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733 8th Street, NW Suite G303, Washington, DC 20001
202-629-3140 ·

Who We Are

The American Youth Chorus (AYC) program is a music, humanities, and performance focused program that provides students with an enjoyable and supportive curriculum that encourages healthy vocal production. AYC nurtures their understanding of music theory, note-reading, singing in three-part harmony, stage presence, and team work through ensemble performances. AYC's goals are not only to develop students into strong singers and musicians, but also into determined citizens of the community with high levels of self-esteem, determination, and focus on school work and personal life goals.

AYC stands apart from other youth choral organizations through the systemic teaching of the historical context and values of social justice pervasive in the AYC song-curriculum. AYC students are encouraged to ask questions about the meanings and cultural nuances present in the songs that they sing from around the world as part of their memorization and performance preparation. In this way, Artistic Director David Simmons strives to instill a life-long love of music, community awareness, and responsibility through choral singing.

AYC has performed all over the Washington area, most notably at the White House, the Kennedy Center, National Archives, the Library of Congress, the 2010 Kennedy Center Honorees luncheon at the State Department, and the Children's Inaugural Ball. The AYC singers have also performed at the H Street Festival, countless assisted living facilities for the elderly, and at a White House holiday reception where the students met First Lady Michelle Obama.

At A Glance

Activity Type

  • Choral singing
  • Music education
  • Character enrichment
  • Leadership and confidence development
  • Social justice discussions
  • Community engagement and awareness
Ages 8 - 14
Sessions Auditions are accepted on a rolling basis. To schedule an audition, contact Susan Kennedy at 301-502-4952, or email

AYC Rehearsals are held from 4:30pm to 6:00pm at the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, located at 545 7th St., SE, Washington, DC 20003
  • Ages 8-10 rehearse on Tuesdays
  • Ages 11-14 rehearse on Thursdays

What Others Say

"Can we have chorus every day?" ~~ Senior Division Student

"My daughters have participated in AYC for the last several years. The change in their self-confidence has been astounding!" ~~ Mother of 2 AYC Students