About Illuminare

Illuminare photo

Illuminare, founded in 2006 as the Carmina Women’s Ensemble, focuses on music of the medieval through Baroque eras composed or arranged for women’s voices. The name symbolizes the ensemble’s efforts to illuminate the glorious music of the past, often overlooked today. Just as beautiful initial letters, or illuminations, add beauty and meaning to medieval manuscripts, the group strives to enhance and enrich the lives of its listeners through its performances.

Illuminare has performed at the National Presbyterian Church, Anderson House, St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, St. Nicholas Orthodox Cathedral, the Mansion at Strathmore, and First Night Alexandria. They have sung with Eya, the Countertop Quartet, Slaveya, and the Capitol Hill Chorale, as well as with sibling ensemble Carmina. Illuminare’s performances for the Washington Early Music Festival have been favorably reviewed by The Washington Post.

Carmina and Illuminare presented a Fringe Concert at the 2017 Boston Early Music Festival, and the groups regularly participated in the Washington Early Music Festival. Both were invited to take part in the Washington Arts Group's 2007 international convocation in a showcase performance, An Evening of Brillance, Past and Present, which also featured several internationally known artists and ensembles. Area choral directors honored Carmina and Illuminare in 2016 with the Choralis Foundation's Greater Washington Choral Excellence "Ovation" Award for Best Chamber Choir. The next year the groups shared an "Ovation" nomination for Most Creative Programming.

Illuminare’s two CDs can be purchased through this website (see below) and at concerts.

Illuminare on Video

Watch Illuminare sing Pastor, quien madre Virgen by Francesco Guerrero. Click here to find other videos from the same concert.

Listen to Illuminare and Carmina

Click here to hear samples of some of Illuminare’s and Carmina’s best performances.

Illuminare and Carmina on CD

Click here for ordering information for Illuminare Sings! and A Festival of Carols and Carmina’s recordings A Carmina Sampler, The Son of Getron, and Buxtehude’s Membra Jesu nostri.

About the Singers

Illuminare’s singers hail from the greater Washington DC area and have a strong interest and practiced expertise in early music.


Some of Our Past Concerts

Illuminare regularly shares the bill in Carmina performances. It sings on its own as well, as in the following performances: