Lifestyle

Congressional Chorus Takes ‘Road Trip’ Through U.S. Music History

The Congressional Chorus will hold its 11th annual cabaret this month at the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Northeast.

The already highly booked event — “Road Trip: Tour the USA in Our Cabaret” — will also mark the choir’s 30th season.

The show will run from Thursday, March 16 to Saturday, March 18 at 8 p.m., with a 4 p.m. matinee performance Sunday, March 19.

“Our cabarets have sold out in advance for the last 10 years, [and] our Saturday show is already sold out,” said chorus representative Rebecca Hall.

Founded in 1987, the choir’s mission is to “foster and communicate the spirit, diversity and transformative power off American music while advancing choral excellence, community outreach and affordable music education for all ages in the nation’s capital.”

The choir aims to reach this goal through its affordable music education programs for those of all ages and multi-disciplinary performances.

The cabaret, which serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser in support of its education programs, is set to include an online silent auction beginning March 15 and running through production. Auction items range from restaurant reservation to exclusive getaways.

Audiences will hear longstanding American favorites that shaped various music genres during the two-hour production, including medleys paying tribute to the Beach Boys, the award-winning Broadway play “Hamilton: An American Musical,” Bobby Troup’s “Route 66” and Woodie Guthrie’s “This Land Is Your Land.”

“This show is about presenting the diversity of American music,” said David Simmons, the chorus’s art director and conductor. “No one genre of American music is better than another, they’re all different with unique characteristics and sensibilities. Like a road trip, this concert has been programmed to provide a whimsical ad entertaining respite from the daily stresses of our daily lives.”

The show will also include work by African-American artists such as Huddie “Lead Belly” Ledbetter, Ray Charles, Marvin Gaye and other Motown notables. “Conga” by Gloria Estefan will also be included in show.

“It’s not just about being inclusive but also recognizing that minorities and people of color have greatly contributed to the culture and fabric of America, and you can’t do a musical road trip without touching on where they have had influence,” said Christopher Daniels, who joined the choir this year.

The high-energy production will feature 80 singers, a 20-person dance troupe and seven-piece band.

“I prefer stuffy choirs, when you stand on the stage and sing, but this is not that,” soloist and choir newcomer Moshe Adams joked about the difficulties of rehearsing lyrics and dance moves. “Anyone who wants to come and let their hair and get loose for a little bit will enjoy the show.”

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Tatyana Hopkins – Washington Informer Contributing Writer

Tatyana Hopkins has always wanted to make the world a better place. Growing up she knew she wanted to be a journalist. To her there were too many issues in the world to pick a career that would force her to just tackle one. The recent Howard University graduate is thankful to have a job and enjoys the thrill she gets from chasing the story, meeting new people and adding new bits of obscure information to her knowledge base. Dubbed with the nickname “Fun Fact” by her friends, Tatyana seems to be full of seemingly “random and useless” facts. Meanwhile, the rising rents in D.C. have driven her to wonder about the length of the adverse possession statute of limitations (15 years?). Despite disliking public speaking, she remembers being scolded for talking in class or for holding up strangers in drawn-out conversations. Her need to understand the world and its various inhabitants frequently lands her in conversations on topics often deemed taboo: politics, religion and money. Tatyana avoided sports in high school she because the thought of a crowd watching her play freaked her out, but found herself studying Arabic, traveling to Egypt and eating a pigeon. She uses social media to scope out meaningful and interesting stories and has been calling attention to fake news on the Internet for years.

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