Visiting Choirs and Performance Opportunities

Visiting Choirs and Organ Recitals

Creating opportunities for visiting choirs to perform at the National Cathedral is an important and valued part of our musical ministry. Visiting choirs may perform at the Cathedral on specific occasions. Guest organists play Sunday afternoon recitals during the academic year.

Sunday Prelude Choirs

A choir may apply to sing the choral prelude before Evensong on most Sunday afternoons during the course of the academic year (September through May). Evensong on these days is sung by the Cathedral Choir. The choral prelude consists of a 25-minute program of sacred a cappella music sung from 3:30 to 3:55 pm, just prior to the 4 pm service (for which the prelude choir is invited to stay). The prelude itself is regarded as an integral part of the service.

How to Apply
If you are interested in your choir being considered for singing a choral prelude at the Cathedral, please complete the application form and submit it (either by mail or email), with a recent recording (preferably live) of your choir singing sacred a cappella music. Please note, we can only accommodate choirs of up to 80 singers for Sunday Evensong preludes.

Friday Evensong Choirs

Choirs conversant with the office of Evensong and experienced in singing its musical repertoire (Preces & Responses, Anglican chanted Psalms, Canticles, etc.) will be considered for an invitation to sing Choral Evensong on any Friday during the course of the academic year (September through May), except times when Cathedral or special occasions take precedence.

How to apply
If you would like your choir to be considered for singing Evensong at the Cathedral, please complete the application form and submit it (either by mail or email), with a recent recording of your choir singing a live Evensong service within the previous 1–2 years. We also need a letter of recommendation from a member of the clergy who can comment on the choir’s recent experience in singing Evensong. Please note, for choirs singing for a complete Evensong or Eucharist service, we can only accommodate up to 50 singers.

Service Choirs during the Summer

In addition, choirs conversant with the liturgies of the Episcopal Church will be considered for providing music at any of the choral services in a given week during July and August when the Cathedral choirs are on vacation (the Sunday Eucharist at 8:45 am & 11:15 am, Sunday Evensong at 4 pm, and weekday Evensongs daily at 5:30 pm).

Choirs wishing to sing any of these choral services should be familiar with Episcopal Eucharist and Evensong liturgies and their sung portions. Please complete the application form and submit it (either by mail or email), with a recent recording of your choir singing a live service within the previous 1–2 years. Please note, for choirs singing for a complete Evensong or Eucharist service, we can only accommodate up to 50 singers.

Christopher Betts
Organist and Associate Director of Music
Washington National Cathedral
Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW
Washington, DC 20016
E-mail: cbetts@cathedral.org

Organ Recitals

The Cathedral presents organ recitals most Sunday afternoons from September through May. Organists who are interested in appearing on our series are encouraged to apply.

How to apply
Please send the following materials through postal mail (please do not submit your application electronically):

  • an unedited recording of a public organ recital performed in the last two years
  • a printed program from the recorded recital
  • a current biography

Please submit materials before January 15, 2014, to be considered for the 2014–15 season.

Please submit your materials to:

Christopher Betts
Organist and Associate Director of Music
Washington National Cathedral
Wisconsin and Massachusetts Avenues, NW
Washington, DC 20016
Phone: (202) 537-5553
E-mail: cbetts@cathedral.org

Parking at the Cathedral

Parking in the Cathedral’s underground garage is free on Sundays for services and organ recitals; parking for concerts and programs is available for an event-parking fee. Learn more about parking options for individuals and groups.