Cathedral Choral Society

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To engage people in the extraordinary power of choral music.

To welcome and engage singers and audiences of all ages, cultural backgrounds, and beliefs, through inspiring performances, excellence in choral singing, and collaborative school initiatives.

Click here to read the Cathedral Choral Society's strategic plan.


The Cathedral Choral Society was founded in 1941 at the beginning of US involvement in World War II. Founding Music Director, Paul Callaway, championed the idea of a large symphonic chorus that would welcome the community to come together and sing in the Cathedral. He believed that the Cathedral Choral Society would provide a source of comfort and joy during a time of uncertainty and loss.

The Cathedral Choral Society is the symphonic chorus in residence at Washington National Cathedral. The 140-voice chorus is the oldest symphonic choral group in Washington, D.C.. From 1985 to 2016, Dr. J. Reilly Lewis served as Music Director. Music Director Designate Steven Fox was announced in November 2017 and will begin conducting duties in the 2017.18 season. Now in its 76th season, the Cathedral Choral Society has presented numerous world premieres, many of them commissioned by the Chorus and has maintained a tradition of showcasing young soloists and internationally known artists. In addition to its concert series at the Cathedral, the chorus performs across the region and on nationwide radio and television. The Cathedral Choral Society’s discography features ten recordings made at Washington National Cathedral.

The Chorus is dedicated to creating choral singing opportunities and generating a life-long enthusiasm for choral singing. Its community engagement initiatives include pre-concert lectures, an annual high-school choir festival, and in-school workshops.