2015 Greater Washington Area Choral Excellence "Ovation" Award Nominees Announced

The Choralis Foundation has announced that the Sixth Annual Greater Washington DC Area Choral Excellence “Ovation” Awards will be presented at its “Black and White” dinner and awards ceremony on June 3 at The Clarendon Ballroom in Arlington, Virginia.  Maestra Joan Gregoryk, Founder and Artistic Director of the Children’s Chorus of Washington, will receive the Ovation Award for Outstanding Contributions to Choral Music, the Ovations’ highest honor.  Past winners of this award are J. Reilly Lewis, Robert Shafer, the late Norman Scribner, Mark Ohnmacht, and Pamela Lassell. 

Nominees for three additional Ovation awards also were announced.  Most Creative Programming nominees are: Cantate Chamber Singers, Gisèle Becker, Artistic Director; Eya Ensemble for Medieval Music, Allison Mondel, Artistic Director; and Fairfax Choral Society, Douglas Mears, Artistic Director.  For Best Youth Programming, the nominees are Children’s Chorus of Washington, Joan Gregoryk, Founder and Artistic Director; Congressional Chorus’s American Youth Chorus, David Simmons, Artistic Director; and Fairfax Choral Society Youth Choruses, Patrick Vaughn, Director of Youth Choruses.  For Best Men’s Ensemble, the nominees are: the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, Jeffrey Buhrman, Artistic Director; National Men’s Chorus, Tom Beveridge, Artistic Director; and Washington Men’s Camerata, Frank Albinder, Artistic Director.

“The Choralis Foundation is proud to have initiated the Ovation Awards, providing an opportunity to celebrate the rich choral tradition and diverse choral community of the greater Washington, D.C. area,” said Artistic Director Gretchen Kuhrmann.  “This year, we especially are pleased to honor Joan Gregoryk for her many years of training and guiding young singers and engendering in them a love and respect for choral singing and performance, along with an enduring quest for excellence in all their endeavors.”  

Joan Gregoryk is internationally recognized as a leader in the field of children’s vocal music.  Ms. Gregoryk taught for many years at Chevy Chase Elementary School, where her work with the school’s chorus won her considerable acclaim among professional music organizations.  She prepared members of the Chevy Chase Chorus for the Grammy Award-nominated CD and film soundtrack recording of Mussorgsky’s Boris Gudunov with Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony orchestra. 

Building on this accomplishment, she founded the Children’s Chorus of Washington in 1995 with the goal of developing the top children’s vocal ensemble in metropolitan Washington, DC.  Ms. Gregoryk has received many honors for her work, including outstanding Arts Educator in the United States from the Rockefeller Brothers Funds Awards in Arts Education, the Washington Area Music Award (Wammies), the Greater Washington Choral Excellence (Ovation) Award for Best Educational Outreach, the Maryland Outstanding Elementary Music Educator Award, and the Conservatory Medal of Excellence from Shenandoah University.  Ms. Gregoryk also is an Artist-Teacher Associate at the Choral Music Experience Institute founded by Dr. Doreen Rao. 

The “Black and White” event at which this year’s Ovation Awards will be presented includes a wine reception, seated dinner, and songs, and is being held at The Clarendon Ballroom on Wednesday evening, June 3.   Choral directors, choristers, board members, financial supporters and appreciative fans of all D.C. choruses are invited to attend; ticket information is available at www.choralis.org/events.

The Choralis Foundation, now in its fifteenth season, is dedicated to nurturing a passion for choral music through excellence in performance and educational outreach.  In addition to sponsoring the Ovation awards, The Choralis Foundation supports six choral ensembles, including the namesake 110-voice adult chorus, a chamber ensemble, and four youth choirs; offers singing scholarships to high school students; and supports the career development of young choral conductors through a Conducting Fellowship. 

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