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Monday, October 5, 2015

Free choral concert Oct. 7 opens St. John's First Wednesday series

The U.S. Army Chorus

The United States Army Chorus will usher in this season's First Wednesday Concert Series at St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, at noontime Wednesday, October 7.

Formed in 1956 to accompany the U.S. Army Band, the U.S. Army Chorus regularly sings with the National Symphony Orchestra on Memorial Day, Independence Day, at other patriotic events, and for visiting heads of state. It performs with many symphonies across the U.S.

Also called "Pershing's Own," the chorus is one of the few professional male choruses in the nation, and its members speak more than 26 languages and dialects. Most of the singers hold advanced music degrees. 

In their repertoire are traditional military music, pop, Broadway, folk, and classical tunes. 

Next year the singers will celebrate their 60th anniversary with former members, many who have successfully transitioned to Broadway and opera stages around the world.

Accompanying the singers at St. John's will be organist and Staff Sergeant Dan Campolieta. Captain Curtis Kinzey will direct.
St. John's Episcopal Church, Lafayette Square, Washington, D.C./Photo by Patricia Leslie

St. John's is known to many Washington residents as the yellow church at Lafayette Square, and often called the “Church of the Presidents.” Beginning with James Madison who was president from 1809 to 1817, every president has been a member of St. John's or has attended services at the church. A plaque at the rear of St. John's designates the pew where President Abraham Lincoln often sat when he stopped by the church during the Civil War.  

Last weekend St. John's began a year of celebration in honor of its bicentennial.

First Wednesday concerts begin at 12:10 p.m. and last about 35 minutes. Food trucks are located at Farragut Square, two blocks away, for those on lunch break.

Who: The U.S. Army Chorus

What: First Wednesday Concerts

When: 12:10 p.m., October 7, 2015

Where: St. John’s, Lafayette Square, 1525 H Street, NW, at the corner of 16th, Washington, D.C. 20005

How much: No charge

Duration: About 35 minutes

Wheelchair accessible

Metro stations: McPherson Square (White House exit), Farragut North, or Farragut West

For more information: Contact Michael Lodico, St. John's associate organist and choir director, at 202-270-6265.

Future dates and artists of the First Wednesday Concerts are:

November 4: Saxophonist Noah Getz and organist Michael Lodico will present Esprit de la Lune by Andrian Pertout.

December 2: Madrigal Singers from St. Albans & National Cathedral schools will sing seasonal music.

January 6, 2016: Concert organist Janet Yieh will play works by Brahms and Widor.

February 3: Bob McDonald and Friends will sing to celebrate the crooner's centennial in "Sinatra Turns 100."

March 2: The Lafayette Square Duo composed of Rebecca Smith on harp and Michael Lodico on organ will play a composition by Peter Mathews. 

April 6: Soloists from St. John's Choir will sing.

May 4: The U.S. Air Force Strings Chamber Orchestra with harpsichordist Brandon Straub will play Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

June 1: Concert organist Roderick Demmings, Jr., will play virtuosic works by Bach, Wammes, and Widor.

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