New Dominion Chorale (“NDC”) is a Section 501(c) (3) organization founded in 1991 by Artistic Director and well-known singer, conductor and composer Thomas Beveridge and 135 singers (our current roster comprises about 170). We are a non-auditioned “singers’ cooperative” with no paid permanent, full or part-time staff. We contract with three part-time contractors: Artistic Director, Rehearsal Pianist, and CPA. The volunteer singers perform all other activities necessary to run the organization.
NDC’s mission is to advance the musical arts in general and the choral arts in particular, and to provide enjoyment through the choral arts to those who sing and to those who listen. To achieve this mission, we present an annual series of concerts, primarily of major choral masterworks, at a high level of excellence, featuring professional orchestras and soloists. In doing so, we serve two major constituencies: our singers, and our audiences.
In a metropolitan area often referred to as the “choral capital” of the country, NDC is unique. We are a large non-auditioned choir that consistently performs the great choral masterworks with professional orchestras and soloists at the highest artistic level. Anyone of any age, experience, and race who loves to sing and is willing to commit to the effort necessary to perform in this way is welcome to join and can remain for as long as they wish. The only thing we ask of our singers is commitment to our mission, which they demonstrate by (a) using the large library of learning materials and educational tools NDC makes available to learn the often complex and difficult music the group performs and to improve singers’ vocal technique; and (b) attending all required rehearsals and sectional workshops for each concert. This continuing education effort by NDC makes it possible for non-auditioned singers to sing difficult music at consistently high performance levels. As demonstrated by the audience surveys discussed later in this application, our audiences regularly rate NDC concerts as “excellent,” and “as good as I’ve heard.”
NDC members span all ages, from teens to seniors, and represent many races, ethnicities, and economic strata. However, it is important to note one particular group that is especially served in a unique way by NDC’s non-audition policy: seniors. NDC provides aging singers the opportunity to sing the choral masterworks for the rest of their lives, provided they make the commitment outlined above. We are aware of no other chorus in the DC metropolitan area that does this. Though NDC is open to all, the average age of our singers is over 70. Similarly, audience surveys taken over the past few years indicate that our audiences are more than half composed of senior citizens, who benefit from reduced ticket prices. Finally, we specifically serve individual groups of seniors through our “Just a Song at Twilight” outreach program discussed in more detail below, under which we visit and lead sing-alongs at nursing and retirement homes in Fairfax County, including memory care facilities.