The Music & Arts Chorus is an all-volunteer, non-auditioned group of talented singers from throughout DC and Northern Virginia. The Music & Arts Orchestra is a professional ensemble that includes many of the most talented players in our local area. Together, they form a cohesive whole that delights audiences with their musical talent and enthusiasm. The eclectic history of this collaboration includes a series of firsts, including a 2010 staged and costumed performance of Mendelssohn’s Elijah; and the 2012 modern premier of a new edition of a political oratorio about Napoleon that had not been performed since 1797. This season, the Chorus and Orchestra will perform Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass. The Guest Artist for this concert will be the winner of the Robert & Frances Allen 2017 Young Artist Competition, who will perform a concerto movement with the Music & Arts Orchestra. The talents of local artists will be featured in the M&A’s annual Art Show, where they will present and sell their works.
The Navy Band Sea Chanters is the United States Navy’s official chorus. The ensemble performs a variety of music ranging from traditional choral music, including sea chanteys and patriotic fare, to opera, Broadway, and contemporary music. Under the leadership of Chief Petty Officer Adam Tyler, the Sea Chanters perform for the public throughout the United States. At home in Washington, they perform for the president, vice president and numerous congressional, military and foreign dignitaries. In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the band’s assistant leader, organized a group from the Navy School of Music to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. An immediate success, Adm. Arleigh Burke, then chief of naval operations, transferred them to the Navy Band, named them the Sea Chanters and tasked this all-male chorus with perpetuating the songs of the sea. In 1980, the group added women to their ranks and expanded their repertoire to include everything from Brahms to Broadway.
The Tom Cunningham Orchestra plays the best Basie since Basie, the best Goodman since Goodman, the best Ellington since Ellington, the best Miller since Miller. . . the best swing music since the swing era. This is their 39th year of swingin’ DC! During that time, they’ve collected the finest big band library – not modern, glib arrangements, but the original, hard swingin’ charts that made swing music ageless — and that’s what makes the Tom Cunningham Orchestra the best for dancing, the best for listening, and the best! The orchestra has won the Washington Area Musicians’ Association’s “Wammie” Award as the region’s outstanding big band/swing group. The group initiated the M&A JAZZ! Series in 2014, and is back this season by popular demand.