The Washington Men’s Camerata was founded by its members in 1984 to perform, promote and preserve the rich legacy of men’s choral singing. In support of its mission, the Camerata seeks to: 1) present concerts of the highest artistic quality to the widest possible audience; 2) educate young people and generate interest on their part in choral music; 3) collaborate with orchestras, other ensembles and recording companies in performances and recordings of the men’s choral repertoire; 4) through the Demetrius Project, our National Repository Library of Men’s Choral Music, preserve and share worthy collections of music that are no longer in use; and 5) encourage composers to write music for male chorus by promoting and performing newly composed men’s chorus works.
In addition to its regular subscription series, which, since 1994, has included annual performances at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Camerata has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra (Christopher Hogwood and Marvin Hamlisch, Conductors), the National Philharmonic Orchestra (Piotr Gajewski, Music Director) and the National Gallery Orchestra (George Manos, Music Director); the at the Smithsonian Institution; the Embassy of the Russian Federation; the Finish Embassy, the National Building Museum; Harvard, Princeton, and Rutgers Universities; and the White House. The Camerata has collaborated with internationally renowned artists including soprano Phyllis Bryn-Julson, soprano Rosa Lamoreux, baritone John Shirley-Quirk, and the Mark Morris Dance Group. Listeners nationwide have heard the Camerata on National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and American Public Media’s “Performance Today” and “Pipedreams.” The group’s 1993 CD, Masters In This Hall: Christmas Music for Men’s Chorus (Gothic), has enjoyed critical acclaim, frequent airplay, and brisk sales nationwide. A second critically- acclaimed recording, Over The Sea to Skye (Gothic), featuring folk songs from around the world, was released in March 1997. The third Camerata CD, The Spirit of Freedom (Gothic), featuring patriotic songs and military anthems, was released in March 1999, prompting Washington Post music critic Joseph McLellan to declare that it “is performed at a level that matches the best work of Robert Shaw.” Sing We Noel (Gothic), the Camerata’s newest Christmas CD, was released in Fall 2001. It features Daniel Pinkham’s glorious Christmas Cantata and favorite carols from around the world. Our next CD, Brothers, Sing On! Classics for Men’s Chorus (Gothic) was released in 2006. It features favorites from the male chorus repertoire, including Biebl’s Ave Maria, What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?, Spaseniye sodelal and Vive L’Amour. Our latest CD is When I Was a Young Man: More Classics for Men’s Chorus. It features traditional classics like Loch Lomond (with baritone James Weaver), Men of Harlech, Gentle Annie and Amo, Amas, I Love a Lass, as well as new classics like Lee Hoiby’s moving Last Letter Home and Bob Chilcott’s Five Ways to Kill a Man.
Our newest CD, Brothers, Sing On! Classics for Men’s Chorus (Gothic) was released in 2006. It features favorites from the male chorus repertoire, including Biebl’s “Ave Maria,” “What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor?,” “Spaseniye sodelal” and “Vive L’Amour.”