IN THE AIR:  From galas, sounds, appointments and departures-Spring 2024 is blooming with all sorts of opportunities.

Lead Photo:  Washington Performing Arts held its Spring Gala in the newly renovated National Museum of Women in the Arts.  (David Claypool/Kalorama Photography)

by Patrick D. McCoy

The flutter of the arts community has begun with a bustle of excitement!  Here are a few of our mentions.

Gala Night

Washington Performing Arts couldn’t have a picked a better venue to lift up the arts.  Just in time for Women’s History Month, the March gala was held in the opulence of the National Museum of Women in

WPA President and CEO Jenny Bilfield addressing the gala audience. (Photo: David Claypool/Kalorama Photography)

the Arts. Washington Performing Arts welcomed around 400 guests to their annual Gala, Together in Art and Community at the newly renovated National Museum of Women in the Arts. The gala honored Héctor Torres and Jay Haddock Ortiz who are loyal supporters, connectors and influencers that are generous with their time, resources, and service, they have also been incredible thought partners in developing new programming and partnerships for Washington Performing Arts over the years. Gala proceeds from the Fund the Future portion of the evening, as well as the auctions, totaled nearly $600,000.





Music for a Great Space

Baltimore Choral Arts and Orchestra led by Anthony Blake Clark presented a program featuring the Magnificats of J. S. Bach and John Rutter in the majesty of the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.  The Rutter was a sublime compliment to the Bach and soprano Aani Bourassa in particular provided a vocal arc in which the momentum of the work was built. Similar standouts were definitely on display in the Bach Magnificat.  Tenor Gene Steger certainly did not disappoint in the showpiece for tenor “Deposuit potentes.”  The vocal facility marked by the clarity of tone provided the perfect vehicle for the aria.  Bass-baritone Joseph Parrish rendered a warmly, stately “Quia fecit mihi magna.”  Having missed his recent Kennedy Center debut recital under the auspices of Washington Performing Arts, it was wonderful to hear him in this setting.  A glowing moment was with countertenor Logan Tanner and tenor Gene Steger in the duet “Et misericordia.”  The two voices weaved and out gently above the strings of the orchestra in reverent effect.  The final “Gloria Patri” resounded in full throttle bringing the afternoon of choral gems to a close.  What a way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!





Baltimore Choral Arts and Orchestra under the direction of Anthony Blake Clark performing the Magnificats of John Rutter and J. S. Bach at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen in Baltimore.



Appointments and Departures

Chorus America announced that Catherine Dehoney will conclude her tenure at the end of October 2024.   Dehoney has led Chorus America since March 2015, after holding the position of chief development officer. She has served Chorus America in either a consulting or staff capacity for almost 25 years. During Dehoney’s tenure as president, Chorus America has grown from an organization with a budget of $1.3 million and a staff of 8 to an organization with a budget of $2.4 million and a staff of 12. “I am so proud of all Chorus America has accomplished on behalf of choruses of all types over the years and its evolution to become ever more welcoming and inclusive. I’m also filled with gratitude for the opportunity to work with and learn from so many extraordinary leaders in the field and on the staff,” said Dehoney.

Chorus America announced the transition of Catherine Dehoney as President and CEO.

“As president and CEO, it has been especially fulfilling to speak up about the immensely positive impact that choruses have on their communities and to move forward initiatives that strengthen choruses for the future. Choruses have an important role to play in empowering voices and fostering unity and I am excited for what lies ahead for our field.”







Kathy Judd greeting the audience of the Casual Concert featuring violinist Cleveland Chandler and pianist Michael Adcock at Washington Conservatory in February. Her last day as Executive and Artistic Director will be May 31, 2024.

Washington Conservatory of Music announced the leaving of Kathy Judd, who has led the community music school in Glen Echo, MD for more than 25 years.  Among her numerous accomplishments at WCM during her tenure include the recruitment and retention of outstanding faculty and staff, the Bach Room Concert Series held in the Back Room of the Spanish Ballroom of Glen Echo Park- which presents world-class musicians, including the WCM ensemble-in-residence the Pressenda Chamber Players, new classes, camps and projects. Hallmarks of her legacy include will be the creation of Tapestry Music Outreach Project, which provides musical opportunities for traditionally marginalized children and the spearheading the transition of the Washington Conservatory of Music to Glen Echo Park. “I am proud of the accomplishments of WCM over these years – especially the relationships built and lives touched by music” Judd reflected.






Scott Tucker is beloved for his many performances, here conducting at The Kennedy Center.

Washington Men’s Camerata names Scott Tucker as its new artistic director.  Known for his tenure as artistic director of The Choral Arts Society of Washington and now as co-artistic director of The Washington Douglass Chorale, Tucker has added yet another feather of musical excellence in his cap.  “I’m honored to build on the foundation of excellence Frank Albinder has cemented over the last 25 years,” said Tucker. “The Camerata is integral to DC’s arts landscape and is admired nationally for its artistic excellence as well as its broader commitment to advancing men’s choral music.”  He will take the post on July 1. Albinder, the Camerata’s Artistic Director since 1999, announced last year that he would retire from the group at the end of the 2023-24 season. Tucker has been serving as guest Music Director for most of the current season, while Albinder has been on sabbatical to focus on the Camerata’s “Demetrius Project,” a comprehensive national library of men’s choral music. Albinder will return to conduct the final concert of the season on June 1, 2024, at Church of the Epiphany.











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.