photo courtesy of   Kristan Toczko

photo courtesy of Kristan Toczko


Carissimi Jephte
Olson No Capacity to Consent

During the spring of 2016, Third Practice tackled the difficult subject of feminine agency through two chamber oratorios: Carissimi's heartrending Jephte, and a newly-commissioned work by Canadian composer Tawnie Olson. Olson’s No Capacity to Consent sets the legal complaint filed by a pregnant woman which recounts how, after being stopped for a minor traffic violation in an American town infamous for police abuse, she was raped by a corrections officer. Olson also has an advantage (and a heavy responsibility) that Carissimi did not; she has spoken to the woman at the center of this work, and her lawyer, and has their permission to compose it. All proceeds from these concerts were given directly to organizations supporting victims of domestic abuse. No Capacity to Consent was supported by New Music USA. To learn more, visit our project page:

Apr 23, 2016 at 7:00 PM - Horning Theater, Mount St. Mary's University, Emmitsburg, MD
May 6, 2016 at 7:00 PM - St. Columba's Episcopal Church, Washington, DC
May 7, 2016 at 5:00 PM - Unitarian Universalist Church of Frederick, MD
Jun 10, 2016 at 7:30 PM - St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Silver Spring, MD (performance of Jephte and selected motets)
Jun 11, 2016 at 7:00 PM - Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD



J.S. Bach Komm, Jesu, Komm
Schütz Musikalische Exequien
Lang the little match girl passion

Third Practice explores our complicated relationship with death and suffering through the eternal music of Bach, Schütz, Purcell, and Lang. Schütz's Musikalische Exequien, also known as the German Requiem, is one of the earliest masterworks of the Protestant German tradition. Lang's Pulitzer prize-winning the little match girl passion wraps the music of Bach around Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale, and makes a stunning match with the baroque master's funeral motet Komm, Jesu Komm.

Nov 1, 2015 at 7:30 PM - Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Winchester, VA
Nov 15, 2015 at 7:00 PM - Dumbarton Oaks Music Room, Washington, DC
Nov 16, 2015 at 8:00 PM - Dumbarton Oaks Music Room, Washington, DC
Nov 20, 2015 at 7:00 PM - St. John the Evangelist Historic Catholic Church, Forest Glen, MD



Monteverdi Vespro della Beata Vergine
Bornfield Beatis videamus

Monteverdi's great sacred testament, the Vespers of 1610, showcases the composer's stunning command of the new and old styles of his day, featuring them side by side. His inclusion of both compositional languages within the same piece is a major inspiration to our organization, serving as a model for our programming. Both our Frederick and Richmond concerts were the first complete performances of the Vespers in each city. All of our November concerts also featured the premiere of Third Practice's first commission of a new work, written by our very own Joshua Bornfield.

Nov 9, 2014 at 3:00 PM - Frederick Presbyterian Church, Frederick, MD
Nov 14, 2014 at 7:30 PM - Emmanuel Episcopal Church, Baltimore, MD
Nov 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM - Holy Comforter - St. Cyprian Catholic Church, Washington, DC (sung within the context of a Tridentine Vespers Liturgy)
Jun 20, 2015 at 7:30 PM - First Presbyterian Church, Charlottesville, VA
Jun 21, 2015 at 5:00 PM - Centenary United Methodist Church, Richmond, VA

A special thanks to our various collaborators for this project, including Three Notch'd Road, the Washington Cornett and Sackbut Ensemble, and Chorus Sine Nomine.



Selections by Monteverdi, Bolcom, Palestrina, Feigenbaum, Landini, and Britt

As part of the 2014/15 season's celebration of the Baroque era, Third Practice explored the madrigal and its impact on music of our day. Our concerts featured the world premiere of Stephen Feigenbaum's Immortal, as well as the local premiere of Te amo sin saber cómo by Colin Britt.

Mar 22, 2015 at 4:00 PM - The Falls Church, Falls Church, VA
Mar 29, 2015 at 3:00 PM - The Baltimore War Memorial, Baltimore, MD

 Three Notch'd Road - photo courtesy of Maggie Stein

Three Notch'd Road - photo courtesy of Maggie Stein


Selections by Buxtehude, Monteverdi, Palestrina, Lotti, Cavalli, and Rigatti

Third Practice was honored to once again perform alongside Three Notch'd Road: The Charlottesville Baroque Ensemble for the Bach-Handel Festival of Winchester, VA. The Bach-Handel Festival is Shenandoah Conservatory's annual celebration of all things Baroque, focusing on the era's most significant contributions to the orchestral, keyboard, chamber, and vocal repertoire. Our program focused on Venetian chamber works of the 17th century, featuring both sacred and secular works by Cavalli, Rigatti, Monteverdi, Lotti, and many others.

