at stunning and historic venues in Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

 

Notable among the Serenade! 2017 ensembles: the world’s oldest boy choir, Catalonia’s Escolania de Montserrat, who will perform music composed for them by the legendary Pablo Casals, President Kennedy’s honored guest at the White House in 1961; Latvian Voices, an a cappella ensemble from the capital of Latvia, that Baltic nation the President visited while still a Harvard student touring Europe; Gandharva Choir from New Delhi, India, where as a 34-year-old congressman, then Rep. Kennedy met the country’s first Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, in 1951.

 

As for those groups from countries served by the Peace Corps, Serenade! will highlight Insingizi, a thrilling, three-man ensemble from Zimbabwe, Balkanes, an all-female quartet that shares both the sacred and profane traditions of their native Bulgaria and Pihcintu, a refugee children’s chorus based in Portland, Maine.

 

"...the Serenade Festival, an international choral festival which has been held in DC for several years; this year, it will move (in part) to the Kennedy Center and present choruses from countries where the Peace Corps, a Kennedy initiative, has been active."

  Anne Midgette, Washington Post

 

Also, Classical Movements' Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program has commissioned 11, brand-new works by composers from the festival’s featured countries, each piece inspired by the 5 ideals President Kennedy championed—Justice, Freedom, Courage, Service and Gratitude—manifested every day, the world over by Peace Corps volunteers.

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