Giselle’s Show Choir Fundraising

by Giselle Varre

I came to Duke Ellington School of the Arts to gain vocal technique and experience and though I found what I was looking for, Show Choir gave me the expression that I craved. I have always loved performing with my friends and i’ve been apart of this choir since my freshman year at Ellington. Though i’ve been in Show Choir for almost 4 years we have never had the chance to travel outside of the country, but this year we intend to go to South Africa! Coming into my senior year my largest goal is to focus on college, but I would love to be able to travel and share my gift along with my Show Choir family one last time before we all go our separate ways next fall. Please donate to help me get to South Africa! Thank you so much! 


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 baseball game.

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.

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