Chorus History


About Congressional Chorus

The Congressional Chorus (CC), a multi-generational family of choruses reflecting the diversity of our nation’s capital, champions American music; promotes the choral arts through artistic excellence, innovative performances and active community engagement; and provides affordable music education and performance opportunities to aspiring singers of all ages and backgrounds.

Since its founding in 1987 by Congressional staff who wanted to share their love of singing by reaching out to the local Capitol Hill community, the Congressional Chorus has grown into an organization performing a full season of concerts, providing educational programs reaching singers from ages 8 to 96, and serving members and audiences from throughout the metropolitan area. From an original membership of 13, the 150 members in today’s family of choruses includes a 100-member auditioned adult chorus, a 24-member a cappella chamber ensemble, American Youth Chorus (AYC), a 40-member auditioned ensemble for children ages 8-14, and the NorthEast Senior Singers (NESS), a free musical engagement chorus for senior citizens.  The chorus promotes the expansion of American choral music by commissioning new works from a wide array of American composers, and by presenting multi-disciplinary concerts involving dance, poetry and spoken word artists that appeal to an audience of a wide range of ages and interests.  Although the chorus performs American music of many genres and time periods, its focus is on promoting new American choral works from the 21st century.

Appointed in 2006 as Artistic Director, David Simmons has focused on artistic excellence, multi-disciplinary programming, innovative collaborations, and audience cultivation, whether presenting Broadway highlights by Sondheim or introducing new 21st century works by American composers. In addition to its annual public performances, the choruses have performed at the White House, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Harman Center for the Arts, Atlas Performing Arts Center, the Library of Congress, National Building Museum, National Archives, Washington Nationals’ Ballpark, the U.S. Department of State, and the U.S. Capitol, including two Presidential inaugurations.