The Washington Chorus will sponsor a series of free lectures throughout the Washington, D. C. area in preparation for its special April 3 concert at the National Presbyterian Church. This season’s “Music for A New Age” concert will feature several beloved literary works, including a musical setting of Langston Hughes’ poem “Gospel Cha Cha” by noted composer Elena Reuhr. Music director Julian Wachner will conduct the Grammy Award-winning Washington Chorus and orchestra with internationally acclaimed African-American baritone Stephen Salters featured as soloist. Most recently, Salters was presented in recital by Vocal Arts DC in the Terrace Theater at The Kennedy Center.

Committed to providing musical enjoyment to the entire community and the welcoming of diversity to its concert audiences, The Washington Chorus has partnered with the Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) in selected lectures designed to provide additional educational opportunities from the African-American perspective.“Our goal is to expose the African American community to classical music in different ways,” said Pamela T. Simonson, CAAPA co-founder, along with her brother, musician Victor Simonson.

Representatives of the Coalition for African-Americans in the Performing Arts (CAAPA) will be on hand to personally welcome the community at the following lectures:

March 10
9-10 a.m., Howard University Department of Music
Childres Hall, Room 3001, 2455 Sixth St., N.W.

1-2 p.m., Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission MNCPPC – Harmony Hall Regional Center
Battersea Room, 10701 Livingston Road, Fort Washington, Md.

3-4 p.m., University of the District of Columbia
Department of Performing Arts, 4200 Connecticut Ave., N.W., Fine Arts Building 46 West, Room A03

5- 6 p.m., Levine School of Music, THEARC (Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus)
Recital Hall, second floor, suite 201, 1901 Mississippi Ave., S.E.

March 11
7- 8 p.m., Clifton Park Baptist Church (reception immediately following)
Main Sanctuary, 8818 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, Md.

The first 30 attendees at each lecture will receive free tickets to attend the upcoming concert performed by The Washington Chorus, “New Music for a New Age,” featuring Reuhr’s works along with other works by Emily Dickinson, “Cricket, Spider, Bee” and “Averno,” a world premiere with text by Louis Gluck at National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., on April 3 at 5 p.m. For a complete listing of all lecture locations, please visit or call the CAAPA offices at 301-203-0929.

Patrick D. McCoy is an arts columnist and musician residing in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. His online column can be read at