Volume 5, Issue 1 | October 10, 2019
Also Featuring:
Benjamin Britten, Rejoice in the Lamb
Arvo Pärt , Salve Regina & Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten

Katelyn Aungst, soprano
Madelyn Wanner, mezzo-soprano
Matthew Hill, tenor
James Shaffran, baritone
Todd Fickley, organ

Click here to order tickets today!

Did Joseph Haydn and Admiral Horatio Nelson ever meet? Why could the mass have instead earned the sobriquet “Gone with the Winds?” How did Robert Shafer come to conduct his first Lord Nelson Mass in a cast?

Click here to find the answers to these
questions and more!

Joseph Haydn
Christopher Smart, the 18 th century English poet, wrote his fragmented 1,200-line poem Jubilate Agno while confined to a mental asylum; 175 years later, this poem formed the basis of Benjamin Britten’s cantata Rejoice in the Lamb . What drew Britten to this text, and where does this and other musical descriptions of madness fall in the English tradition? Click here to learn more.

William Hogarth, The Rake's Progress: VIII, The Rake in Bedlam (1734)
Experience the “Ethereal and Spiritual” Music of
Arvo Pärt
Estonian composer Arvo Pärt was born in 1935. He is the most performed living composer in the world today, and his career spans isolation and censorship during the Soviet era through his breakthrough works emerging in the mid-1970s, when he began to explore Gregorian chant, plainsong, and early polyphony.
The City Choir of Washington presents the Washington, D.C. premiere of Arvo Pärt’s Salve Regina , commissioned in 2001 to commemorate the 1,150 th anniversary of the founding of Essen Abbey and the town of Essen, Germany.
Arvo Pärt created a style of music which he called “tintinnabuli,” referring to tinkling bells. The music is characterized by simple triads , which form the basis of Western harmony. Tintinnabuli works are rhythmically simple and do not change tempo. This style is showcased in both Salve Regina and the orchestral work Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten , to be performed by The City Choir of Washington Chamber Orchestra at the November 10 concert.
Meet Soprano Soloist Katelyn G. Aungst
photo credit: Kristina Sherk

City Choir audiences have had the pleasure of hearing soprano Katelyn Aungst in 2017’s Solomon (Handel) and in 2018's Dona Nobis Pacem (Vaughan Williams). On November 10, hear her take on the vocal fireworks of the Haydn Lord Nelson Mass ! (Click here to read more).
Subscriptions are still available for
City Choir’s 2019-2020 season
Get yours today!
Click here to buy your subscription.

If you buy two or more season subscriptions by November 4, you will receive an invitation to a special
donor appreciation luncheon at
La Ferme Restaurant in Chevy Chase, MD.

Be our guest for this festive holiday event on
Saturday, December 7 noon-3 p.m.

Spotlight on: Season Underwriters
April 2016 Season Underwriters Event
The City Choir of Washington’s Season Underwriter campaign has become the organization’s most critical source of funding in just five short years. Season Underwriters are donors who pledge $5,000 or more yearly before the end of the calendar year. (Benefactors may also split an underwritership, each contributing $2,500.) It’s an annual injection of new revenue that the chorus can count on when budgeting and planning each season.
Maestro Robert Shafer, a Season Underwriter himself along with his wife Sharon, calls these critical donors “the backbone of the choir.” The program brings in more than one third of City Choir’s revenue, and makes it possible for TCCW to present programming of the highest artistic caliber with first class professional instrumentalists and soloists year after year .
Vice-President of the Board of Directors Barbara Greene is the driving force behind the project, and serves as Season Underwriter liaison to the Board. “I’m your advocate to the board, and your contact person for all special events,” Barbara says. “We hold some really great events for our Season Underwriters.” The highlight for many is a spring gathering (next scheduled for April 5, 2020) in historic Annapolis, hosted by Barbara and her husband Jon at the beautiful Annapolis Yacht Club. Season Underwriters are also guests of honor at the fall donor event, which will be held at La Ferme Restaurant in Chevy Chase, MD on Saturday, December 7, from noon-3 p.m. Other perks include two free season subscriptions to the City Choir concert series and special recognition in all program books and the season brochure.
Barbara began spearheading the campaign during City Choir’s 2014-2015 season. “Before we started the Season Underwriters program,” Barbara says, “it was really hard to plan ahead—for example, which soloists could we afford? How many winds could we hire for a particular concert? because we often couldn’t tally up donations until May or even June. Now we can budget more accurately, and Bob [Shafer] can make artistic decisions with more peace of mind.”
Why become a Season Underwriter? Barbara believes that “people join the program because they want to make a difference. We’re a smaller organization, so every benefactor, whether donating money or even time, can really see the impact of each and every gift. Our donors and volunteer chorus get tremendous satisfaction knowing that they are an integral part of City Choir."
“We started off with just 10 Season Underwriters; now we’ve more than doubled that number with 23 households,” Barbara says. “Every year new donors sign up to participate—it is so exciting to see the program growing. I am especially thrilled that we have a new Season Underwriter who just sent her donation all the way from Taiwan!”
“Yep, that was my mom,” says Season Underwriter and Board President Ben Tsai. “She asked what I wanted for my birthday…But actually she is a big believer in choral music, having sung in a variety of ensembles all her life, starting out with impromptu renditions of Chinese opera that she organized as a kid with her dozens of siblings and cousins. She’s also served on the board of a number of charitable organizations, so she knows how important it is for a non-profit to secure stable streams of funding.”
Elaine Wunderlich, who with her late husband Marv provided the extremely generous donation that allowed City Choir to form in 2007, is a charter Season Underwriter. “ There was no question in the City Choir's first few years that there was a real desire to continue to provide quality performances with friends who appreciated singing under the direction of Bob Shafer, even though we all knew that meant a financial commitment as well,” Elaine told Allegro . “After all this time, to be able to attract so many new people to join us in that cause has been inspiring, and vindicates that it was worth the challenge. Marv and I always felt honored to be a part of this community. The D.C. music scene was one of the main reasons we chose to stay in this area even after we retired.”
There is still time to participate in this vital program! Fill out your pledge form any time before December 31, 2019 (but turn it in earlier to make sure you won’t miss your first subscription concert on November 10 or the donor event at La Ferme on December 7).
If you have any questions about the Season Underwriters program, Barbara Greene would love to hear from you! Contact her at essexroad@aol.com .

