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The Kennedy Center

Serenade! Choral Festival



Watch Past Performances

Video 7/8/2019: Serenade! Choral Music Festival Grand Finale

Classical Movements’ 9th annual Serenade! Washington, D.C. Choral Festival concludes on the Concert Hall stage with a truly grand finale: individual performances by “The Human Journey” ensembles from Iran, Mongolia, Ecuador, Mexico, Canada, France and Germany, as well the Serenade! mass choir, led by the 2019 recipient of the Robert Shaw Lifetime Achievement Award, Doreen Rao. Dr. Rao will conduct her second Serenade! mass choir in the world premiere of Refuge—a brand-new work by soprano and composer Patrice Michaels—commissioned by the Eric Daniel Helms New Music Program.

This program is part of The Human Journey.

Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the Hall of Nations starting at approximately 4:30 p.m., up to two tickets per person.

Video 7/7/2019: Serenade! Choral Music Festival

Co-presented with Classical Movements, the 9th annual Serenade! reflects on the “Human Journey: Music, Migration and Identity” with professional vocal groups, community choral ensembles and youth choirs alike”.

Calmus embodies the rich choral tradition of Leipzig, its hometown city so closely associated with Bach and Mendelssohn.  Calmus has captivated both audiences and critics alike for twenty years with its charming stage presence, flawless technique and entertaining presentation.

Choir Cedemusica, a children’s choir from Ambato, Ecuador presents Ecuadorian culture through various indigenous wardrobes, and songs of indigenous and Afro-Ecuadorian rhythms conducted by Rommel Jumbo Medina.

Toronto Beaches Children’s and Youth Chorus founded in 2006 by artistic director Bronwen Low look to explore the stories and music of the 1st Nations of Canada for their take on the Human Journey through a brand new commissioned work by a 1st nations composer, Barbara Croall.

This program is part of The Human Journey.

Video 7/6/2019: Serenade! Choral Music Festival

Co-presented with Classical Movements, the 9th annual Serenade! reflects on the “Human Journey: Music, Migration and Identity” with professional vocal groups, community choral ensembles and youth choirs alike”.

Barbara Furtuna, a Corsican polyphonic group of four men, performing mostly a capella, finds its inspiration in the island’s oldest traditions, but is now also distinguished by its own creations, and offers a music that speaks to contemporary longings.

Crystal Children’s Choir from San Francisco, California inspires to be cultural ambassadors of children’s choral music, especially in the field of Chinese folk songs and newly commissioned works.

This program is part of The Human Journey.

Video 7/1/2018: Serenade! Choral Festival: Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Justice, and Unity

Mandela at 100: Songs of Hope, Justice, and Unity concludes with an exuberant celebration featuring individual performances from all participating ensembles, as well as two world premieres: Syrian composer Kinan Azmeh’s Ibn Arabi Suite and a work by Qinisela Sibisi of South Africa, commissioned by Classical Movements for the entire Serenade! mass choir (including the Nai Syrian Children’s Choir, via livestream) conducted by Scott Tucker, Artistic Director of The Choral Arts Society of Washington.

Free general admission tickets will be distributed in the Hall of Nations starting at approximately 4:30 p.m., up to two tickets per person.

Video 6/30/2018: Serenade! Choral Festival: Howard University Gospel Choir & Countermeasure

Serenade! Choral Festival: Founded in 1968, the Howard University Gospel Choir is the first collegiate choir of its kind in the world—a truly outstanding body of students and alumni using God’s great gift of music to spread His good news.

Canada’s coolest chanteurs, Countermeasure performs the world premiere of founder and award-winning composer Aaron Jensen’s own multimedia tribute to Nelson Mandela, focused on truth and reconciliation.

Video 6/29/2018: Serenade! Choral Festival: Tiharea, Betsayda Machado, and Perranda El Clavo 

Serenade! Choral Festival: Tiharea, a trio of singing, dancing, and percussion-playing sisters from southern Madagascar, offer music from their native Androy region. Additionally, Afro-Venezuelan singer Betsayda Machado and her lifelong group La Perranda El Clavo, expert exponents of the infectious parranda genre, will follow. They are known to not be satisfied until every last person in the crowd is up and moving.

Video 6/28/2018: Serenade! Choral Festival: Tyva Kyzy & Nathaniel Dett Chorale

Serenade! Choral Festival: Having mastered the forbidden-for-women art of Tuvan throat-singing, southern Siberia’s Tyva Kyzy is the only all-female group performing traditional khöömei (“overtone”) songs, including a brand-new piece from founder Choduraa Tumat. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale is Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles: classical, spiritual, gospel, jazz, folk, and blues.

Video 6/27/2018: Serenade! Choral Festival: Olga & Chennai Children’s Choir

Serenade! Choral Festival: Olga, an all-male a cappella quintet from the Netherlands will perform two world premieres from female Dutch composers: Anne-Maartje Lemereis’s Requiem for the Glass Ceiling and Carlijn Metselaar’s Mansplaining. Additionally, an inspirational ensemble consisting of orphaned, blind, and differently-abled Tamil kids, the Chennai Children’s Choir, sings with perfect diction in Telugu, Hindi, Bengali, Urdu, Kannada, and English.

Video 6/26/2018: Serenade! Choral Festival: Central Australian Aboriginal Women's Choir &  the Indonesian Children and Youth Choir – Cordana

Serenade! Choral Festival: The Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir, custodians of a 125-year-old choral tradition inherited from German missionaries, is comprised of six indigenous choirs from the Northern Territory’s most remote communities. Following the Central Australian Aboriginal Women’s Choir is a performance by the Indonesian Children and Youth Choir–Cordana whose glorious combination of song and movement recalls Mandela’s joyful declaration, “It is music and dancing that make me at peace with the world.”

Video 7/3/2017: Shanghai No. 3 Girls High School Concert Band, Escolania de Montserrat, Akoo Show Choir, and the Nairobi Girls Chorale

The final performance of Serenade! features Shanghai No. 3 Girls High School Concert Band (China), Escolania de Montserrat (Spain and Catalonia), Akoo Show Choir (Ghana), and the Nairobi Girls Chorale (Kenya).

Part of JFKC: A Centennial Celebration of John F. Kennedy

PATRON NOTE: Reservations of up to four (4) seats for this concert are available in person at the Kennedy Center Box Office, at kennedy-center.org, or by calling (202) 467-4600 or (800) 444- 1324. Order confirmations should be printed at home (note these are not tickets, but reservations), and will be valid until 5:45 p.m. on Monday, July 3.

NOTE: Reserved tickets may be picked up from the Hall of Nations Box Office beginning at 4:00 p.m. Please present your confirmation to box office personnel in exchange for reserved seat tickets. Tickets that have not been claimed by 5:45 p.m. on July 3, 2017 will be released and distributed to a stand-by line.

An allotment of tickets has been held back, which will be available on the night of the concert. In addition, tickets that have not been claimed by 5:45 p.m. on July 3, 2017 will be released and distributed to a standby line.

 Serenade! Choral Festival