The Capital City Symphony makes music approachable by presenting affordable concerts to the public, performing creative programs in a relaxed concert format, and providing appealing performance opportunities for talented amateur as well as professional players.
CCS performs standard symphonic repertoire and explores the best of 20th and 21st-century music. The orchestra consists of approximately 100 volunteer musicians of all ages. For all performances, informative introductions to the pieces and program notes are provided for the audience, creating a relaxed and educational atmosphere that makes classical musical accessible to all. A typical Capital City Symphony season offers four full orchestral programs (five to six performances), a chamber concert, and a free community carol sing (two performances).
CCS has collaborated with the Capitol Hill Chorale and Congressional Chorus to enhance its traditional instrumental format with a diverse offering of choral works. CCS has also presented both instrumental and vocal soloists on its concert programs. In addition, CCS has pushed the boundaries of traditional orchestral music, collaborating twice with contemporary composers Charlie Barnett and David Matthews, incorporating jazz, pop, and funk elements and instruments.
In December the Capital City Symphony, in partnership with the Congressional Chorus and the Atlas Performing Arts Center, provides free admission to a concert of holiday music and sing-along carols.
Encouraging young musicians, and young audience members, is also important to the Capital City Symphony. Every two years the Capital City Symphony performs a piano concerto with the winner of the Novik Piano Competition, a competition open to young pianists living in the Washington area. In alternate years, the orchestra provides a performance opportunity for the winner of another youth concerto competition, such as those held by the DC-based Levine School of Music.
Children aged 16 and under are admitted free to all Capital City Symphony concerts. In particular, the annual Family Concert offers a program specifically geared for young listeners, with an “instrument petting zoo,” special children's program book, and a narrated, interactive performance.