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The Laetare Project

A Diverse Community 
Singing Sacred Music for Women

Laetare: Welcome
Laetare: Image

Who We Are

Sacred Music.
Women's Voices.
Inclusive Community.
Virtual Performance.

The Laetare Project is a small volunteer choral group dedicated to the art of sacred music for women's voices. We are based in the Washington, DC area and focus on works in the European and American traditions from the early medieval period to the present day, although we are open to music of all times and styles.

Our core members are experienced amateur altos and sopranos, but we welcome participants of all backgrounds, faiths, genders, and skills, and are happy to work with other singers, composers, instrumentalists, video artists, and students of musical history and culture. 

We offer singers the opportunity to explore unfamiliar repertoire, to make informal recordings, to attend workshops, and to gain performance experience in outreach settings. We invite you to join us in one or more of these ventures as we (as our name suggests) rejoice in making music together.

Laetare: About

How We Work

learning and connecting through sacred music

The Laetare Project was founded in 2021 to allow women who are amateur singers to engage with sacred folk and art music beyond the church choir and the concert hall.

Our mission is threefold: to provide a working group for amateur consort singing; to find performance opportunities for small ensembles of experienced amateur singers; and to share hymns, carols, and other traditional music with the larger community.

We are pleased to have commissioned both new music and arrangements of both Renaissance and modern works, and look forward to further collaborations with instrumental musicians, historians, and other artists whose interests intersect with women's sacred singing.

Laetare: About


a study group for sacred part singing

Laetare is a year-round amateur workshop on unaccompanied sacred music for women. We sing everything from plainchant to newly commissioned works, with special emphasis on early modern polyphony and works from the American folk tradition.

This group is a supportive environment for women who enjoy exploring new repertoire in a directed ensemble of six to twelve voices, either as a stand-alone project or a stepping stone to working one on a part without a conductor. To accommodate singers of varying skill levels while maintaining both an open membership and a small ensemble size, we may rotate singers and assign pieces of music individually. We welcome both regular singers and occasional guests. 

Because we are a learning group, most of our pieces are for exploration only. Our favorites, however, will often find their way to an optional outreach concert or even a summer church service.

No audition is required. Singers should be able to read, keep time, match pitch, and blend. Send us a short description of your interests, background, and vocal range, and we'll match you up with the next available group.

Laetare: About


small group performance

For women who prefer to sing one or two on a part, Psaltery offers a place to connect to other singers or instrumentalists to make music without a conductor. Much of our music is polyphony, but we are open to working in other styles and welcome singer suggestions.

Auditions for new singers are available by appointment throughout the year. We'd like to hear a warmup, a very brief unaccompanied solo or excerpt of your choice (such as Gibbons "The Silver Swan"; Vaughan Williams "Come, my Way"; or any spiritual), and have you sing with us in a brief duet or trio - we'll send you the music in advance.

If you are an instrumentalist and would like to collaborate with a small group of singers, we should be able to connect you; contact us to discuss the details.

Laetare: About

Social Singing

outreach, carols, hymns, and beer

We encourage a culture of coming together to sing informally for pleasure - our own and our community's. We sing for senior clubs and residences, are available for caroling, and are building connections to other recreational singers, such as the Sacred Harp community. Most of these engagements  require minimal rehearsal commitment and are a great way to get to know us while giving back to the larger community. No experience necessary: if you just feel like singing, let's find a time to do it together.

Laetare: About

Workshops and Recordings

Because many of our singers belong to more than one choir, our performances and master classes are optional, single-commitment events which we try to schedule at less busy times of the year. Some are auditioned and some are open to all singers, depending on the nature of the work programmed.

We are beginning to record music for our YouTube channel, and invite you to join us, especially if you are interested in consort singing and looking to expand your portfolio.

However, we're also eager to connect with singers who feel like beginners or are just interested in learning about the music. If that sounds like you, we'll always have one or two workshops a year that are geared to your interests.

Laetare: About

Selected Projects

Laetare: Projects

Star in the East

Songs for a Christmas Night

DECEMBER 11, 2022

Laetare's second Christmas concert featured a program of medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, and traditional music, followed by caroling and a reception for the benefit of an Afghan refugee family.

Episcopal Church of the Redeemer, Bethesda, Maryland

magi for website.png


Laetare: Members


Erika Singer is dedicated to the promotion and performance of a wide range of sacred music, from worship service to workshop to concert hall. A onetime securities lawyer turned soprano, she recently joined the Schola Cantorum of the Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle and sings with the Heritage Signature Chorale, which is celebrating its 25th season of sharing the legacy of African-American music. She is also a cantor at St. Bartholomew’s Bethesda and a past member of the City Choir of Washington and the early music ensemble Illuminare. Erika serves on the advisory board of the Epiphany Festival, which presents a variety of lesser-known classical works in Washington each January. She lives in suburban Maryland with her husband, his amazing vinyl collection, and a singer of exceptional range and power — their Irish Setter, Ivy.

Assistant Director

Emily Hantman Tsai got her first taste of choral singing in the Oberlin Musical Union, and currently sings with the City Choir of Washington; she is also a dedicated member of City Choir’s outreach chorus, the City Singers. Emily is a recovering Chinese historian who has devoted the past few years to volunteer work for the City Choir of Washington, including fundraising, social media, maintaining the website, video editing, and writing and editing the patron newsletter, Allegro. She created the monthly multimedia series “A Moment of Music with the City Choir of Washington” to help connect singers and audience members during the pandemic. Emily has also served on the “Eya at Ten” Taskforce, helping Eya: Medieval Music plan and execute their 2020-2021 tenth anniversary season. Emily lives in Arlington, Virginia, with her husband, Ben (a tenor), and their rescue dog, Pepper (a baritone). She is thrilled to be part of Laetare’s grand adventure.



If you'd like to make music with us, share your ideas, or be on our mailing list, we can be reached through this form or the email below. 

Regular rehearsals for Laetare at 5:00 pm on Sundays at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Bethesda, MD, near Glen Echo Park. Psaltery rehearsals and special projects can be scheduled at other times and places, as space permits. We sing year-round, with vacation breaks in January and August.

New singers are welcome to join us at any time. Drop us a note with your voice type, experience, and musical interests, and we'll be in touch to schedule an audition and/or send you some music.

We look forward to getting to know you!

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Laetare: Contact
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