A Candlelight Christmas at the Kennedy Center


We kicked off our Christmas season at the Kennedy Center this Sunday at A Candlelight Christmas. A favorite every year, this year’s event featured A CAPPELLA!, an elite vocal chamber ensemble from James Hubert Blake High School. This Montgomery County Signature School for Fine Arts and Humanities joined the Washington Chorus as part of their Side-by-Side Program.

Emmy-nominated maestro Julian Wachner directed the choral groups, along with  brass, organ, percussion, and harp. The 200-voice chorus sang a program featuring Christmas favorites, sing-a-longs, and even some arrangements by the conductor himself.

The majesty of the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall compliments holiday performances perfectly, and chorus members processed down the aisles to the stage during the opening piece, Once in Royal David’s City. Young voices from the A CAPELLA! group, under the direction of Sandra Lee Zinkievich, added youthful vigor with favorites like Here We Come A-Caroling and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. They then joined the ensemble, singing other standouts like Sussex Carol and The Dream Isaiah Saw. The performance concluded with a rousing sing-a-long of Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah.

You have three more opportunities to catch this festive concert: December 20th at 4pm or December 22nd at 7pm, both at the Kennedy Center, or at the Music Center at Strathmore on December 23rd at 7:30pm.


Choral Arts Young Patrons Host 5th Annual Carols & Cocktails,

Little Black Blog readers enjoy a discounted ticket cost! Using this link, purchase your tickets to this event for $99 (regular $129).cc-ecard-2

Washington, DC – As The Choral Arts Society of Washington (Choral Arts) celebrates its 50 anniversary season, Choral Arts Young Patrons hosts its 5th annual Carols & Cocktails on Monday, December 15, 2014, 7:00 pm. The evening begins with Carols, specifically a Choral Arts Chorus performance of A Capital Christmas at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. Following the concert, approximately 8:30 pm, guests gather for Cocktails at the City Tavern Club, 3206 M Street NW, Washington, D.C. Each year Choral Arts has an honorary patron for its holiday events: This year is The Embassy of the Argentine Republic. In tribute to Argentina, Carols & Cocktails is entitled Fuego y Hielo (Fire and Ice), and the entire evening will be infused with Argentine music and culture. Tickets are $99 and include a ticket to A Capital Christmas on Monday, December 15, 2014 and admission to the after-party at City Tavern Club. Tickets can be purchased through Choral Arts Young Patrons is a community from all walks of life that comes together to sing, share, and connect. The group attracts primarily young professionals who are members of the Choral Arts Chorus, others singers, or people who just enjoy the arts. In addition to Carols & Cocktails, Choral Arts Young Patrons host casual gatherings after each Choral Arts concert as well as other happy hour events throughout the season.

Holiday Gala: A Parisian Discotheque with the Art Museum of the Americas


The Art Museum of the Americas and the International Club of DC invite you to a Parisian Discotheque at the French Embassy!

Escape a cold winter night & celebrate the holidays at our French Embassy Holiday Gala featuring a live classical music performance followed by a Parisian Discotheque with dancing to our DJ. Let us transport you to a thrilling night in Paris and dance the night away to the thrilling sounds of a Parisian nightclub. Also enjoy delectable French desserts along with an open bar until 10:00 PM and a cash bar afterwards.

The French Embassy is one of Washington’s most magnificent diplomatic venues featuring modern French architecture and art.  Don’t miss this opportunity to experience an evening of wine, French desserts, art, & dancing in the ballroom of Embassy of France. Come on your own or with friends. Celebrate the holidays at our French Embassy dance soiree to dance the night away as you meet ICDC members and make new friends.

Please note that the event is presented as a stand-up reception with dancing and not a seated event with tables. The event features a delectable assortment of French desserts but dinner is not included.

Evening of Holiday Shopping and Cocktails at J Crew to Benefit the NMWA

Visit the Georgetown location of J Crew (a Collection store conveniently located at 3222 M Street NW) and enjoy an exclusive 20% off purchases of $150 or more.  A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA).  NMWA is the only museum in the world exclusively dedicated to celebrating and promoting women artists (nmwa.org).  Enjoy refreshments, valet parking and personal styling!




Tenor Robert Baker Joins NOW in a Not-So-Typical Holiday Program Featuring Works by

British Composers Benjamin Britten, Edward Elgar, Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan-Williams

Saturday, December 13 at the First Congregational UCC in Washington, DC

Sunday, December 14 at the Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, MD

The New Orchestra of Washington presents Off the Britten Path: A Holiday Concert! Saturday,

December 13, at 7 pm, at the First Congregational UCC in Washington, DC and Sunday, December 14, at

5 pm, at the Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, Maryland. Tenor Robert Baker joins NOW in this

elegant program featuring works by four celebrated British composers: Edward Elgar, Benjamin Britten,

Ralph Vaughan-Williams and Gustav Holst.


The program opens with Elgar’s Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20. Elgar wrote this

charming three-movement piece for his wife in honor of their third wedding anniversary and called it his

favorite work. Composed during WWII, Brittan’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, Op. 31, is a

song cycle containing works by six British poets on the subject of night and all its aspects, both calm and

sinister. Ralph Vaughan-Williams’ The Charterhouse Suite was arranged for string orchestra by James

Brown in collaboration with the composer. The final piece on the program is Holst’s St. Paul’s Suite, Op.

29, No. 2. Originally titled Suite in C, it is the most famous of his works written while he was director of

music at St. Paul’s Girls School.


A central figure in the Washington-area classical music scene tenor Robert Baker has been

featured in more than 43 productions with the Washington National Opera. He has also appeared with the

National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington Concert Opera. Recent career highlights include the

role of Ishmael in the world premiere of Peter Westergaard’s Moby Dick at Princeton University which

was recorded for Albany Records and his Metropolitan Opera debut in Prokofiev’s War and Peace, which

he recorded during the Spoleto Festival’s production on the Chandos label. Baker is proud to have sung

with all the major choral organizations in Washington, DC, and is the Director of Performance Studies at

The George Washington University.


Directed by Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, the New Orchestra of Washington is dedicated to

making music relevant to new generations of audiences through virtuosic performances that combine a

diversity of genres with fresh interpretations of classic works. Unconstrained by the structure or repertoire

of traditional orchestras, NOW offers its audience the opportunity to get up close and personal with works

usually reserved for symphony orchestras in cavernous halls. Founded in 2012 by rising stars of the

Washington area’s professional community, NOW is a chamber symphony of extraordinary musicians

whose skill embodies mutual respect and admiration for each other’s artistry and a common belief in the

importance of revitalizing the role of music in our lives.


Tickets for Off the Brittan Path: A Holiday Concert! may be purchased by calling 240-235-5088

or online at neworchestraofwashington.org Adult tickets are $30, youth tickets, from ages 13 to 18, are

$15, and children under 12 are free.



New Orchestra of Washington

Alejandro Hernandez-Valdez, music director

Robert Baker, tenor

EDWARD ELGAR Serenade for Strings in E minor, Op. 20

BENJAMIN BRITTEN Serenade for Tenor, Horn and String Orchestra


GUSTAV HOLST St. Paul Suite for strings

Saturday, December 13, 2014, 7 pm

First Congregational UCC

945 G Street, NW Washington, DC 20001

Sunday, December 14, 2014, 5 pm

The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer

6201 Dunrobbin Drive at MacArthur Boulevard, Bethesda, MD 20816

General Admission: Adults $30 in advance, $35 at the door; Youth (13-18) $15; Under 12 Free