The Choir of the Basilica is the resident choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception (Washington, DC). The choir is comprised of approximately twenty professional singers from the greater Washington metro area and is dedicated to performing at Solemn Eucharist on Sundays and Solemnities that mark the church calendar. The choir is engaged in close to one hundred performances (liturgical and otherwise) each year, and prepares approximately three hundred works each season drawn from the wealth of the Roman Catholic sacred music tradition. On solemn occasions, the choir performs with Washington-area musicians including the Washington Symphonic Brass, Orchestra of the 17th Century and members of the National Symphony Orchestra. Solemn liturgies are broadcast live on the Eternal Word Television Network throughout the world.
The choir of the Basilica of the National Shrine has completed several recording projects. In 2005 the choir traveled to Rome to record a musical tribute to John Paul II. The recording, released in August of 2005, is comprised of texts drawn from the many writings of the late John Paul II interspersed with sacred choral works that illuminate the message of the selected texts. The recording was made in the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. In April of 2008, during the Holy Father’s apostolic journey to the United States, the choir sang at Solemn Vespers with His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI presiding. A live recording of this historic event was released in September of 2008. In November of 2008, the choir traveled to Rome and performed a concert of sacred music before an audience of 1500 at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore. The concert was part of the Festival Internationale di Musica e Arte Sacra.
The Choir of the Basilica performs under the direction of Dr. Peter Latona, Basilica director of music since 2001. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., is the pre-eminent Marian shrine of the Catholic Church in the United States. Auditions for the Choir are held each June. Vocal training, ensemble experience, excellent sight-reading and stylistic sing are required. For more information, contact Dr. Peter Latona at email@example.com; 202.281.0618.