Who We Are
Celebrating its 55th Season, the Fairfax Choral Society, a non-profit public charity, enriches lives through the performance, education, and appreciation of choral art. With eleven ensembles and more than fifteen musicianship classes, FCS is one of the largest choral groups in Northern Virginia and the only organization providing opportunities to nearly 400 choral singers from preschool through adult. In working towards our vision, a world where choral music uplifts and inspires all people and unites communities, we have identified six core values that we uphold:
- Musical Excellence: As responsible stewards of the choral instrument and art form, we seek always to produce the highest quality music.
- Artistic Integrity: We strive to honor the artistic vision of the composer, believing that as performers our craft is not to interpret, but to reveal.
- Passion: Our passion for choral art transcends notes on a page and allows music to speak to the soul.
- Commitment: The choral art is a community enterprise that is sustained by the wholehearted commitment of every member.
- Respect: We demonstrate respect for all art forms and toward every person and organization with whom we interact.
- Artistic Opportunity: We believe that the arts are not for the privileged few and that choral music uniquely offers everyone immediate and active participation in the re-creation of great works of art.
The Symphonic Chorus, comprised of approximately 120 volunteers who audition annually, is conducted by Artistic Director Dr. Douglas Mears. The Symphonic Chorus has received rave reviews for its performance of choral masterworks in collaboration with the Fairfax Symphony, Cathedral Choral Society, Choral Arts Society, National Symphony Orchestra, City of Fairfax Band, and other arts organizations in the region. The Washington Post has described the FCS Chorus as “…confident and polished…this chorus produced waves of gorgeous tones and a rich tapestry of color…the effect of some very skillful conducting.”
The FCS Youth Choruses, under the direction of Patrick Vaughn, Michelle McCarten, Bonny Tynch, Kristen Jorde, and Miranda Lansberry, provide singers ages five to nineteen the opportunity to expand their vocal experience in an auditioned choral program. Almost 250 singers participate in more than fifteen classes and eleven performing ensembles at three campuses located in Annandale, Vienna, and Centreville. The FCS Youth Choruses have sung for choral festivals, schools, church concert series, with the National Symphony Orchestra and the American Youth Philharmonic, at Carnegie Hall, at the White House, and in collaboration with other youth choruses throughout the Washington area. Their repertoire includes classical, folk, and the finest contemporary compositions for treble and mixed voices. FCS was honored by the Arts Council of Fairfax County with the 2016 Arts Education Award for its outstanding music education program.
In addition to the choirs, FCS has a rigorous education program. Early childhood musicianship classes for ages 3-4 start children and parents on a musical journey together. For high school students, FCS offers advanced music theory seminars. Music literacy classes for adults, commissioning contests, special guest workshops, and guest lecturers provide opportunities for musical enrichment and education for the entire community.
Whether as a participant or audience member, there is something for everyone at the Fairfax Choral Society!