IN THE AIR:  There is so much news to share.  From awards, honors and concerts, we had to offer a part two!

Lead Photo:  The Washington Chorus will honor Terri Allen, Laura Colgate and Sunny Sumter at their “April in Paris” Annual Spring Gala on April 20, 2024.

by Patrick D. McCoy

Honors and Acclaim

The Washington Chorus will honor three visionary leaders in the arts community at their annual spring gala.  Terri Allen-Executive Director of The Coalition for African Americans in the Performing Arts, Laura Colgate-Executive and Artistic Director of The Boulanger Initiative and Sunny Sumter-President and CEO of the DC Jazz Festival will be recognized for their artistic contributions to the fabric of the DC arts community. To attend the gala, CLICK HERE

Sounds and Melodies

The internationally acclaimed soprano Ailyn Pérez will appear with Washington Concert Opera in Giacomo Puccini’s “La Rondine” on Sunday, April 7 at 6 PM in the Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University.  Hailed by The New York Times as “a beautiful woman who commands the stage” and “a major soprano,” Ailyn Pérez is in demand at the world’s leading opera houses and cultural capitals. As Opera News observes, “The phrase ‘an embarrassment of riches’ might have been invented to describe the combination of talents that belong to Ailyn Pérez … who truly seems to have it all.”  Internationally celebrated for her signature artistry, as the winner of the 2012 Richard Tucker Award she became the first Hispanic recipient in the award’s history.  Purchase tickets HERE.


The Washington Douglass Chorale will present its second concert of its Inaugural Season!  Under the direction of Co-Artistic Directors Nolan Williams, Jr. and Scott Tucker will bring us back together for their next concert on Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5 pm at the National Presbyterian Church.  Still riding the wave of excitement from their concert back in December, the Washington Douglass Chorale’s spring concert grapples with the issues of equity and inclusion. Featured composers include works by Dorothy Rudd Moore, Damien Geter, William Billings and Aaron Copland. A world premiere of a newly commissioned work, “Suite Freedom for All,” composed by Washington, D.C.’s own Allyn Johnson in commemoration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of American composer and jazz pioneer Duke Ellington will be performed by the chorale.  CLICK THE IMAGE BELOW FOR MORE INFO AND TICKETS.



Myles Blakemore will join the UMD School of Music (SOM) as assistant professor of trombone starting this fall. Blakemore will oversee the recruitment of undergraduate and graduate trombone majors, the teaching of applied lessons, brass chamber coaching and will serve as the coordinator of the brass chamber music program.  “We are thrilled to welcome Myles Blakemore to our program,” said SOM Director Gregory Miller. “His expertise and passion for teaching are palpable. We are excited to see how his perspective and approach invigorate our program.”







Richard Giarusso, who is particularly known to audiences in the area as a wonderful vocal soloist with The Washington Bach Consort and recitalist announced his new role as Dean and Chief Academic Officer at the New England Conservatory of Music.  Previously, he was Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Musicology at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. Also active as a conductor and singer, he served as music director of the Georgetown Chorale (DC), the Voce Chamber Singers (VA), and the Maryland Choral Society, and he maintains a career as a soloist and ensemble musician throughout the Atlantic corridor.










A native of Petersburg, VA, Patrick holds a BM in Vocal Performance from Virginia State University and a MM in Church Music from Shenandoah Conservatory. Formerly the Performing Arts Columnist for Washington Life Magazine, he currently is a freelance writer, publishing articles for several noted publications and organizations, including The Washington Post, Early Music America, Classical Music Voice North America, The Afro-American Newspaper, Prince George’s Suite Magazine, CBS Washington, and Washington Classical Review. He holds membership in the Music Critics Association of North America, National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., American Choral Directors’ Association, Association of Anglican Musicians, a former member of the Shenandoah University Alumni Board of Directors, a member of the Shenandoah University Black Alumni Network, a Life Member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. and a member of the Sigma Zeta Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity of America.  As an alumnus of Shenandoah, he was named to the Dean’s Circle of the Shenandoah Conservatory Advisory Board.  He enters his 7th year as Organist/Choirmaster at Saint John’s Episcopal Church, Zion Parish in Beltsville, MD and is the newly hired Development and Communications Manager for Washington Conservatory of Music in Glen Echo, MD.  Patrick is the host of “Across the Arts” both a live and virtual media platform covering the performing arts.  Visit and follow him on Facebook and Twitter @PatrickDMcCoy, IG: PDM06. and subscribe to “Across the Arts” on YouTube.