The Manassas Chorale was founded in 1994, and the original group of about 25 singers has since quadrupled in size to become a 100-voice auditioned organization. The mission of the Chorale is to promote a greater appreciation and enjoyment of quality music, both classical and contemporary, throughout the greater Manassas community. The Chorale is the official choral group in residence at the Hylton Performing Arts Center located on the Prince William campus of George Mason University.
We present four major concerts each season, in October, December, March, and May. Musical styles vary from sacred to secular, from traditional Americana to more culturally and ethnically diverse pieces, from classical masterworks to Broadway showtunes. In addition, we perform at various local venues throughout the year, including many events in Old Town Manassas, local retirement homes and assisted living facilities, and area churches, civic groups, and museums. The Chorale has been asked to perform at groundbreakings and dedications, receptions, and sporting events. We also perform every winter at the historic Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg. In recent years, the Chorale has sung at the Washington National Cathedral and Constitution Hall in Washington DC, Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, and two European tours, one to Germany and France to sing for American military families and at American World War II cemeteries and one to Ireland, Wales, and England to sing in world-famous cathedrals.
At times, the Chorale will combine with other local musical groups such as the Prince William Symphony and the Northern Virginia Manassas Symphony Orchestra. We also regularly incorporate guest instrumentalists and soloists.
Each March, the Chorale coordinates with Manassas Baptist Church in sponsoring Voices United, a combined choir made up of singers from church congregations and community choruses. A guest master clinician holds a day-long workshop, directly followed by a concert featuring the Voices United choir and the Chorale. In recent years, over 150 singers have participated in Voices United. Featured clinicians have included Mark Hayes, Joseph Martin, Barbara Wesley Baker, and Greg Gilpin.
Since 2007, the Chorale has partnered with several local charitable organizations for “Concerts with a Cause,” in which singers and audience members are asked to support such efforts as SERVE, the Haymarket Food Bank, Youth for Tomorrow, Matthew’s Center, BARN Transitional Housing, Operation Homefront, the Manassas Senior Center, and the Prince William Hospital Pediatric Ward. Donations of various items, per the organization’s requests, are collected at each concert and delivered by the Chorale.
We hope you will have the opportunity to attend one of our concerts or even join us as a member!
Rebecca (Becky) Verner has served as the Artistic Director of the Manassas Chorale since 1997. Under her leadership, the Chorale has sung 17 Candlelight Concerts in Williamsburg, performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center in New York City, and sung internationally in Germany, France, Austria, Ireland, Wales, and England as part of several European tours. Members of the Chorale Ensemble have sung at the Washington National Cathedral, Constitution Hall, and for many community events. She is also Director of Music at Manassas Baptist Church, where she directs the Sanctuary Choir and Evensong Bells. Past Dean and Auditor of the Northern Virginia chapter of the American Guild of Organists, Ms. Verner is also a member of the American Choral Directors Association, the Choristers Guild, and serves on two state committees for her denomination. In 2007, she was named Woman of the Year by the Manassas Parade Committee, and in 2014 she was selected as Alumnus of the Year by the OHS/OPHS Alumni Association. She and her husband Dan have two grown daughters, Amy and Alyssa, and two sons-in-law named Chris.
Kristina Schenck joined the Chorale as accompanist in January 2016. A native of New Jersey, Kristina holds a Bachelor of Music Education (Vocal Concentration) from The College of New Jersey and a Master of Music in Music Education from Boston University. Kristina has been the choir director at Manassas Park High School since 2001. In 2015, she was the nominee from MPHS for the Agnes Meyer Outstanding Teacher Award and entrant to the Virginia State Teacher of the Year for Manassas Park City Schools. Since 2014, she has served as the accompanist for Vienna Presbyterian Church and prior to that served as the organist at Floris United Methodist Church from 2012-2014. Kristina lives in Manassas with her husband Michael and children Noah and Helena.
