Our Director - Theodore Thorpe III
Theodore Thorpe III, considered by many as a gifted multifaceted master musician, is one of the leading voices and contributors to the music field in the Washington Metropolitan area and throughout the country. His life-long experience as a musician brings richness to his leadership, as he draws on celebrated talent as a conductor, musical director, vocalist, pianist, organist, composer, arranger, and choral master.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., Theodore Thorpe III began his musical training studying piano at the age of four. He graduated from Northeastern Academy as co-valedictorian of his class and as a proud member of the National Honor Society. In May 2006, Theodore received his Bachelor of Arts degree in music: Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from Oakwood College, now Oakwood University in Huntsville, AL, serving as president, student accompanist, soloist, and student conductor of the world-renowned Aeolians. In May 2009, he also received his Master of Arts in music with emphasis in choral and orchestral conducting from Morgan State University. Mr. Thorpe’s musical talents have been recognized for exemplifying musical excellence throughout the years. He was the music director for the Washington Youth Choir (2006-2008), a nonprofit music program which served all high school students in the D.C. metropolitan area. Some of his responsibilities included providing artistic vision and guidance, developing recruitment strategies, planning and evaluating programs, directing classes and performances, and building community partnerships. He has also composed and arranged songs that have been published and recorded by renowned distributer GIA including a set of “Three Choral Responses”. Mr. Thorpe has performed at major historical performing arts centers including Carnegie Hall, the Joseph Meyerhoff Symphony Hall, the Strathmore Music Center, and the Kennedy Center.
Mr. Thorpe has also served as Artistic Director conducting works for the public including Handel’s “Messiah”, Faure’s “Requiem”, Dvorak’s “Te Deum”, and Christianson and Anderson’s “Too Hot to Handel”, and McElroy and Joubert’s “Great Joy” with full orchestra and chorus. ”. Mr. Thorpe has also served as Artistic director and music director for the casts of several Musical productions including “Rent”, “Crazy For You”, “The Wiz”, “A Chorus Line”, “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee”, “Suessical”, “Dreamgirls”, “Hairspray”, “Beauty and The Beast”, “West Side Story”, and “Little Shop Of Horrors”. Serving in these posts has allowed him to work with so many acclaimed musicians including Darin Atwater of Soulful Symphony, John Stoddart of Urban Junction East Music, and Joseph Joubert; artistic director for Broadway shows, “Three Mo tenors”, “The Color Purple”, “Billy Elliot”, and “Motown. Mr. Thorpe also completed his tenth season as assistant director to Joyce Garrett in the “Kennedy Center Honors”, and “Christmas In Washington” televised productions on CBS-TV and TNT-cable respectively. Over the span of a decade working with artists such as, Bruce Springsteen, Rob Mathes, Ian Fraser, Mary J. Blige, Usher, Ne-yo, Diana Ross, Katharine McPhee, Anna Kendrick, Norm Lewis, Mariah Carey, the Backsteet Boys, Chris Brown, Steven Tyler, Janelle Monae, Sheryl Crow, New Kids On The Block, and Jennifer Hudson, has continued to shape, sharpen, and culture his musicianship
Mr. Thorpe presently serves in his sixth season as an Artistic Director for Washington Performing Arts, his seventeenth season as music director and staff musician at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, VA, and his thirteenth season as Director of Choral Activities at Alexandria City High School (formerly TC Williams High School). Noted by the Alexandria Times as “Inspiring students to soar!”, Mr. Thorpe was recognized for his leadership and the choral programs’ excellence throughout the years. Over the last twelve years, the choral program has consistently received superior ratings, and ratings of Gold at every local and national music festival in which they’ve performed. The choir has also performed for the President of the United States and First Family in “Christmas in Washington” and “Kennedy Center Honors” nationally televised productions. The choir has performed for the Alexandria branch of the NAACP, opened for the cast of the television show “Glee”, and in 2016 performed for the opening ceremony of the African American Museum of History and Culture. In 2017, the choir was also selected to perform for the Virginia Music Educator Association Conference in Hot Springs, VA. Recently, the Alexandria City High School Choir was one of twelve choirs selected nationally to perform at the 2019 “Music For All” National Choral Festival.
Mr. Thorpe is a member of the National Association for Music Education, Virginia Music Educators, Virginia Choral Directors, American Choral Directors, and Chorus America professional musician associations. He was listed in Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, and presently serves as High School Music Repertoire and Resource Chair for the Virginia chapter of ACDA. He is also husband and father to the former Jennifer Alexander and Anaya Nicole respectively, and they reside in Ft. Washington, MD. Mr. Thorpe believes strongly in excellence without excuses. He continues to look for ways to make a difference in education, in the lives of young people, while blazing a trail for upcoming musicians.