In an effort to preserve some of the nation’s most outstanding choral collections, in 1998 the Washington Men’s Camerata, with the support of the National Endowment For The Arts, established a National Library of Men’s Choral Music in Washington, DC. Through the Men’s Choral Library, the Camerata intends to play a leading role in preserving the tradition of men’s choral music and fill a need in the choral community through an operational lending library.
Many of the works come from the distinguished men’s choral music collections of Yale University, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and Georgetown University. Contained in the collection are many “hidden treasures,” including original works and arrangements for men’s chorus by Charles Ives, Marshall Bartholomew, Fenno Heath, and other American composers – some of which were written especially for male choruses at Yale University and which may never have been performed elsewhere.
You can search the Library’s online database by clicking here. There are currently more than 1,500 titles in the database representing more than 80,000 octavos in the collection, with more being added regularly.
The library is currently housed at the Joe’s Movement Emporium building at 3309 Bunker Hill Road, Mount Rainier, MD 20712.
Full information on the holdings will soon be accessible through the search link below. If you don’t find a piece you are interested in, you may, however, inquire as to the availability of any particular work by using our downloadable borrowing agreement. To process your request, please follow the instructions on the borrowing agreement and send it to the Camerata office. For more information or to support the Camerata’s Men’s Choral Library project, please call (202) 364-1064.
Fill out the Borrowing Agreement
The Demetrius Project
Named after the founder and the first chief librarian of the Royal Library at Alexandria, The Demetrius Project is an NEA-supported endeavor to collect and preserve choral music on a global scale. Founded in 2000, the library of music created by The Demetrius Project has grown to include over 1,500 titles and approximately 100,000 individual copies of music.
The Project has received eight consecutive NEA grants and has acquired music from Yale University, Georgetown University, Princeton University, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music, the U.S. Army Chorus, Colgate University, Davidson College, Lafayette College, Temple University, and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington. Included in the Project Library are original works and arrangements for men’s chorus by Charles Ives, Fenno Heath, Darius Milhaud, and Marshall Bartholomew.
Music has been loaned to groups throughout the United States and around the world and an online database of music in the collection is constantly being updated and upgraded to allow for more functionality and ease of use.
Recordings Preserve the Music of the Library
An ongoing series of recordings helps to preserve and promote the various “classics” that comprise The Demetrius Project library. Brothers Sing On! Classics for Men’s Chorus (Gothic, March 2006) was the first in a series of projected recordings of music from the Library and has already been featured several times on NPR and classical music stations around the country. The second disc in the series, When I Was a Young Man: More Classics for Men’s Chorus, was released by Gothic in 2009.
Become an Honorary Librarian
You can become an Honorary Librarian and support The Demetrius Project with a donation(which is tax-deductible), and remember to make a remark (for the Demetrius Project) in the field upon submission.
Why The Demetrius Project?
Demetrius of Phaleron (Demetrius Phalerus) was an Athenian orator and student of Aristotle. He traveled to Alexandria and met Ptolemy II of Egypt. Historians believe that Demetrius conceived of a great library and convinced Ptolemy to begin building the collection of scrolls that eventually became the Royal Library of Alexandria. When the Royal Library was destroyed by fire, historians lamented that the knowledge lost set civilization back a thousand years.
Demetrius is considered to be the first Head Librarian/Administrator of the Royal Library and his illustrious place in the history of preserving information for generations to come is the inspiration for calling our endeavor The Demetrius Project.