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Community News

Historic Downtown Church Hosted University of Chicago Motet Choir in Concert

On December 14, 2015, this acclaimed ensemble included the historic Calvary Baptist Church at 8th and H Streets, NW on it East Coast tour where it performed a wide range of works from 16th and early 17th centuries (Palestrina and William Byrd) to American composer Morten Lauridsen’s 1994 reworked Gregorian chant, O Magnum Mysterium, into a gorgeous contemporary setting.

A Brief history of the Historic Calvary Baptist Church

Formed by abolitionists in 1862, Calvary has a rich heritage of ministry and history in the heart of downtown Washington — ecumenical, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, and inclusive

As viewed looking southeast across the 8th & H Sts.

As viewed looking southeast across the 8th & H Sts.–courtesy

Calvary was designed in the Gothic style by German-American architect Adolph Cluss, who also designed the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries building and the Franklin School among other notable structures. In 1927, a 5,000-pipe Möller organ was installed, which was the largest organ in the city at that time.

In addition to its own activities and weekly Sunday morning worship services in the historic sanctuary, Calvary is home to the Friday Morning Music Club, the Theatre Lab school for the dramatic arts, Kid Power DC, and Brain Food, among others.


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