Recently recognized by Broadway World as offering “some of the best choral singing” in the D.C. area, the Alexandria Harmonizers specialize in one of a cappella’s most challenging forms; four-part close harmony. Founded in 1948 and led by artistic director Joe Cerutti since 2007, the chorus is made up of over 100 volunteer singers ranging in age from their teens to their eighties. The Harmonizers have won nineteen International medals, including four championship gold medals, and received the 2018 Greater Washington DC Area Choral Excellence "Ovation" Award for "Best a Cappella Ensemble."
The Harmonizers perform throughout the year, in concert, contest, and in collaboration with other performers. They have sung at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, the White House and the Supreme Court, and regularly produce shows at Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria. Recent collaborations with the Music Center at Strathmore include the 2016 D.C. area premiere of Andrew Lippa’s “I Am Anne Hutchinson/I Am Harvey Milk,” starring Lippa and Kristin Chenoweth, and the 2018 world premiere of Jeremy Schonfeld’s “Iron and Coal – Survivor and Son.”
The Harmonizers also have performed internationally, most recently in August 2019 when they toured in the United Kingdom and performed at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the largest arts festival in the world. In 2014 the chorus traveled to Normandy, France to participate in ceremonies commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings, singing at the Normandy beaches and cemeteries, in Sainte-Mère-Église, and in the Chartres Cathedral. In 2012 they toured China, performing at the Forbidden City Concert Hall and the Great Wall.
Beyond musical excellence, the Harmonizers are focused on community outreach and bringing their love of song to new audiences. Through various workshops and performances, they have recently explored the African-American roots of barbershop harmony, including co-hosting a two-day festival called “Music through the Ages: Gospel and Barbershop” with several local gospel groups and the Grammy-award winning gospel quartet “The Fairfield Four.” Having formed a musical partnership with the Alexandria Alfred Street Baptist Church Men’s Choir, they regularly co-host evenings of community choral fellowship. They also host an annual Youth Harmony Festival, bringing in top clinicians and quartets to introduce more than 100 area students and their musical directors to the joys of a cappella harmony.
The Harmonizers are members of several choral organizations, including Chorus America, the Contemporary A Cappella Society, and the Barbershop Harmony Society.