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Visiting Choir Info

The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception welcomes visiting choirs and is pleased to offer choral groups an opportunity to share their talents with those who come to the Basilica to visit and pray.

The Department of Music receives many requests and recognizes both the interest and preparation involved. While formal recitals are not the precedent, an opportunity to perform during a visit to the Basilica is usually a welcome occasion and choirs are scheduled to sing as the calendar allows. Periodically, choirs are permitted to sing a prelude and/or postlude to the 5:15 p.m. liturgy on Saturday or the 4:30 pm liturgy on Sunday. Singing during a regularly scheduled liturgy is by invitation only.

Choir directors and tour consultants should be aware that the Basilica retains the right to reschedule a choir’s visit on short notice if a scheduling conflict occurs. While not a common occurrence, the Basilica, as a national church, periodically hosts significant events at unforeseen occasions, necessitating significant changes in schedules.

Please observe the following process when requesting opportunity to sing at the Basilica:

  1. Send a formal written request (by letter or e-mail) including a brief description of the choir (e.g. children's choir of 40 voices; high school advanced choir of 20 voices; volunteer parish choir of 30 voices, etc.) and the preferred dates and times.
  2. Provide a list of sacred, unaccompanied repertoire the choir plans on having prepared for their tour as well as the length of each piece.
  3. Include a ten-minute representative recording of the current ensemble performing sacred, unaccompanied works.

All music must be performed without accompaniment.

Please allow 30 days for a response from the Department of Music.

Questions should be directed to Andrew Vu, Assistant Organist, at the Department of Music, 202-281-0620.

NB: Tours of the National Shrine should be arranged separately via the Pilgrimage Department, 202-526-8300, ext. 111.

For questions, comments, or concerns related to the work of the Music Department, please contact 202-526-8300 x 120 or, via email, muslit@bnsic.org.


 
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