Our 2023-24 Performances

All performances feature Carmina and Illuminare

We will follow the covid policy of each venue.
Watch for details as each date approaches.

O Magnum Mysterium
A Spanish Renaissance Christmas

Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 4:00 pm

St. Alban’s Episcopal Church
6800 Columbia Pike, Annandale, VA 22003 view map
Free parking • Free-will donation

We invite you to share in the awe and joy of the season through glorious music from the courts and cathedrals of Spain. Offerings include Victoria’s haunting motet O magnum mysterium and the Mass he based on it; treble motets and melodious villancicos by Guerrero, Morales, and Encina; and Flecha the Elder’s rambunctious, shipwreck-themed Christmas parable in dialog, La bomba.

Holiday Lobbying at the Willard

Monday, December 4, 2023 at 5:30 and 6:45 pm
(45-minute program, two performances)
Willard InterContinental Washington Hotel
1401 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20004 view map
Metro: Federal Triangle
Free admission • Valet parking • Limited seating

Ring in the season in the beautifully decorated lobby of the historic Willard Hotel — the very space where “lobbying” got its name. Enjoy beloved traditional and early fare, including English medieval carols, Praetorius’ Es ist ein Ros’ entsprungen, Daniel Read’s rousing Sherburne, and much more. As always, the festivities will end with a sing-along of Franz Gruber’s own early setting of his beloved Stille Nacht (Silent Night).

Don’t miss this joyful annual event! Seating is first come, first served; there is ample standing room.

Franco-Flemish Masters

Saturday, March 2, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church
3512 Old Dominion Blvd, Alexandria, VA 22305 view map
Free street parking • Free-will offering

For over a hundred years, musicians raised in northern France and the Low Countries who gained positions of influence across the continent were in the vanguard of European art music. Composers of the early 1400s were praised for mixing complex French counterpoint with English sweetness and Italian lyricism. Succeeding generations melded the styles into a truly international idiom — widely spread after printed music appeared around 1500 — in which the ingenious interplay of equal voices increasingly served to project both sonic beauty and the impact of the sung word. We will present highlights of that evolution, sampling music by Dufay, Busnoys, Obrecht, Brumel, and others, including Josquin’s transcendent Ave Maria...virgo serena and his profound lament on the death of music’s “good father,” Jean Ockeghem.

Now Is the Month of Maying

Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 4:00 pm
Resurrection Evangelical Lutheran Church
6201 Washington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22205 view map
Free street parking • Free-will offering

The advent of efficient music printing around 1530 spurred a market that reached well beyond traditional courtly audiences to include musically literate members of a growing merchant class. New types of social music flourished, ultimately ranging from straightforward multi-verse part songs to ambitious creations crafted to wring every nuance of image and passion from their poetry. We will present Italian and English madrigals, French chansons, villanellas, and more.

Your donations at this performance will benefit Mandehah ("Going Forward"), a non-profit that works to improve access to clean water, adequate nutrition, dental health, and immunizations against illness in rural Madagascar. Learn more at www.mandehah.net.


Postponed — tentative date: Sunday, Sept. 27, 2020
CARMINA & Illuminare
The Youthful J.S. Bach and His Forebears
featuring Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, BWV 106
(Odeon Concert Series)

with The Friends of Fasch:
Thomas MacCracken, organ and director
Adéla Gardavská-Balima and Sarah Weiner, recorder
Amy Domingues and Chelsea Bernstein, viola da gamba
Doug Poplin, violoncello

Our spring program features one of J.S. Bach’s earliest masterpieces, the funeral cantata Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit, written during his brief tenure in Mühlhausen (1707-1708). The twenty-two-year-old Bach gave the work a uniquely “antique” flavor by scoring it for two recorders and two viole da gamba—relatively old-fashioned instruments for the time—along with solo voices, chorus, and continuo. The cantata’s Biblical texts offer comfort and promise amid reminders of human mortality.

We further explore Bach’s roots with works by some of his predecessors, including motets by two of Bach’s relatives, Johann Christoph Bach (1642-1703) and Johann Michael Bach (1648-1694), as well as works by Buxtehude, Schütz, and Vierdanck.

We are delighted to be working with the period instrumental ensemble The Friends of Fasch for this performance!

Sunday, April 26, 2020, 4 pm
Saint Patrick’s Episcopal Church
3241 Brush Drive, Falls Church VA 22042view map
Free parking
Donation: $20


Carmina & Illuminare at the Willard Hotel, Washington, December 6, 2021. Photo by Barbara Barry

Carmina & Illuminare at the Willard Hotel, Washington, December 6, 2021
Photo by Barbara Barry

Read about more of our past performances.