National Cathedral

As some of you know, I sing with the Cathedral Choral Society which means I get to sing and perform at the Washington National Cathedral. It is a true privilege and I am so glad I joined.

Unfortunately we practice at night which means I hardly ever get to enjoy the truly spectacular stained glass windows.

Today we had a morning rehearsal to prepare for our upcoming concerts of Carmina Burana with the Washington Ballet so I spent some time afterwords looking at and taking pictures of the stunning stained glass windows.


(The War and Peace Windows)

Because the Cathedral was built in stages over about 80 years, there is quite a range in styles. The windows in the older part of the cathedral are more traditional looking (too stiff and boring in my opinion) while the newer ones are increasingly abstract and brighter in color.

Two of my favorite windows are the Lewis and Clark windows. The colors literally just explode out of the glass!

cathedral windows

When we performed Haydn’s Creation last fall, our director, Reilly, told us to picture these windows while we sang.

Besides the odd Saturday morning rehearsal, the only other time I get to see the windows lit up is during concerts.

Reilly always says we (the singers) are the lucky ones because we get to look at the large Creation Rose window as we sing while he and the audience have their back to it. And since our concerts are in the evening we get to see the sun set through it!

I remember my first concert at the cathedral; I was dead center and it was breathtaking (a slight problem since I was trying to sing)!


Not the best picture, but this is the choir’s view as we get ready to go on stage.

Someday I will take a proper tour of the Cathedral and bring my camera so I can take some really nice pictures. But today I contented myself with just wandering a bit. Plus they’ve opened a branch of Open City Café and I got to sip a nice cup of Earl Grey.

open city cafe

It was nice to be able to walk around the Cathedral during the day, and even on a Saturday it wasn’t very crowded; definitely an underappreciated landmark in DC.




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