Summer 2022

SEP 18 | Joyfully Together

SEP 18 | 5 PM

Wolf Trap and The Washington Chorus are pleased to announce the creation of a new community choral festival celebrating the power of singing together to connect and inspire. The festival, led by The Washington Chorus’s Dr. Eugene Rogers as festival Artistic Director, features a wonderful mix of the area’s regional choirs across many styles and genres. This one-day festival includes short performances by each chorus on stage, and culminates in a combined performance of all participating ensembles and sing-along moments with the audience in a 7,000+ voice chorus.


Alexandria Harmonizers
Joe Cerutti, Jr., Artistic Director

The Children’s Chorus of Washington
Margaret Nomura Clark, Artistic Director

Duke Ellington School of the Arts Concert Chorale
Greg Watkins, Director

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC & GenOUT
Thea Kano, Artistic Director

Towson University Singers
Diana V. Sáez, Director

The Washington Chorus
Eugene Rogers, Artistic Director

Washington Performing Arts
Children of the Gospel Choir
Michele Fowlin, Artistic Director

Washington Performing Arts
Men and Women of the Gospel Choir
Theodore Thorpe, III, Artistic Director


Rollo Dilworth, piano and composer
Reena Esmail, composer
Aundi Marie Moore, soprano
Nicolò Spera, guitar
Melissa Studdard, poet


*“We Are Love”
Reena Esmail, words by Melissa Studdard
featuring Aundi Marie Moore, soprano

^”Lean on Me”
Bill Withers

“God Said It”
Willis J. DeVone

Washington Performing Arts
Men and Women of the Gospel Choir

Theodore Thorpe III, Artistic Director

“Take Me Home, Country Roads”
John Denver

“Canción con Todos”
César Isella, arr. Ismael Coca Aranibar

Carlos Cordero
Puerto Rican Plena, arr. Diana V. Sáez

Towson University Singers
Diana V. Sáez, Artistic Director

^”Oh Shenandoah”
Traditional American Folk Song

“Lift Every Voice and Sing”
arr. Roland Carter

“Wake Up Everybody”
John Legend

Duke Ellington School of the Arts Concert Chorale
Greg Watkins, Director

^”America the Beautiful”
Katherine Lee Bates

“Hallelujah” Chorus, from Mount of Olives
Ludwig Van Beethoven

“The Book of Rahul” from Door Out of the Fire
Christopher Theofanidis, words by Melissa Studdard

The Washington Chorus
Eugene Rogers, Artistic Director
featuring Nicoló Spera, guitar

“Climb Ev’ry Mountain”
Oscar Hammerstein II and Richard Rodgers
Aundi Marie Moore, soprano
featuring Wei-Han, piano

“He Rose”
Brent Jones

“Why Do We Sing”
Gail Jones Murphy

Washington Performing Arts
Children of the Gospel Choir

Michele Fowlin, Artistic Director

^”Standing Stone”
Melanie DeMore

“Bridge Over Troubled Water”
Paul Simon, arr. Greg Volk

“Circle of Life”
music by Elton John, lyrics by Tim Rice

Alexandria Harmonizers
Joe Cerutti, Jr., Artistic Director

^”I Sing Because I’m Happy”
Charles Gabriel, arr. Kenneth Paden

“Let the River Run”
Carly Simon, arr. Craig Hella Johnson

“Shine Your Light”
Raymond Wise

Children’s Chorus of Washington
Margaret Nomura Clark, Artistic Director

^”Hold Everybody Up”
Melanie DeMore

“Brand New Day” from The Wiz
Luther Vandross

“Make Them Hear You” from Ragtime
music by Stephen Flaherty, lyrics by Lynn Ahrens

Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC
featuring GenOUT & 17th Street Dance

Thea Kano, Artistic Director

*”United in Purpose”
Rollo Dilworth
featuring Rollo Dilworth, piano

*Combined chorus numbers
^Audience participation numbers


EUGENE ROGERS, Artistic Director
A two-time Michigan Emmy Award-winner, a 2017 Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient, and a 2015 Grammy Award nominee, The Washington Chorus Artistic Director Eugene Rogers is recognized as a leading conductor and pedagogue throughout the United States and abroad. In addition to being the founding director of EXIGENCE, Dr. Rogers is the director of choirs and an associate professor of conducting at the University of Michigan.

