Westmoreland Festival Chorus
The Westmoreland Festival Chorus is a community organization that prepares both Sacred and secular works for the Bethesda community, and raises funds for local charities and service organizations. A part of the social outreach activities of the church, the choir is made up of a diverse group of singers from the surrounding areas and beyond, and engages both amateur and professional musicians. They have presented the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, Fauré, and Duruflé; cantatas by Bach, Britten, and Pinkham; and major works by Vaughan Williams, Handel, Schubert, Vivaldi, and others. The chorus often collaborates with local ensembles, such as the Apollo Symphony, the Washington Conservatory of Music, and the Great Noise Ensemble, as well as soloists, such as Laura Choi Stuart, Lena Seikaly, and Richard Giarusso. In 2014, they presented the world premier of The Imaginary City, a cantata inspired by the life of Palestinian violist Ramzi Aburedwan, which raised over $17,000 for Al Kamandjati music schools of Palestine. The Westmoreland Festival Chorus continues to work with many of the area’s best musicians to create beauty in the world, sustain a rigorous yet edifying experience for its singers, and provide support to the many local organizations that seek to do good in our community.
Sunday, November 4 | 10:00am
The Festival Chorus will by joined by members of the Great Noise Ensemble to celebrate All Saints Sunday with a performance of Faure’s Requiem integrated throughout the service.
日本から “Nippon Kara”
Saturday, December 8 | 7:00pm
The Festival Chorus teams up with the Washington Conservatory Faculty and Friends Orchestra and special guest soloists to present a Japanese take on current events, and raise money for local charity. The choir will sing a set of Japanese folk songs, arranged by Toru Takemitsu.
Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu Nostri
Saturday, March 9th | 7:00pm & Sunday, March 10th | 10:00am
Musicians from Great Noise Ensemble join the chorus for a full performance of Buxtehude’s 7 Cantatas about the limbs of Christ. A full performance at the Franciscan Monastery on Saturday, and then selections integrated into the Sunday Service.
Four Freedoms Project: Freedom from Want
Saturday, May 18th | 8:00pm
This concert marks the intersection of the Festival Chorus and Great Noise Ensemble Seasons. The GNE season features 4 concerts programmed around FDR’s “four essential human freedoms” - this one will include the piece “To The Hands” by Caroline Shaw, itself a compositional response to Buxtehude’s cantata by the Latin name which WFC is performing in March. This work is a plea to remember the traveler, the asylum seeker, the persecuted and the displaced in our midst. “Let us open our hands to those of others. (What are these wounds, in my hands, and in yours?) Walls are not the answer. We are all creatures.” Alec will guest conduct this performance, also featuring works by Bresnick, Lanci, and Andriessen.
Sunday, June 16th | 5:00pm
Our final concert of the season will be a collaboration with the Washington Conservatory Community Orchestra to raise funds for Bethesda Cares. We’ll join their concert program for a performance of Brahms’ Requiem.
The Imaginary City (December 6, 2014)
On Saturday, December 6, 2014, the Westmoreland choir, soloist and orchestra presented the world premier of "The Imaginary City" -- a cantata inspired by the life of Palestinian violist Ramzi Aburedwan. It was a magical evening of music and fellowship and raised over $17,000 for Al Kamandjati music schools in Palestine. Enjoy the video of the concert below. Download a copy of the concert program.