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Rita Clinician.JPG

Rita has prepared high school choral students and conducted them on a wide variety of choral repertoire for more than two decades including classical and contemporary choral music, world music, contemporary a cappella, broadway and musical theater. Masterworks performed by her students over the years include: Handel’s Messiah, Schubert’s Mass in G, Vivaldi’s Gloria, Rheinberger’s, Mass No. 6, Orban’s Mass No. 2, Five Hebrew Love Songs, Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols, Rutter Requiem, Haugen’s Anne Frank: A Living Voice.


Rita directed and produced 16 musical theater reviews with students in 4th - 12 grade spanning

music from every era of musical theater. This annual performance was a musical theater intensive where all students were cast in a song and role that would best highlight their strengths and develop their skills. This intensive grew into a full production over the years to include a set, costuming, a team of extraordinary professional artists and beloved Reston community event. This event was also supported through sponsorship by the Reston Community CenterDuring the pandemic, Rita and her team took this event virtual with a Screen & Stage theme that was broadcast by TV Worldwide. 


Rita’s choirs received honorable opportunities, by audition, to perform at the Virginia Music Educators Association In-Service Conference, Carnegie Hall, and for the Candlelight Processional, narrated by Neil Patrick Harris at Epcot in Walt Disney World. Choirs under her tutelage consistently earned superior ratings at state and national assessments and were regularly invited to perform with a wide range of professional artists, university choirs, at state and national music festivals, and for WNBA and NBA games.


Under Rita’s leadership the South Lakes Choral Department was

awarded the 2011 American Association for People with Disabilities

(AAPD) Inclusion & Diversity in the Arts Award.  AAPD is the largest

non-profit cross-disability organization in the United States. Rita

has been nominated for FCPS Teacher of the Year and was a

finalist for SEPTA Secondary Co-Curricular Teacher of the Year. 


Rita is very passionate about music’s role in the community. Over

the years has retained various community music roles as a church

choir director, solo performer, private music instructor, presenter

for community music programs, and a director and producer of

many community music related events across various genres. Most

notably, Rita volunteered her time as a co-producer and host of

SingStrongDC  for nine years (2009-2016). This international

a cappella music festival brought some of the world’s best

a cappella artists, across all genres, to collaborate, enrich, inspire,

entertain and educate our community. Headlining artists included:

Pentatonix,  Street Corner Symphony, Ten, MAXX Factor, 

Afro-Blue and The Vanderbilt Melodores from NBC's TV show, "The Sing-Off;"  Grammy Winner, Ben Bram, Rob Deitz (with Level), American Idol's Blake Lewis, and Nate Tao (with The Funx); Ball in the House and The Edge Effect from “America's Got Talent;”  viral youtube sensation and Austrian overtone singer, Anna-Maria Hefele; Stiletta, GQ (Girls Quartet), the haunting, Eastern European sounds of Slaveya and Zulal; comedic a cappella legends, The BOBS; international touring acts, The Swingle Singers (England), The Essentials (Canada), The Glue (Switzerland), Fii (Austria), Vocaldente (Germany), VocalLine (Denmark), Ensamble Fenix (Venezuela), Voco Novo (Taiwan); The Alexandria Harmonizers, barbershop multi-medalists; beatboxers, Mandible (VocaPeople), Ben Mirin (TED Talks),  Kalia Mullady (Freestyle Love Supreme) and dozens more. This festival raised thousands of dollars for the fight against Alzheimers with annual donations to Cure Alzheimer’s and the Alzheimer’s Association.


                                                                           As part of SingStrong DC the South Lakes High School Choral Department

                                                                           hosted, workshopped and performed with German University Choir Vivid

                                                                           Voices. South Lakes Choral Students also had workshops with many of the                                                                                   artists listed above and were consistently awarded winners of the high school

                                                                           competition as part of the SingStrong DC event. 


                                                                           In 2014 the South Lakes Parents for Choral Arts Booster Organization hosted                                                                               Mainz Boys Choir. Students in the SLHS Choral program had the opportunity                                                                               to workshop, rehearse, and perform with them in concert. 

                                                                           In 2017 the South Lakes Parents for Choral Arts Booster Organization hosted                                                                                The Purdue Glee Club. These talented university singers workshopped and                                                                                  performed with the SLHS Choral students as a part of their March concert. 


                                                                           As a performer Rita continues to study voice privately and has been active as                                                                                an accompanist and vocalist around the metro area and beyond. She has vast                                                                             experience in performing repertoire in classical voice and musical theater and                                                                             has completed her Level 2 Certification in Contemporary Commercial Music                                                                                 pedagogy at the CCM Institute. Notable vocal performances include Handel's                                                                             Messiah, Mezzo Soprano Soloist; Mozart's Regina Coeli, Mezzo Soprano                                                                                       Soloist; Schubert's Mass in G, Soprano Soloist; Vivaldi's Gloria, Mezzo Soprano

                                                                           Soloist; Miss Saigon (Ellen), The King and I (ensemble).

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