In 2009 Dr. Rachel Carlson wanted something to fill a gap she saw in the community: A choir for young professionals, everyday people from a variety of musical and non-musical backgrounds who wanted to keep the making of music an active part of their lives. Neither professional nor amateur, this group would serve as a warm inclusive community yet still have a strong musical discipline. She then reached out to her entire network of friends, coworkers, students and peers, ending up with a group diverse in background, skills and musical training. It was also a group where everyone seemed to know someone else and had at least heard of several of the others. Because of this familiarity and emphasis on people and connections the group was named "Six Degree Singers" in reference to the Six Degrees of Separation.
As we have grown, SDS has matured in musical ability but has never lost sight of the idea that SDS is a product of pursuing our collective dreams and desire for community. We now work as a choir with one central mission: keep music alive for our members and our communities. To do this, SDS provides performances, free musical education, and public outreach to ensure that music doesn't fall into a forgotten or harmless hobby. These efforts are organized into half-year long "semesters." Each one has a theme that serves as our guide. Each concert in that semester features a repertoire that pulls from a variety of genres and time periods including contemporary, renaissance, world, folk and jazz.
Six Degree Singers has sung at venues throughout the D.C.-metro area, including the White House, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and a performance of the National Anthem for the Washington Nationals. We proudly commission and premiere works from up-and-coming and local composers, and collaborate with other music groups, such the Penn State Glee Club and the Teatro Lirico opera company, on performances that feature the musical abilities of SDS and its members.
Want to book SDS for a gig? Interested in joining our group? Get in touch with us here.