At the University, Rogers leads the graduate choral conducting program, conducts the chamber choir, and administers the program of over eight choral ensembles. His choirs have toured throughout China, South Africa, and the United States, and have appeared at national and regional conferences. In December 2017, Musical America named Rogers one of the top 30 “Movers and Shapers” professionals in North America. His past appointments include being the director of the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club, Macalester College (St. Paul, Minnesota), the Boys Choir of Harlem, Waubonsie Valley High School (Aurora, Illinois), and Anima Young Singers of Greater Chicago (formerly the Glen Ellyn Children’s Choir). In 2016, Rogers’ passions for issues of social justice and music were featured in the award-winning documentary Love, Life and Loss which highlights Joel Thompson’s powerful Seven Last Words of the Unarmed. In 2013, he co-managed the production of the joint CD Ye Shall Have a Song with the Michigan, Yale, and Harvard Glee Clubs, a collaboration celebrating America’s three oldest collegiate choirs.

In 2015, Mark Foster Publishing began the Eugene Rogers Choral Series, a series featuring emerging composers who specialize in contemporary classical and folk music traditions, and the EXIGENCE Choral Series in 2018 which features folk and contemporary works by Black and Latinx composers. In 2011, Rogers traveled to and studied the choral traditions of East Africa (Tanzania).

Rogers holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in choral music education from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and the Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees in choral conducting from the University of Michigan. He currently serves on the board of Chorus America and is the former national chair of the Diversity Initiatives Committee for the American Choral Directors Association.

Eugene Rogers, Artistic Director

The Washington Chorus (TWC), now in its 62nd season, is one of the foremost symphonic choruses in the nation. Noted for the superb artistry of its performances, TWC is widely recognized as a cultural leader in the nation’s capital.

A three-time nominated and two-time Grammy Award-winner, the 160-voice Washington Chorus presents an annual series at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, regularly performs at the invitation of leading orchestras such as the National Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and appears annually at the Music Center at Strathmore in Maryland.

TWC is proud to have sung in countless performances under the direction of many of the world’s greatest conductors, including Gianandrea Noseda, Christoph Eschenbach, Leonard Slatkin, Mstislav Rostropovich, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, Seiji Ozawa, Sir Neville Marriner, Kent Nagano, Marin Alsop, Gustavo Dudamel, Sir Andrew Davis, and many others.

TWC has performed for numerous prestigious events throughout its history—inaugurations, papal visits, with the Rolling Stones during their 50th Anniversary Tour, and at the White House in 2013 and 2014 for the President and First Lady.

Margaret Nomura Clark, Artistic Director

The Children’s Chorus of Washington (CCW) nurtures artistic excellence and empowers young singers by celebrating our shared humanity and the value of every voice. CCW provides outstanding music education and performance opportunities for children in grades K-12 in the nation’s capital region, and fosters students’ growth as musicians and leaders by emphasizing personal responsibility and working together toward a common goal. Internationally recognized and critically acclaimed for its outstanding artistry, CCW collaborates frequently with our community’s leading arts organizations and maintains an active performance schedule that reaches thousands of audience members in marquee and neighborhood venues across the city and beyond. CCW is committed to deepening its impact across the district through its partnership with DC Public Schools and robust scholarship opportunities for its auditioned ensembles. CCW was founded in 1995 by Joan Gregoryk, and is now under the leadership of Artistic Director Margaret Nomura Clark and Executive Director
Betsy Bates.

Joe Cerutti, Jr., Artistic Director

Founded in 1948 as a “men’s harmony club” with 18 members, the Alexandria Harmonizers have grown to become the DC area’s premier a cappella chorus. Specializing in four-part close harmony, the group is made up of volunteer singers ranging in age from their teens to their eighties. They perform a wide range of music including Broadway show tunes, American songbook standards, and modern pop arrangements, all in a cappella style.

