About Washington Festival Chorale
Washington Festival Chorale originated as the Washington Community Choir, directed for many years by Mr. G. Richard Zimmerman. Reborn under the direction of Mr. Matthew Boice as the Washington Festival Chorale, the choir has performed a wide variety of choral literature.
Highlights of the choir’s past seasons include: Handel’s Messiah, a tribute to John Rutter, a 9/11 10th year memorial concert, several Christmas Brasstacular concerts with the River City Brass, summer outdoor patriotic concerts in collaboration with Community Band South, several appearances with the Washington Symphony Orchestra, and concerts at Washington’s Whiskey Rebellion Festival.
In addition to our annual Christmas concerts, our spring and summer concerts have included February Follies, April Foolies, Neighbors, A Night on Broadway, Old Time Religion, Wearin’ of the Green, Irish Eyes, and Road Trip.
The choir continues to be involved with the community by presenting concerts that have benefited Habit for Humanity, The Citizens’ Library, and by co-hosting performances for the local Artist’s Co-Op and The Church of the Covenant’s day school.
Denise has been an active member of the Pittsburgh Opera Company since 1982 and has performed various roles with the company, as well as with Civic Light Opera, City Theatre at Hartwood Acres and Pittsburgh Festival Opera. Competitively, she is a recipient of the Leontyne Price Vocal Arts Award and the Pittsburgh District Metropolitan Opera Award. Denise is a frequently-sought after soprano soloist for various oratorio works, including numerous performances of Handel’s MESSIAH, Mozart’s REQUIEM, and Honegger’s KING DAVID. She has been a featured performer in productions of AIN’T MISBEHAVIN, BLUES IN THE NIGHT,COLE, SWEET THUNDER, LOST IN THE STARS AND BEGGARS HOLIDAY. Denise was also a featured vocalist in the Civic Light Opera’s tribute performance in honor of Stephen Sondheim, which was performed for Sondheim as part of a gala awards ceremony. She has been a featured vocalist with the Pittsburgh and Canton Symphony Orchestras.
Bethany James, a seasoned singer with a background as a session artist at Hanna Barbera and Disney, has lent her voice to various bands across Los Angeles, Reno, and Las Vegas. Bethany returned to her hometown, Pittsburgh, to establish roots and became an active member of the Pittsburgh jazz community. Bethany can be found performing in local venues like Con Alma or The Breezeway, and also in venues in Ohio and New York.