Along with regularly airing the masters, the National Symphony Orchestra has commissioned more than 60 original works, and regularly provides educational opportunities and exhibitions to aspiring composers, conductors, and musicians. Since 1986, the symphony has been a stalwart affiliate of The Kennedy Center and puts on as many as 175 performances there annually. Seven crystal chandeliers presented by Norway to The Kennedy Center dangle below the concert hall's intricate acoustical canopy and stare down the organ standing sentry at the back of the stage.
One of the oldest symphonic choruses in DC, Choral Arts has sung alongside the National Symphony Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, and the Mariinsky Orchestra (among others), before 100,000 people in Red Square after the fall of communism and as carolers on The West Wing.
When the Rolling Stones wanted a chorus to sing with them during their last gig on their "50 and Counting" tour, they knew who to call: The Washington Chorus. That unexpected melding of talent is a testament to the group's stellar reputation—the Grammy-winning ensemble is noted for its ability to engage a wide range of audiences. And they've done just that for more than 50 seasons, delighting ears with a repertoire of classical masterpieces and modern compositions. Equally committed to enriching their community, the chorus performs free concerts throughout the greater D.C. area, sponsors a junior choir, and gently corrects anyone who misspells "requiem."
As their motto goes, "It's all about the music." Eschewing props, costumes, and staging for a focus on the sounds of voices and instruments, the Washington Concert Opera seeks to thrill audiences with performances by some of the profession's leading lights. Their stripped-down approach allows the company to focus on rarely produced works, from little-known Rossinis to classic Puccini B-sides.
Since 1981, the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, DC, has aimed to provide a gathering place for gay people and educate the public about their community through the arts. Since then, the award-winning choir—which rings with the voices of nearly 300 members—has performed at the Kennedy Center, the Lincoln Theatre, and the Obama inaugural celebration, as well as at venues throughout the world. Their upbeat productions also have been the soundtrack at community events for the Whitman-Walker Clinic and PFLAG.
Las Vegas was the main inspiration or Shadow Room, a city the team felt set the bar for hospitality in the nightclub industry. But a carbon-copy of a Vegas club wasn't the endgame here; as CEO Swaptak Das told Metromix, "We wanted to build something that doesn't exist anywhere in the world." And in their K Street club, far from the neon lights of the Vegas Strip, they've certainly upped the ante—Shadow Room is outfitted with novel technologies designed to enhance the clubgoer's experience.
One example: you're on the crowded dance floor. You're warm, and there's nothing but ice cubes left in your drink. You look over to the bar, where there's a crowd waiting to put in their orders. But instead of joining the queue, you take out your cell phone, log into your Shadow Room account, and order (and electronically pay for) a drink. They'll text you when it's ready, and in the meantime, you can just keep dancing.
For those who have reserved tables, the club's Nteract touchscreen table order system takes this idea even further. According to The Washington Post, each table's tablet can be used to "order a drink, request tunes from the DJ, pay a bill or ask a valet to retrieve your car." Though these do-it-all devices would seem to be enough of a draw, tables have loads of other features as well, including HD televisions, digital surround sound, two computers, and Xbox 360.
When not enraptured in the club's digital ambiance, revelers can get back to that aforementioned dance floor, where DJs spin an eclectic mix of hip-hop, house, Top 40, rock, and ironic recordings of fax-machine transmissions.