The Harmonizers have won 20 international chorus competition medals including four gold medals, with the most recent being a third-place bronze at the 2022 Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention in Charlotte, NC this past July. In 2018 they received the Greater Washington, DC Area Choral Excellence “Ovation” Award for “Best A Cappella Ensemble.”

The Harmonizers perform throughout the year in concert, contest, and in collaboration with other performers. They have sung at the White House, the Supreme Court, The Kennedy Center, and Carnegie Hall. Recent collaborations with the Music Center at Strathmore include the 2016 DC area premiere of Andrew Lippa’s I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk, starring Lippa and Kristin Chenoweth, and the 2018 world premiere of Jeremy Schonfeld’s Iron and Coal – Survivor and Son.

The Harmonizers also have performed internationally, most recently in August 2019 when they toured in the United Kingdom and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world. In 2014 the chorus traveled to Normandy, France to participate in ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, singing at the Normandy beaches and cemeteries, in Sainte-Mère-Église, and in the Chartres Cathedral.

Beyond musical excellence, the Harmonizers are focused on community outreach and artistic collaboration. They provide a number of free performances throughout the year in their local community of Alexandria, including free “Singing Valentines” at senior centers and local businesses and free holiday caroling in Old Town. They explored the African-American roots of barbershop harmony by hosting a two-day festival of workshops and performances with several local gospel groups and the Grammy Award-winning gospel quartet, The Fairfield Four. They have formed a musical partnership with the Alexandria Alfred Street Baptist Church Men’s Choir, and recently collaborated with 17th Street Dance, an ensemble of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, at the 2022 Barbershop Harmony Society International Convention. The chorus also regularly hosts a Youth Harmony Festival, bringing in top clinicians and quartets to introduce area students and their musical directors to the joys of
a cappella harmony.

The Harmonizers are members of several choral organizations, including Chorus America, the Contemporary A Cappella Society, and the Barbershop Harmony Society.

Thea Kano, Artistic Director

Led by Artistic Director Thea Kano, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC (GMCW) is now starting its 42nd season. GMCW sings to inspire equality and inclusion with musical performances and education promoting justice and dignity for all. GMCW has more than 300 singing members, three select ensembles, a dance company, a youth chorus, 50 support volunteers, more than 300 subscribers, 500 donors, and an annual audience of more than 10,000 people. The Chorus and its ensembles keep a very busy schedule with more than 100 outreach performances each season. Past outreach performances have included the HRC National Dinner, performing live on NBC-TV’s The Today Show, a historic LGBTQ music and outreach tour in Ukraine, a first-ever tour by an LGBTQ+ chorus to Cuba, and a special concert in Reykjavik, Iceland. GMCW has performed for President and First Lady Obama, eight consecutive years at Vice President and Dr. Biden’s residence, twice at the Kennedy Center Honors, and as part of the inaugural celebrations for President Obama and President Clinton. Since 2001, the Chorus has maintained a robust youth outreach program, GenOUT, and in 2015, launched the GenOUT Youth Chorus, the first LGBTQ+ and allied youth chorus in the DC metro area. Since its debut, more than 120 singers from 60 area schools have participated in GenOUT. GMCW is a member of Chorus America, the Gay and Lesbian Association of Choruses (GALA Choruses), and the Cultural Alliance of Washington.

Greg Watkins, Director

The vocal department at the Duke Ellington School of the Arts (DESA) strives to give all students the opportunity to grow as young musicians through our study of voice, music theory, sight-singing, and choir. It has various ensembles, which help teach the skill of ensemble singing. DESA is a dual curriculum program, focusing on both academic and artistic classes. In vocal music, our goal is artistic growth and college admission for any student desiring to major in music. To achieve this, they use a scientific and holistic approach to singing through vocal technique along with music theory, sight singing, and piano. This study helps students achieve success in whatever aspect of music they elect to pursue.

