2018 Summer Choral Institute

July 10, 12, 17, 19, 20


Featuring music of American Women composers

Sing with members of the National Philharmonic Chorale under Artistic Director Stan Engebretson and Associate Conductor Victoria Gau. Build your voice under the expert guidance of Dr. Molly Donnelly. Singers with prior choral experience perform in our excellent large ensemble while building musicianship and vocal technique during four intensive rehearsals culminating in a final performance in a beautiful concert hall. The Summer Choral Institute is produced through a partnership between the National Philharmonic and Montgomery College.

No auditions are necessary but singing experience is required. Experience may include singing in a university or community chorus, or in a church choir.


  • Jennifer Higdon, “Fiddlin” and “The Fox” from Southern Grace
  • Eleanor Daley, In Remembrance
  • Libby Larsen, The Settling Years
  • Arr. Gwyneth Walker, How Can I Keep from Singing?
  • Arr. Craig Hella Johnson, I Love You/What a Wonderful World
  • Carly Simon, arr. Craig Hella Johnson, Let the River Run


Choral Institute rehearsals are on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, July 10, 12, 17, 19 from 7 to 9:30 pm, in the Music Building of Montgomery College Rockville Campus. The institute will culminate in a FREE concert on Friday, July 20, 2018 at 7:30pm at the Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center on the Rockville campus.


Registration forms available HERE

For further information, or if you have any questions, please contact Victoria Gau at 301-637-4780 x116 or victoria@nationalphilharmonic.org


Stan EngebretsonArtistic Director of the National Philharmonic Chorale and Head of Choral Music at George Mason University

Stan Engebretson has conducted and taught throughout the United States and in Europe, and has studied with great masters of choral music, including Robert Shaw, Gregg Smith, Richard Westenburg, Roger Wagner, and Eric Ericson. A North Dakota native, he received his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees in Piano and Voice from the University of North Dakota, and his Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting from Stanford University. He has led choirs in Venice’s Cathedral or St. Mark and taught in Cologne, Trier, St. Moritz, Barcelona, and Reykjavik. Engebretson is Director of Music at the historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church; Professor of Music and Director of Choral Studies at George Mason University; and for 24 years has shaped the ensemble that is now the National Philharmonic Chorale. Engebretson is also proficient and performs in the jazz medium.

Molly DonnellyMezzo Soprano and Professor of Music at Montgomery College

Molly Donnelly has sung in major concert halls in New York, Paris, Berlin, London and Washington, DC, performing as a soloist with Musica Sacra, the Oratorio Society of New York, the National Symphony, the Berlin Philharmonic and many others. Of her title role in the North American premiere of Handel’s Tolomeo, New Yorker music critic wrote: “Her voice has character-an elusive quality, God-given, not acquirable, that makes people listen.” A Fulbright Scholar, Donnelly holds a Doctor of Musical Arts from the University of Maryland; a Master of Music from the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati; and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Colorado. At Montgomery College since 1997, she directs the Chamber Singers and the College Chorus and can share her love of singing by teaching voice.

Victoria GauAssociate Conductor and Director of Education for the National Philharmonic, Artistic Director and Conductor of the Capital City Symphony, Artistic Director of Takoma Ensemble

Victoria Gau is a familiar face in the Washington area, having conducted such groups as the Alexandria Symphony, Washington Savoyards, the IN-Series, the Other Opera Company (which she co-founded), and the Friday Morning Music Club Orchestra. She has had past conducting positions with the Richmond Philharmonic and the Akron Symphony, served as Adjunct Associate Professor of Opera at George Mason University, and has worked as a pianist for Cleveland, Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington Operas. In addition to the National Philharmonic Chorale, Ms. Gau has guest conducted choruses including the Capitol Hill Chorale, Congressional Chorus, and the Metropolitan Chorus, and led the recent debut appearance of the Capital City Singers. She is an established vocal coach in the Washington area, having worked for many years with the Crittendon Opera Studio. Recent guest conducting appearances include the Vermont and Maryland Senior All State Orchestra festivals. Ms. Gau holds degrees in Viola Performance and Conducting from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, where she received the Phi Kappa Lambda Prize for Musicianship.

Theodore GuerrantOrganist-Choirmaster at Christ Church Parish, Kensington, Saturday Vigil Mass Organist at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in Derwood, accompanist for the Central Maryland Chorale, National Philharmonic Chorale, and Federal City Performing Arts Association, and Accompanying Program Specialist in the University of Maryland School of Music.

Dr. Guerrant received five degrees in keyboard performance from the Universities of Georgia, Wisconsin, Maryland, and the Peabody Conservatory, with additional piano study in Buriton, England.

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