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Carmina and Illuminare are sibling early-music vocal ensembles who regularly perform together, directed by founder Vera Kochanowsky and assisted by Hubert Beckwith. Debuting in 1998, Carmina sang for 20 years as a mixed ensemble. Growing interest led to the creation in 2006 of the women's group Illuminare, which shared members and programs with Carmina while also performing on its own. In 2018, Carmina became a men's ensemble to further enhance the two groups’ sonic flexibility.
Carmina, committed to performing early vocal music in the Washington area, has been praised by both The Baltimore Sun and The Washington Post and was also featured in the Washingtonian magazine articles “Perfect Pitch” and “Good Arts Groups You Might Not Know About.”
Illuminare has established a reputation in the Washington area for tastefully persuasive interpretations of early repertoire. Early Music America lauded its 2015 Fringe Concert at the Boston Early Music Festival.
Carmina and Illuminare are honored to have received the Choralis Foundation’s 2016 Ovation Award in the category of Best Chamber Chorus in the capital region. In 2017 the groups were Ovation nominees for Most Creative Programming.
To learn more about us, please visit About Carmina and About Illuminare. Be sure to see our concert schedule at Upcoming Performances. Many of our programs are free or by donation. We hope to see you at a concert in the near future!