In the spring of 2019, the Concert Choir traveled to New York City for the FAME Choir Competition. While at the competition, they won first place in the Mixed Choir Division as well as many accolades including best choral sound and best repertoire. The Concert Choir also performed the Mozart Requiem in The Colour of Music festival and concluded the season with Handel’s Messiah. Returning to in-person performances during the 2021-2022 season has been a thrill and was elevated by a featured performance with legendary tenor George Shirley in the Post Classical Ensemble’s presentation of Hope in the Night. Thrilled to have returned to another season of in-person performance, they are excited to continue in musical excellence.

Diana V. Sáez and Stephen Holmes, Artistic Directors

The Towson University Choirs are comprised of music majors, graduates, and graduate students from other disciplines across the university. The choirs offer several concerts during the year performing a broad range of repertoire that includes music from all styles and historical periods. University Chorale and Treble Voices are under the direction of Diana V. Sáez and the Men’s Chorus is directed by Stephen Holmes. Today the three choirs combine their voices to present a Latin American choral music program.

Theodore Thorpe, III, Artistic Director

Led by Theodore Thorpe III, Washington Performing Arts Men and Women of the Gospel Choir showcases many of the finest voices in our community performing contemporary and classic works by African Americans. In their three decade history, the choir has shared the stage with luminaries such as Wynton Marsalis and Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, the late Edwin Hawkins, the late Walter Hawkins, Ramsey Lewis, and Sweet Honey in the Rock. Past performances have included a special holiday concert, With a Grateful Heart: A Gospel Thanksgiving, at Duke Ellington School of the Arts Theater featuring G Thomas Allen, Patrick Lundy, and Roderick Giles; the 10th anniversary celebration of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial; annual gospel brunches at University of Maryland; Christmas concerts at Washington National Cathedral; Kennedy Center Millennium Stage; Mayor’s Arts Awards; The Hamilton; and Sirius XM Radio. In celebration of their 30th anniversary, a milestone celebration concert is scheduled for Sunday, November 20, 2022 at the MC Cultural Arts Center in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Michele Fowlin, Artistic Director

One of the region’s most celebrated youth ensembles, the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir has become a destination choir for local students who look to develop excellence in artistry and technique. Chosen through a competitive audition process, choir members from DC, Maryland, and Virginia commit to participating in a year of choral training, intensive workshops, and a variety of performances on Washington Performing Arts’ main stage and community events. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Michele Fowlin, the Children of the Gospel Choir have been featured at the White House (with Sara Bareilles at the Canadian State Dinner honoring Prime Minister Justin Trudeau); the Inaugural Prayer Services for President Barack Obama and the National Memorial Service for Nelson Mandela, both at The Washington National Cathedral; with Matthew Whitaker in concert; the Washington Performing Arts Gala with Broadway star Matthew Morrison; the historic Howard Theatre; the US Department of State; and on NBC’s Today Show. Performances by the Washington Performing Arts Children of the Gospel Choir are made possible through the generous support of Jacqueline Badger Mars and
Mars, Incorporated.

Biography provided by artist management.


Rollo Dilworth
is currently Vice Dean and Professor of Choral Music Education in the Department of Music Education and Therapy at Temple University’s Center for the Performing and Cinematic Arts in Philadelphia, PA. He has served on the faculty since 2009. Prior to his position with Boyer College, he taught music education and was the director of choral activities for 13 years at North Park University in Chicago, where he prepared and conducted numerous extended and choral-orchestral works. Before teaching at the college level, Dilworth also taught choral and general music at the middle school level in his hometown of St. Louis, MO.

