The highly acclaimed and national award-winning Duke
Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir has thrilled audiences throughout the
United States, Germany, London, France, Japan and extensively in the
Caribbean. Organized in 1986 under the direction of Samuel L.E. Bonds and
currently directed by Dr. Monique Spells, these student artists travel from
neighborhoods spanning the entire Washington Metropolitan area to attend
Washington’s premier arts-centered high school.
They have performed at the White House for
Presidents Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush and in inaugural
events for former District of Columbia Mayor Adrian Fenty and President Barack
Obama. The Show Choir has shared the stage with Earth Wind and Fire, Clay
Aiken, Patti LaBelle, Jasmine Guy, Patti Austin, Boyz II Men, and Denyce
Graves. The Choir has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and sang
The Star Spangled Banner for the opening of the Washington Nationals first
The ensemble’s incredible creativity and artistry so effectively combine singing, acting and dance that any performance space is virtually transformed into a Broadway stage. With an incessant devotion to providing a thrilling, high powered performance to audiences around the world, under the direction of Dr. Monique Spells, the members of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts Show Choir, much like the great Edward Kennedy “Duke” Ellington, are true ambassadors for the nation and the Ellington School.