The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir is an astounding year-round performance ensemble, which provides an educational experience geared toward talented and driven young vocalists in the DC Metropolitan area. Our focus is to fulfill the educational needs of DC-area youth by utilizing music as a vehicle to impart core values, promote higher education, and instill the belief that excellence can be achieved despite disadvantages.
The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir is dedicated to nurturing and enriching youth with meaningful experiences through vocal artistry and artistic development that will build character, boost confidence, and inspire them to lead purposeful lives.
Greg Watkins is a born and bred Washington, DC native. He is considered by many to be a well-respected artist and virtuoso of his generation. He is a proud graduate of The Duke Ellington School of the Arts and The Howard University (B.M. Music Education). Greg’s undeniably sharp skills in musical direction have landed him opportunities to perform in productions alongside such celebrated artists as Debbie Allen, Linda Eder, e’Marcus Harper, Lynda Gravatt, Clay Aiken, Brian McKnight, Jennifer Holiday, Hinton Battle, and Wendy Raquel Robinson. His gifts as a trained singer and pianist, have planted him on historic stages including DC’s Warner Theater, Lincoln Theater, Howard Theatre, Ford’s Theatre, Music Center at Strathmore, Washington National Cathedral, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, The White House, and the Grand Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia. Approaching his eighth year of musical service, Greg continues to serve as The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir’s Music Director.
Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan Shekinah Hockenhull is no stranger to excellence in music. As an alumna of the Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit she found performing on stage life changing and wanted to offer that experience to other young people like herself. She got her start working with youth as a grassroots community organizer advocating for racial equity and media education for underserved communities in the city. She relocated to Washington, DC to attend Howard University where she honed her passion for the arts and social justice. A singer herself, Shekinah is committed to teaching others how to use music as a tool for healing oneself, one’s community and ultimately to change the world. First joining the MusicianShip as the head of the Music Media Program, Shekinah now proudly serves as the Program Manager of The Washington Youth Choir.
In May 2005, the historic Eastern Choral Society, based at Eastern Senior High School, broadened its mission to fulfill the educational needs of DC, Maryland and Virginia’s youth through the creation of the Washington Youth Choir (WYC). Rooted in the success of the Eastern High School Choir model, the Washington Youth Choir officially launched on January 9th, 2006. The choir’s primary mission is to enhance the educational experience of the Metropolitan Area’s youth through rigorous study and performance practice of music so as to facilitate successful transitions out of high school. Our curriculum, refined by Artistic Director Gregory Watkins, aids in producing “Scholartists”; intelligent, focused & driven young people who are determined to be excellent (without excuse) in both the worlds of academia and performing arts. Founded by Dr. Joyce Garrett, the choir continues to be “DC's Chorus of Choice”, performing for each US President since Ronald Reagan. Performances with notable artists such as Diana Ross, Demi Lovato, Linda Eder, Janelle Monae, Anthony Anderson, India Arie, as well as privately at the request of former Vice President Joe Biden line WYC’s resume.
In 2016, as WYC celebrated its 10 Year Anniversary, the ensemble also celebrated a new home under DC-based arts education non-profit: The MusicianShip. Under the leadership of Executive Director Jeffery Tribble Jr., The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir will continue to dedicate itself to artistic excellence and will contribute to the fabric of the arts community, both domestically and abroad.
The Washington Youth Choir at Eastern High School (Washington, DC) performing for DC Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Central Office staff.
Artistic Director Greg Watkins shares his dream for The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir.
To participate in our choir program, to donate support or services, to request a performance, or to inquire about anything related to The MusicianShip Washington Youth Choir, please contact us!