Concerts and Festivals
The choral groups perform in concert several times each year for parents, siblings, staff, and other students.
- Men’s Chorus traditionally sings the national anthem at the Homecoming football game (this year: Friday, Oct. 7, 2016).
- All of the choral groups perform several selections at the annual Winter Concert held each December (this year: Thursday, Dec. 22, 2016).
- Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Choir also usually perform at a school-wide assembly held just before the winter break (this year: Friday, Dec. 23, 2016)
- The other major appearance for all ensembles is during the Walt Whitman Festival of the Arts held in May (this year: Wednesday & Thursday, April 26-27, 2017) This concert is held in the school cafeteria over two nights with instrumental and choral groups alternating in sharing the stage. The larger Whitman community attends the festival and people tend to come and go from the concert to the visual arts venues in a very casual atmosphere.
- Chamber Choir has a farewell concert each year, held at the Bradley Hills Presbyterian Church just prior to graduation (this year: date to be determined).
- Each year, any of the choral groups may participate in performances and concerts in addition to the regular ones listed above. This year, that includes a performance with Young Artists of America at Strathmore Music Center on Sunday, March 12, 2017.
Montgomery County mandates that high school music departments take at least one ensemble of each genre to the MCPS festival each year as a means of external assessment. Whitman ensembles consistently earn superior ratings at these events, and therefore are eligible to attend state festivals as well. While the state festivals are not mandatory (and, unfortunately, frequently conflict with other activities), it is a tremendous honor to qualify year after year.
The competitions are run much the same way in both the county and state festivals. Three judges, each with a copy of our music in hand, provide us with written and verbal critiques. Kept in the right positive spirit, the festival/competitions provide a set of goals to work towards and a wealth of positive feedback for both the music directors and the students. When a Whitman ensemble does well, a wonderful feeling of camaraderie is generated within the group of talented individuals who worked so hard for a common goal: musical excellence. The dates for this year’s festivals are Tuesday, March 14 (for Men’s Chorus, Women’s Chorus, and Chamber Choir), and Tuesday, April 25 (for Freshman Chorus and Treble Chorale).