The support of our generous patrons allows the City Choir to keep singing. We treasure every donation and welcome corporate partnerships, alliances, and individual giving at all levels. To donate to The City Choir of Washington, please click here . If you are able to connect with sources of corporate giving, or have questions about supporting City Choir, please contact Board President Ben Tsai at president@citychoir.org to start the discussion and share your interest in how you would like to make a positive impact.
Barbara Greene & the next generation of
season underwriters
Elaine & Marv Wunderlich
City Choir Welcomes New Assistant Conductor
Katie Jagielski

TCCW is thrilled to welcome our new assistant conductor and director of City Singers, Katie Jagielski. Katie studied with Robert Shafer at Shenandoah University and is a music teacher and chorus director at Trailside Middle School in Ashburn, Virginia. An avid runner, Katie has recently completed her 18 th marathon. To read more, click here .

Katie Jagielski leads the City Singers in rehearsal
photo credit: Rachel Tester

TCCW Season Events at a Glance

November 10, 2019 | 5:00 pm: Concert. The City Choir of Washington presents Haydn, Lord Nelson Mass ; Arvo Pärt, Salve Regina (Washington, D.C. premiere) and Cantus in Memoriam Benjamin Britten ; Benjamin Britten, Rejoice in the Lamb . National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.
December 7, 2019 | 12:00-3:00 pm: Donor appreciation luncheon. La Ferme Restaurant, Chevy Chase, MD.
December 21, 2019 | 5:30-6:15 pm & 6:45-7:30 pm: The City Singers perform music for Christmas. The Willard Intercontinental Hotel lobby, Washington, D.C. (Free!)
January 5, 2020 | 5:00 pm: Concert. The City Choir of Washington presents “A Twelfth Night Concert,” with Freedom High School Chamber Choir (Chantilly, VA). National Presbyterian Church, Washington, DC.
February 8, 2020 | 5:00 pm: “My Valentine, Mon Coeur ” fundraiser featuring Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music. Lyon Park Community Center, Arlington, VA.
March 15, 2020 | 5:00 pm: Concert . The City Choir of Washington presents Duruflé, Requiem with West Springfield High School Madrigals, and Poulenc, Litanies of the Black Virgin performed by the Shenandoah University Cantus Singers. Saint Luke Catholic Church, McLean, VA.
April 5, 2020 | 4:30 pm: Season Underwriter Spring Gathering with Bob and Sharon Shafer. Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD.
May 17, 2020 | 7:30 pm ( note time ): Concert. The City Choir of Washington presents Bach, Mass in B Minor . Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall, Alexandria, VA.
May 18, 2020 | 6:30 pm: End of Season Benefit Dinner and Auction. The Arts Club of Washington, 2017 “Eye” Street NW, Washington, D.C.
May TBD, 2020 | noon-noon: Do More 24 online fundraiser sponsored by The United Way of the National Capital Area.

The City Singers at the Willard Hotel
Eya: Ensemble for Medieval Music
photo credit: Anthony Thompson
The Arts Club of Washington
Sing along at the End of Year Celebration
On May 31 City Choir fêted the conclusion of the 2018-2919 season with a fun-filled End of Year Celebration at Saint Luke Catholic Church in McLean, VA. (Click here to see photos from the event.)
Don’t Miss The City Choir of Washington’s Next Concert:
Featuring The City Choir of Washington’s Partner in Song,
Freedom High School (Chantilly, VA) Chamber Choir
January 5, 2020 | 5:00 pm
National Presbyterian Church, Washington, D.C.


Allegro : The City Choir Newsletter
Editor in Chief/Writer: Emily Hantman Tsai
Contributing Editors: Barbara Greene, Al Bradford
Editors/Marketing: Marie Colturi, Zain Shariff, Anne Woodworth
Copy Editor: Kristen Lewandowski