Oct 17, 2014 at 8:00 PM – Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester, VA
Oct 18, 2014 at 8:00 PM - Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester, VA


 Great Noise Ensemble

Great Noise Ensemble

Andriessen 75

Andriessen La Commedia

Third Practice is honored to have worked alongside Great Noise Ensemble and the Children's Chorus of Washington in producing Andriessen's La Commedia. This thrilling work casts Dante's classic journey through Hell, Purgatory and Heaven as an epic polystylistic oratorio. Our performance kicked off the Andriessen 75 festival, a celebration of the composer's lasting impact on the music of the 20th and 21st century.

Apr 6, 2014 at 6:30 PM - West Garden Court, National Gallery of Art

Read what the Washington Post and New York Times had to say!


Sweet Lovers Love the Spring!

Brahms Liebeslieder Walzer, Op. 52 (excerpts)
Monteverdi Lamento della ninfa
Averitt Afro-American Fragments (excerpts)
Tedesco Romancero Gitano

During the spring of 2014, Third Practice treated audiences for an evening celebrating love - both new and old, gained and lost. Our concerts featured solo and ensemble works on the themes of romance and springtime.

Mar 16, 2014 at 7:30 PM - St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA
Mar 22, 2014 at 6:30 PM - St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria, VA


Sing a New Song

Selections by MacMillan, Tallis, Purcell, Pärt, Sweelinck and Distler

The past several decades have shown a renewed interest in church music that both acknowledges its heritage as well as builds upon it. These concerts focused on works from the Catholic, Anglican, and Lutheran traditions that feature an exciting new approach to older musical forms.

Nov 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM - St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Point of Rocks, MD
Nov 23, 2013 at 6:30 PM - St. Mary Mother of God Catholic Church, Washington, DC
Jan 25, 2014 at 4:00 PM - Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, Herndon, VA


Diamond Jubilee: A Coronation Anniversary Concert

Tavener Three Hymns of George Herbert

Third Practice is honored to have been the guest of The City Choir of Washington for the world premiere of Sir John Tavener’s Three Hymns of George Herbert.

Apr 21, 2013 at 4:00 PM - Washington National Cathedral


Shape Note Hymnody: The Living Tradition

Selections by Billings, Tallis, Marion, Barber, and Marshall

Early American hymnody is one of our nation's nation’s great musical heritages, with roots planted deep in the low mountains of Appalachia. Our program traces the genre’s origins from Calvinist Europe to the early colonies before exploring how contemporary composers draw on these classic tunes for inspiration. Highlights include a work by local composer Mark Marion, as well as the use of live electronic delays in Marshall’s atmospheric Hymnodic Delays.

Mar 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM - Frederick Presbyterian Church, Frederick, MD
Mar 17, 2013 at 5:00 PM - Trinity Episcopal Church, Arlington, VA


2012 Bach-Handel Festival

Purcell Fairy Queen (excerpts)
Monteverdi Beatus vir à 6
Monteverdi Lamento della ninfa
Lambert Vos mespris
Carissimi Vanitas vanitatum
Bach, arr. Thoene - Violin Chaconne in D minor with chorales

Third Practice was guests of Winchester's Bach-Handel Festival, performing several lesser-known Baroque gems with Three Notch’d Road: The Charlottesville Baroque Ensemble and soloists Rebecca Kellermann Petretta and Charles Humphries.

Oct 19, 2012 at 8:00 PM - Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester, VA
Oct 20, 2012 at 8:00 PM - Grace Lutheran Church, Winchester, VA


Third Practice premiere concerts

Gallus Ave Maria
Woollen Ave Maria
Josquin Miserere mei, Deus
Lang little match girl passion

Our opening musical events were a series of benefit concerts supporting our local homeless and underprivileged. The highlight of our program was David Lang’s Pulitzer prize-winning little match girl passion, a stunning setting of Hans Christian Andersen’s classic tale that has won serious praise from audiences and critics alike.

Feb 12, 2012 at 5:00 PM - St. James’ Episcopal Church, Leesburg, VA
Feb 26, 2012 at 2:00 PM - Frederick Presbyterian Church, Frederick, MD
Mar 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM - St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, Alexandria, VA