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High School Choir Festival Showcases D.C.’s Diversity

The Washington National Cathedral was filled recently with talented young singers and an eclectic offering of music during the Cathedral Choral Society’s annual High School Choir Festival.

From “Amazing Grace” performed by the Gonzaga College High School Choir to “Route 66,” a jazzy, uptempo selection that was part of a medley performed by Musician Washington Youth Choir, the Jan. 29 choral festival showcased a range of talent.

At a time when symphonic music seems so rare, listening to more than a dozen students singing classical, gospel and popular show tunes offered a refreshing musical revival that was welcomed by all who attended.

“I became a musician because of the experience that I had in high school,” said Steven Fox, director of the combined choir composed of the participating groups. “These teachers are heroic. They are doing the same thing for these students that my teacher did for me.”

From Eastern High School to The School Without Walls to the National Cathedral and the St. Alban’s Choir, Fox said each choir brought something special to the event, particularly when all 12 choirs came together.

“The combined choirs were great and powerful,” he said.

 

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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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