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Celebrating its 46th season in 2007-2008, the Fairfax Choral Society’s mission is to enrich the lives we touch through the performance, education and appreciation of choral art. With five ensembles, FCS is one of the largest choral groups in Northern Virginia and the only organization providing opportunities to choral singers from kindergarten through adult. The Adult Chorus, comprised of 140 volunteers who audition annually, is conducted by Artistic Director, Douglas Mears. The Adult Chorus has received rave reviews for its performances of choral masterworks in collaboration with the Fairfax Symphony, the Cathedral Choral Society, Choral Arts Society, the National Symphony Orchestra, the City of Fairfax Band, and other arts organizations in the Washington, D.C. region. The Washington Post has described the FCS Chorus as “…confident and polished…this chorus produced waves of gorgeous tones and a rich tapestry of color…the effect of some very skillful conducting.”

The FCS Youth Choruses, conducted by Patrick Vaughn, Caroline Desmond, and Butterfly Chong provide singers in grades K-12 the opportunity to expand their vocal experience in an auditioned choral program. This year, our Youth Choruses total over 140 singers in four performing groups. The FCS Youth Choruses have sung for choral festivals, schools, church concert series, with the National Symphony Orchestra and the American Youth Philharmonic Orchestra, at the White House, and in collaboration with other youth choruses throughout the Washington area. Their repertoire includes classical, folk, and the finest contemporary compositions for treble and mixed voices.

Douglas Mears, Artistic Director

For 27 years, Douglas Mears has been instrumental, through his inspiring musical leadership, in bringing the Fairfax Choral Society to the forefront of Washington choruses. He joined FCS in 1980 as accompanist, shortly thereafter became Associate Director, and was named Artistic Director in 1991.

Dr. Mears completed his Bachelor’s and Masters degrees at the Juilliard School in New York City in four years of study, earned a doctorate of organ performance from The Catholic University of America, and received a diploma from the American Conservatory in Fontainebleau, France, after studying with Nadia Boulanger. In 1991 he earned a second doctorate in choral conducting from the Eastman School of Music, under Donald Neuen.

In addition to leading the Fairfax Choral Society, Dr. Mears serves as Director of Music at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Bethesda, Maryland. As a composer and an arranger, he has published numerous works for chorus, handbells, and organ.
FCS Staff
Douglas Mears, Artistic Director
Carrie E. Buddin, Executive Director
Patrick F. Vaughn, Director of Youth Choruses
Caroline W. Desmond, Director of Education and Youth Chorus Conductor
Christi Esterly Schwarten, Managing Director
Butterfly Chong, Da Capo Choir Conductor and Youth Chorus Musicianship Teacher
Molly Khatcheressian, Youth Chorus Musicianship Teacher
Michelle McCarten, Youth Chorus Musicianship Teacher
Raffi Kasparian, Adult Chorus Accompanist
Jane Kaye, Master Singers and Concert Choir Accompanist
Marilyn Harwood, Da Capo Choir and Treble Choir Accompanist