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Congressional Chorus to Make Harmony Amid Chaos

The Church of the Epiphany in Northwest will host a dynamic night of music, dance and rhythms on Saturday, Nov. 19, as more than 100 local performers and ensembles provide an eclectic display of the city’s cultural scene.

The event — dubbed “Fascination’ Rhythms: Celebrating Washington, D.C., in Song, Poetry and Dance” — was organized by the Congressional Chorus, an organization of singing House and Senate staffers past and present, and aims to unite local singers and dancers at a time of uncertainty in the nation’s political hub.

Fall-2016, Fascinatin' Rhythms, Rehearsal, Photographers-Chris-Bulbulia-Fran-Cella, Congressional Chorus, Washington, DC
Fall-2016, Fascinatin’ Rhythms, Rehearsal, Photographers-Chris-Bulbulia-Fran-Cella, Congressional Chorus, Washington, DC

“D.C. is the choral capital of the country and a lot of people in this city love to sing,” said David Simmons, the event’s artistic director. “Our mission, since the very beginning, has been to focus on American music, all different styles and all different genres.”

The event will feature dancers from the Joy of Motion Dance Center, singers from Howard University’s Afro Blue, tap dancing by DeWitt Fleming Jr., and performances by Capitol Movement, the Beltway Poetry Slam Team and the Capitol Hearings.

The Congressional Chorus, which is celebrating its 30th season, showcases the music of American composers. Saturday’s event will celebrate the works of Duke Ellington, Marvin Gaye and Sweet Honey in the Rock.

In June, the chorus, a group of more than 100 voices, hosted a concert, “Young, Gifted and Global,” that wrapped the works of millennial composers to salsa music.

Fall-2016, Fascinatin' Rhythms, Rehearsal, Photographers-Chris-Bulbulia-Fran-Cella, Congressional Chorus, Washington, DC
Fall-2016, Fascinatin’ Rhythms, Rehearsal, Photographers-Chris-Bulbulia-Fran-Cella, Congressional Chorus, Washington, DC

The Congressional Chorus is supported by the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Simmons said the group is simply living up to the endowment’s legacy: “A Great Nation Deserves Great Art.”

“We want Washingtonians to come out and celebrate their heritage,” Simmons said.

The event will be held at the Church of the Epiphany at 1317 G Street NW. For ticket information, go to congressionalchorus.org or call 202-629-3140.

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Hamil R. Harris

Hamil Harris is an award-winning journalist who worked at the Washington Post from 1992 to 2016. During his tenure he wrote hundreds of stories about the people, government and faith communities in the Greater Washington Area. Hamil has chronicled the Million Man March, the Clinton White House, the September 11 attack, the sniper attacks, Hurricane Katrina, the campaign of President Barack Obama and many other people and events. Hamil is currently a multi-platform reporter on the Local Desk of the Washington Post where he writes a range of stories, shoots photos and produces videos for the print and online editions of the Post. In addition, he is often called upon to report on crime, natural disasters and other breaking issues. In 2006 Harris was part of a team of reporters that published the series “Being a Black Man.” He was also the reporter on the video project that accompanied the series that won two Emmy Awards, the Casey Medal and the Peabody Award. Hamil has lectured at Georgetown University, George Washington University, Howard University, the American University, the University of Maryland and the University of the District of Columbia. He also lectures several times a year to interns during their semester in the District as part of their matriculation at the Consortium of Christian Colleges and Universities.

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