Over 200 of Dilworth’s choral compositions and arrangements have been published, and many are part of the Henry Leck Creating Artistry Choral Series with the Hal Leonard Corporation. In 2015 Dilworth launched his own choral series with Hal Leonard, focusing on secondary and tertiary level repertoire representing composers and arrangers from diverse backgrounds. He is also an established author and contributor for the Essential Elements for Choir and the Experiencing Choral Music textbook series. He has authored three books of choral warm up exercises intended for elementary and secondary choral ensembles, entitled Choir Builders: Fundamental Vocal Techniques for General and Classroom Use (2006), Choir Builders for Growing Voices (2009), Choir Builders for Growing Voices 2 (2014), and Music of Our Roots (2016). Dilworth is an active clinician and frequent guest conductor of all-state, honors, festival, community, church, and professional choirs. He has researched, lectured, and presented extensively on various topics including African American choral music, composing/arranging for choirs, social justice, social emotional learning, cultural appropriation, urban music education, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Much of Dilworth’s creative output as a composer and arranger focuses on themes of social justice and social change. His compositions Freedom’s Plow (commissioned by the St. Louis Symphony and IN UNISON Chorus) and Credo (commissioned by the Mendelssohn Club Chorus of Philadelphia) are examples of his vision to elevate the words of Langston Hughes and W.E.B. DuBois, respectively. Most recently, a consortium of 20 universities and arts organizations commissioned Dilworth to set Claudia Rankine’s social justice poem Weather to music for chorus, narrator, and wind ensemble.

Dilworth serves on the national boards of Chorus America and the National Collegiate Choral Organization (NCCO); he is an active life member of the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA). He also holds memberships with several other organizations, including the National Association for Music Education (NAfME), the National Association of Negro Musicians (NANM), and the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP).

REENA ESMAIL, composer
Reena Esmail works between the worlds of Indian and Western classical music, to bring communities together through the creation of equitable musical spaces. Esmail holds degrees from The Juilliard School and the Yale School of Music. A resident of Los Angeles, Esmail is the 20-23 Swan Family Artist in Residence with Los Angeles Master Chorale, and the 20-21 Composer in Residence with Seattle Symphony. She currently serves as Co-Chair of the Board of New Music USA, and Co-Founder and Artistic Director of Shastra, a non-profit organization that promotes cross-cultural music connecting musical traditions of India and the West.

American soprano Aundi Marie Moore has quickly established herself as an exceptional talent with her recent appearance as Strawberry Woman in the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Porgy and Bess last season. Previous career highlights on the opera stage include Donna Elvira in Don Giovanni at L’Opéra de Monte Carlo for her international operatic debut, Nedda in I Pagliacci at Sarasota Opera, Mimi in La bohème in Italy at the Amalfi Coast Festival, Serena in Porgy and Bess at Atlanta Opera and at Virginia Opera, Young African American Soprano in Ricky Ian Gordon’s world premiere Rappahannock County at Virginia Opera, Soprano 2 in the US premiere of Michael Nyman’s Facing Goya at Spoleto Festival, and the role of Odessa Clay in the world premiere of D. J. Sparr’s Approaching Ali commissioned by Washington National Opera. Noted for her versatility, Moore is no stranger to the musical theatre stage where she has appeared as Lady Thiang in The King and I at Lyric Opera of Virginia, Nettie Fowler in Carousel at Ashlawn Music Festival, and Maggie Porter in Tazewell Thompson’s Jubilee at Arena Stage. Concert engagements are highlighted by her performance with the New World Symphony for Samuel Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 under the baton of Steven Jarvi as well as the National Symphony Orchestra as their featured guest soloist for their Christmas Pops concert with Marvin Hamlisch conducting.

NICOLÒ SPERA, guitarist
Italian guitarist Nicolò Spera brings to his teaching and performing a unique synthesis of European and American traditions.

Spera is one of the few guitarists in the world to perform on both six-string and 10-string guitars, as well as on theorbo. His wide-ranging repertoire includes the extraordinary music of the Franco-Andalusian composer Maurice Ohana. He has given lecture-recitals on the music of Ohana at many institutions and festivals worldwide, and his recordings of Ohana’s works for solo guitar have won different awards, including a Chitarra d’oro at the Convegno Internazionale di Chitarra in Milan, Italy.

Spera has also published recordings of new works for guitar and choir, of his own transcriptions of Bach’s Cello Suites, of selected works by Catalan composers Federico Mompou and Enrique Granados, as well as a recording focused on the
passacaglia form.

