Fogarty Wins 2017 YCC Prize With “It sifts from Leaden Sieves”

Top Selection from The Capital Hearings’ 4th annual Young Composers Competition will premiere Dec. 10

The Capital Hearings, a D.C.-based 13-member vocal ensemble, announced composer Rachel DeVore Fogarty ( as the winner of its 2017 Young Composers Competition. The Capital Hearings will premiere the piece, “It sifts from Leaden Sieves,” at its holiday concert, An A Cappella Holiday with the Capital Hearings, on Sunday, Dec. 10 at the Athenaeum in Alexandria, Virginia.

For the first time since its inception in 2014, this year’s competition solicited compositions with a holiday theme. Fogarty’s delicately layered work sets Emily Dickinson’s timeless poetry to recreate the experience of falling snow.

“Many poets have written about snow, but few have captured the joy of watching it fall with the nuance and intimate detail of Dickinson’s ‘It sifts from Leaden Sieves,’” says Fogarty. “As a Southerner now living in New York, her words encapsulate for me the magic of the season’s first snowfall, which I’ve worked to craft into the rhythmic and harmonic framework of the piece.”

In addition to this world premiere during the ensemble’s performance on Dec. 10, The Capital Hearings’ holiday season will feature a festive and diverse set of a cappella works, including public performances at the U.S. Botanic Garden (Dec. 5) and the Downtown Holiday Market (Dec. 16). Full schedule and ticket information is available at

Path to Here: The Capital Hearings Announce Sept. 30 Concert, Album Release

Musical pilgrimages and D.C. songwriters anchor The Capital Hearings’ fall concert

The Capital Hearings, a D.C.-based 14-member a cappella ensemble, announced its seventh annual fall concert event at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, “Path to Here: An Album Release Concert.” The performance at First Congregational UCC will feature a diverse repertoire of classical, jazz and pop a cappella music. Several selections from their new album (pre-order available) will anchor the concert.

The concert includes works by artists from down the street, across the country and around the world. It will feature the music of up-and-coming American composers such as Connor J. Koppin, jazz legends like Hoagy Carmichael, pop and folk stars from the Indigo Girls to Ed Sheeran, and choral masterworks old (Palestrina) and new (Betinis, Ešenvalds). The concert will also showcase two songs written earlier this year for The Capital Hearings by local folk duo The Sweater Set.

Tickets are available for purchase online at First Congregational United Church of Christ is located at 945 G St, NW in Washington, D.C.

Holiday-Themed 2017 Young Composers Competition Accepting Entries

For 2017, the fourth annual Capital Hearings Young Composers Competition invites submissions on the theme of non-traditional holiday music. A cash prize of $500 will be awarded to the winner, and the selection will be premiered as a centerpiece of the group’s holiday program this December.

We encourage submissions that reach beyond of the realm of the traditional holiday piece, which could include setting new or unfamiliar texts, distinct settings of familiar texts, and/or secular, seasonal, or sacred themes of any faith tradition. In keeping with The Capital Hearings’ cross-genre approach to a cappella music, entries need not be classical; jazz, pop, folk, world music, and crossover works will be welcomed. Compositions should be through-composed.

We encourage composers age 40 or below to submit mixed a cappella works of two-to-five minutes in length. For full information, please visit Submissions are due June 3rd.

Spring 2017 Auditions: April 8, 11 & 12

Seeking low bass, mezzo (soprano 2/alto 1), and high soprano singers

The Capital Hearings are holding auditions for talented singers! If you or someone you know would enjoy becoming a part of D.C.’s leading cross-genre vocal ensemble, please sign up today.

First round auditions:
  • Saturday, April 8: 1:00-5:00 p.m. (Woodley Park)
  • Tuesday, April 11: 7:00-10:00 p.m. (Cleveland Park)
  • Wednesday, April 12: 7:00-10:00 p.m. (Cleveland Park)

  • We’re looking for experienced singers with the drive and passion to make exceptional music, as well as the versatility to perform in a variety of genres (classical choral, vocal jazz, and contemporary a cappella).

    Learn more and sign up by visiting our auditions page. Contact our auditions coordinator, Fiona Vella ( with any questions.

    To the Revolution! The Capital Hearings Announce Fall Concert for 9/24

    A cappella performance explores political change in “Revolutions & Revelations”
    Revolutions & Revelations Graphic -- Luke

    The Capital Hearings, a D.C.-based 14-member a cappella ensemble, announced its 6th annual fall concert event at 8 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 24, “Revolutions & Revelations: The music of political change.” The concert at First Congregational UCC will bring together a diverse repertoire of classical, jazz, musical theater and pop a cappella music from the U.S. and around the world.

    “In a time of local and global political uncertainty, the music of Revolutions & Revelations gives us new perspectives by looking and listening both forward and backward in history,” says The Capital Hearings Music Director Dileep Srihari. “It has been a pleasure to learn the stories behind this incredible music, and to see how, in times of crisis, celebration and change around the world, these songs have acted as the glue holding people together.”

    Featured music includes diverse works from the Broadway musical Hamilton, classical composers Jean Sibelius and William Byrd, global rock icons U2, and jazz legend Duke Ellington. The concert will also showcase the world premiere of the winning composition from the ensemble’s 3rd Young Composers Competition. Tickets are available for purchase online at First Congregational United Church of Christ is located at 945 G St, NW in Washington, D.C.

    Since 2010, The Capital Hearings have crafted a unique and compelling blend of cross-genre a cappella in Washington, D.C. Bringing together singers from a wide variety of musical backgrounds, they are dedicated to making exceptional music from jazz standards to Top 40 hits and classical choral favorites. Their debut album, Opening Statement, was released in 2013.

    Winter 2016 Auditions

    We have just launched our next round of auditions! We’re looking for tenors and alto 1s. Low mezzos or S2s interested in regularly singing alto are welcome to audition for the A1 slot. If you’re interested, be sure to check out our Auditions page for more info about the process and what we’re looking for.

    First-rounds will start in late January, with callbacks on Feb. 11th. Let us know if you have any questions by emailing our auditions coordinator, Fiona Vella, at We look forward to hearing (from) you!