CHORAL MUSIC AT LEXINGTON HIGH SCHOOL
Lexington High School has enjoyed a rich history of excellence in choral music from as far back as the 1930s. Today the program
consists of four curricular choirs, seven student-run collegiate style a cappella groups, and over 200 singers. Students in the choral
program perform a wide range of challenging choral music representative of many styles, languages and time periods, including at
least one major work each year. A typical season of repertoire includes selections from the great Western art canon, folk and
multicultural music, vocal jazz, pop and musical theater. In 2019, Lexington High School honors choruses performed Carl Orff
Carmina Burana in concert with the Lexington Symphony. In 2016, honor choruses performed the high school premiere of James
Whitbourn’s Annelies. Other recent works include Leonard Bernstein Chichester Psalms and Mass, Gabriel Fauré Requiem, and Francis
Poulenc Gloria, accompanied by a Lexington High School student orchestra. Emphasis in rehearsal is placed on the importance of
individual contribution, and students take pride in preparing music outside of rehearsal time.
Lexington High School choruses are in high demand in the Greater Boston area, singing around two dozen performances in a
typical season. The LHS Chamber Singers (formerly Women’s Chorus) is the newest ensemble at Lexington High School.
Celebrating its 15th season, the group has garnered critical acclaim in the region. In December 2015, the group performed by
invitation with the Concord Symphony under the direction of Richard Pittman. LHS Women’s Chorus was a member of the 2014
ACDA Women’s Commission Consortium, combining resources with 35 other treble choral groups at the high school, college,
community and professional levels to commission three female composers to create new choral works. Susan LaBarr’s Spring Shall
Bloom was premiered at LHS in the spring of 2015 and performed throughout our China tour. In 2016, Women’s Chorus premiered
a brilliant work of Abbie Betinis, A Blessing of Cranes, written to commemorate the victims of the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. In
2019, in celebration of their 10th anniversary season, Chamber Singers presented a world premiere by eminent composer, Carol
Barnett. The group appeared at the ACDA Eastern Region Conference in February 2022. The LHS Concert Choir is the oldest of the
select ensembles, having been established in 1964. In 2014-2015, Concert Choir commemorated its 50th anniversary with a choral
commission from composer Matthew Harris. In fall 2015, Concert Choir was special guest artist with the Back Bay Chorale
conducted by Scott Allen Jarrett and was also featured in a special performance at the Massachusetts All-State Conference in
Boston. The LHS Madrigal Singers have been regionally recognized for outstanding music making since their inception in 1972. The
Madrigal Singers, or “Mads,” is the smallest of the select ensembles. Performing without a conductor, this group focuses on
chamber music ensemble skills. Recent engagements include appearing as guest artists with New England Conservatory choruses,
singing for the annual tree lighting ceremony at the State House in Boston and appearing in concert with world-renowned fiddler,
Eileen Ivers. They were the Season 5 winners of WBGH’s televised choral competition, Sing That Thing! The combined honors
choruses made their Carnegie Hall debut in January 2019 in a special concert entitled, Every Voice Shall Be A Song. Lexington High
School Honors Choruses returned by invitation to Carnegie Hall last spring, presenting Ralph Vaughan Williams Serenade To
Music and Alexander Borodin Polovtsian Dances as part of the 40th anniversary season with MidAmerica Productions.
Lexington High School choral ensembles collaborate regularly with guest artists and clinicians, including composers James
Whitbourn, Nathan Jones, Carson Cooman, Rebecca Oswald, Carol Barnett and Matthew Harris; Chinese music expert Liwen Wang
and renowned Bulgarian Folksinger Elitsa Stoyneva; Dr. Lynn Eustis (Boston University), Dr. Peggy Dettwiler (Mansfield State
University), Dr. James Jordan (Westminster Choir College), Dr. Charlene Archibeque (San Jose State University, Emerita) and Dr.
Pearl Shangkuan (Calvin University).
In recent years, the choirs have traveled abroad to Scandinavia, Estonia, China, Greece and Bulgaria. In spring 2012 the Madrigal
Singers’ performance of Estonian choral works for the Estonian Ambassador to the United States was hailed as “extraordinary.”
The honors choruses later toured Finland, Sweden and Estonia to great acclaim and were featured on Estonian National Television.
An Estonian newspaper stated, “the American high school choir bestowed the listener an unforgettable experience." In Spring 2018,
the choruses were well received in Greece and Bulgaria, as audience members remarked on their “exquisite music-making” and
“incredible demonstration of solidarity.”