A primary goal of Spera’s creative work is to expand the guitar’s repertoire. He is committed to commissioning substantial works for guitar that explore unprecedented ways of writing for his instrument.

In the last few years, Spera has commissioned, performed, and recorded new works that range from solos to programs with choirs, small ensembles, and orchestras. He has collaborated with different composers from Europe and the US, such as Christopher Theofanidis, Annika Socolofsky, Corrado Margutti, Francisco del Pino, Nicola Campogrande, and Steve Goss.

His passion for choral music and his interest in new works for guitar and choir have led Spera to a close collaboration with choir conductor Eugene Rogers.

He has presented solo recitals, concerti with orchestra, and performances with choir for some of the oldest concert series in Europe, such as the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin and the Sibelius Museum in Turku, and for major guitar events: Sanremo Guitar Festival, Festival Mediterraneo della Chitarra, and Festival Corde d’Autunno in Italy, Festival de la Guitarra de Sevilla in Spain, International Guitar Symposium at the University of Surrey in the UK, and concert series at the University of Michigan, University of Louisville, University of Kentucky, University of Rhode Island, Vanderbilt University, and Belmont University in the US.

His most influential teachers are Oscar Ghiglia, Jonathan Leathwood, and Lorenzo Micheli. Spera holds degrees from the Conservatory of Bolzano and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, an artist diploma in guitar performance at the University of Denver and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado Boulder.

In 2011, Spera was appointed to the faculty at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he is associate professor of classical guitar. He is also on the faculty of the study abroad program Chigiana Global Academy in Siena, Italy.

MELISSA STUDDARD, lyricist for “We Are Love”
Melissa Studdard
is the author of the poetry collections, Dear Selection Committee and I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, as well as the chapbook Like a Bird with a Thousand Wings. She is the recipient of The Penn Review Poetry Prize, the Poetry Society of America’s Lucille Medwick Memorial Award, and the REELpoetry International Film Festival Audience Choice Award.


“Lean on Me”
Bill Withers

Sometimes in our lives we all have pain
we all have sorrow but if we are wise
we know that there’s always tomorrow

Lean on me
When you’re not strong
And I’ll be your friend
I’ll help you carry on…
For it won’t be long
Till I’m gonna need somebody to lean on

Please swallow your pride
If I have things you need to borrow
For no one can fill
Those of your needs that you won’t let show
You just call on me brother when you need a hand
We all need somebody to lean on
I just might have a problem that you’ll understand
We all need somebody to lean on

“Take Me Home”
John Denver

Country roads, take me home
To the place I belong
West Virginia, mountain mama
Take me home, country roads

“I Sing Because I’m Happy”
Charles Gabriel, arr. Kenneth Paden

I sing because I’m happy, I sing because I’m free,
for his eye is on the sparrow, and I know he watches me.

“America the Beautiful”
Katherine Lee Bates

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years,
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

“Standing Stone”
Melanie DeMore

I will be your standing stone,
I will stand by you.

“Oh Shenandoah”
Trad. American Folk Song

Oh Shenandoah,
Away you rolling river.
Oh Shenandoah, I long to hear you,
bound away.
The wide, Missouri.

‘Tis seven years
Since I have seen you,
to hear your rolling river.
O Shenandoah, I long to see you
Away, we’re bound away
across the wide Missouri.

“Hold Everybody Up”
Melanie DeMore

We gotta hold everybody
We gotta hold everybody up
We gotta hold everybody
We gotta hold everybody up
Hold everybody up, up, up
Hold everybody up, up, up
Hold everybody up, up, up
Hold everybody up





Calling All Performing Arts Teachers!
Have a dream project that’s ready to be brought to life? Wolf Trap’s Grants for High School Performing Arts Teachers will award multiple grants of up to $5,000 to develop exciting new performing arts experiences for their students. Apply by Oct. 1 at

Dan and Gayle D’Aniello,
Wolf Trap 2022 Season Underwriters