Board of Directors
Please consider serving as a member of the Board of Directors! The new Board is elected each May for the following Chorale season. Board meetings take place every few months on a schedule convenient for most members. Meetings are open to the Chorale membership, but if members wish to raise a topic for discussion, they must ask the President for a place on the agenda prior to the meeting. Feel free to contact any Board member with your questions, concerns, or suggestions.
Executive Director: Jennifer Blanchard
Concert Manager: Cathy Carolla
Business Partnership Development: Mark Cooke
Chamber Representative: Judy Smith
Concert Attire: Katie Swenson
Fundraising: Sue Gilmartin
Grants: Eileen Daniels
Hospitality: Lori Esquina and Karen Borozinski
Marketing: Mike Winter
Music Library: Erv Lhotka
Patron Development: Sue Gilmartin and Katie Swenson
- Kathleen K. Seefeldt Award of Excellence – Arts Organization of the Year, 2017
- Kathleen K. Seefeldt Award of Excellence – Arts Organization of the Year, 2011
- Kathleen K. Seefeldt Award of Excellence – Arts Organization of the Year, 2005
- Prince William County Manassas Chamber of Commerce – Non-Profit Arts and Entertainment Member of the Year, 2004-2005
- Prince William Readers Choice Award – Best Performing Arts Group, 2004
The Manassas Community Chorale, a group of about 25 singers, forms under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. John (Jack) Martin, accompanied by Jill Tomlinson.
Rebecca Verner becomes Artistic Director of the Chorale.
The Chorale joins members of the Reston Community Chorale, local church choirs, and the Prince William Symphony Orchestra in presenting Haydn’s “Creation” on the 200th anniversary of the oratorio and the 25th anniversary of the Orchestra.
The Chorale Ensemble, a smaller group of auditioned singers, is formed.
The first Voices United concert is held.
The Chorale is invited to perform a candlelight concert at the historic Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg.
The Chorale goes online with its first website.
The Chorale celebrates its tenth anniversary in concert.
The Chorale becomes a fully auditioned group.
Diann Clark joins the Chorale as accompanist.
The Chorale performs Brahms’ “Requiem” with the NOVA Manassas Symphony Orchestra, the first time the entire Requiem has been presented in the Manassas area.
The Chorale sings at the groundbreaking for the Hylton Performing Arts Center at the George Mason University Manassas campus.
Chorale President Diana Van Broekhoven receives the Seefeldt Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year.
The Chorale Board of Directors begins designing a strategic five-year plan for the future.
The Chorale Ensemble sings at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. for the Prelude to Evensong.
Jon Laird joins the Chorale as accompanist.
The Chorale performs at the Marine Museum in Quantico, VA.
The Chorale kicks off the City of Manassas Summer Sounds Concert Series with music from the 1930s and 1940s.
Members of the Chorale perform at Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of Shawnee Press’ 70th anniversary celebration.
The Chorale changes its name to the Manassas Chorale.
The Chorale becomes the official choral group in residence at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
Members of the Chorale participate in “An American Salute,” a European tour of Germany and France.
Members of the Chorale participate in “Memorial” at Lincoln Center in New York City, remembering the events of 9/11.
The Chorale combines with Grey Ghost Theatre Company to present “Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory: A Civil War Musical,” a mixed singing/spoken word performance.
The Chorale performs Mozart’s “Requiem.”
The Chorale joins Facebook.
Members of the Chorale participate in “An American Salute” Tapestry Choir performing at Constitution Hall in Washington D.C.
The Manassas Chorale celebrates its twentieth anniversary in concert.
Members of the Chorale participate in the taping of “Dailey and Vincent LIVE” PBS television show and CD/DVD at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.
Members of the Chorale participate in the groundbreaking ceremony for a custom home in Nokesville, VA for a wounded warrior.
Kristina Schenck joins the Chorale as accompanist.
Members of the Chorale participate in “A Celtic Passage” musical tour of Ireland, Wales, and France.
Members of the Chorale participate in the “Key Ceremony” to present a completed custom home in Nokesville, VA to a wounded warrior.
Members of the Chorale participate in a “Summer Serenade” musical tour of Germany and Austria.