Founded in 2004, the 18th Street Singers is a fifty-voice ensemble committed to musical excellence and bringing a fresh and more accessible take on choral music to a wider audience in Washington, DC. At the same time, we're dedicated to being a supportive community for our members, who come from all walks of life and are cherished friends and colleagues.
We seek to program concerts that move our members and our audiences by unabashedly mixing the best of genres. We sing music that you think of as "traditional" choral music, we find lesser-known gems, and we prioritize amplifying the voices, composers, and themes that are often missing at classical music concerts.
We have performed at a wide range of prestigious venues, such as at the Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, the Kennedy Center, the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony (attended by President Barack Obama), and fielding repeat invitations to the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston. And we’ve also stepped into the spotlight by performing as back-up singers for Demi Lovato and Hugh Jackman and being voted DC’s Best Local Choral Group in Washington City Paper’s Best of DC 2018 & 2019.
We are an all-volunteer organization (including all artistic and management positions), but many of our members have studied music professionally or are paid singers in other ensembles. Some of us grew up here, and some of us are new to the area, but we come together to build a community and share our love for singing with others!
ABOUT THE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Benjamin Olinsky has directed the 18th Street Singers since the group's fall 2004 inception. Ben is a graduate of Yale University, where he concentrated in political science, music, and math. He has studied choral conducting both at the Yale School of Music with Maggie Brooks and Dr. David Connell and at Westminster Choir College with Dr. James Jordan. While at Yale, Benjamin conducted the Bach Society Chorus and the English Muffins (a madrigal choir), and served as the assistant director of the Yale Summer Chorus. He also served as music director of Out of the Blue, an award-winning contemporary a cappella group. During his time with Out of the Blue, the group toured from coast to coast and around the world.