Bishop O’Connell High School offers a rich and engaging musical experience for any student interested in singing. The choirs have been invited to perform at prestigious concert halls such as the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and at Carnegie Hall in New York. In addition, they have competed in multiple music festivals in many locations including Boston, Montreal, New York City, Orlando, Myrtle Beach, Philadelphia, and Williamsburg to be adjudicated by professional music clinicians. Locally, the choirs attend the State District 12 Assessment each March to be adjudicated alongside choirs in the public schools, and to receive a workshop from college faculty. Vocal students perform in pops, winter, and spring concerts, perform solo Broadway numbers in the annual Broadway Desserts Showcase, and provide liturgical music for school and community Masses. Every year we have several students successfully audition and participate in All-District Choir, the Virginia Music Educators’ Association Honors Choir, Virginia All-State Choir, and All-Catholic Honors Choir.
The O’Connell Singers is Bishop O’Connell High School’s women’s select chamber choir. The choir is open to sophomore, junior, and senior students through audition. The O’Connell Singers perform repertoire spanning a variety of musical styles, cultures, and historical periods. Students study advanced choral technique, music theory, and performance practice while developing skills as independent musicians. Students auditioning for the O’Connell Singers are expected to have a secure foundation in vocal training and music literacy.
The O’Connell Singers consistently provide engaging and artistic performances at school concerts and local venues. They entertain guests at Bishop O’Connell’s annual Gala and a variety of school functions, attend the State District 12 Choral Assessment, provide music for worship at school Masses, and lead the National Anthem at school football games – among many other performances. In addition to performances within the school, members of the choir participate in the Virginia Music Educators’ Association Honors Choir, All-District Choir, Virginia All-State Choir, and All-Catholic Honors Choir.
The Men’s Chorus provides a unique opportunity for male vocalists to develop their vocal abilities in a challenging but supportive environment. The chorus is open to all interested ninth through twelfth grade men of any experience level. The men perform a variety of repertoire arranged specifically for male voices while studying introductory vocal technique, music theory, music literacy, and performance practice. The choir members receive intentional vocal direction throughout the year and enjoy solo opportunities at school concerts. Students can also register for the Men’s Chorus at the honors level. Auditions for honors level choir is held in the spring semester.
The Women’s Chorus is open to all interested female vocalists. The chorus provides a wonderful opportunity for new vocalists to develop their abilities as well as experienced singers to progress in their musical studies. The ensemble performs a variety of repertoire composed specifically for female voices while studying introductory vocal technique, music theory, music literacy, and performance practice. The choir members receive intentional vocal direction throughout the year and enjoy solo opportunities at school concerts. Students can also register for the Women’s Chorus at the honors level. Auditions for honors level choir is held in the spring semester.
The Men’s and Women’s choruses combine to form the Concert Choir for school performances as well as adjudication at festival. The Concert Choir studies music arranged for SATB and mixed chorus as well as choral masterworks. Last year, they performed excerpts from Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria during their spring concert.
Bishop O’Connell High School offers three extracurricular A Cappella Choirs: the Knightingales, a female choir that performs repertoire from the classical and art song traditions, the Harmoknights, a coed ensemble which performs pop and vocal jazz arrangements, and the Do Re Mi’gos, the all-male A Cappella choir. The A Cappella choirs are open to all interested O’Connell students through audition. The extracurricular choirs perform with the curricular choirs at school concerts and assemblies.