Chris Whittaker, Director of Music

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Music is an integral part of worship and the arts at Fort Washington Collegiate Church. We believe God loves to hear our praise and worship, and as we become more and more aware of God’s loving presence in worship, God seeks to “transform us by the renewing of [our] minds” (Romans 12:2).

We love to make a joyful noise to the Lord, and share our gifts and talents with one another.

Our Sunday morning worship experience is wonderfully eclectic and blended! From traditional hymnody, to jazz, to indie-folk and contemporary gospel, we love it all at FWCC, and we want you to come make a joyful noise with us.

We are blessed to live in a city and a neighborhood with so many artists and artistically minded-people, and we hope you find our community one that nurtures your God-given gifts as we seek to discover together more what it means to be a follower of Christ.

Want to join us or learn more? Email Chris Whittaker, Music Director, to get plugged in.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness;
come into his presence with singing.
Know that the Lord is God.
It is he that made us, and we are his;[a]
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.
For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. 
-Psalm 100 (NRSV)

Play Your Part

Here are some of the ways we connect to God and our community through music at Fort Washington Collegiate Church!

Joyful Voices

The Fort Washington Joyful Voices lead our congregation in worship and praise at our Sunday morning services. A volunteer ensemble of singers with experience ranging from “sing-in-the-shower” music lovers to Broadway and opera professionals, Joyful Voices sings a wide range of music — from traditional hymns to urban gospel; classical to contemporary Christian and secular songs.

Joyful Voices rehearses on Thursday evenings from 7:30-9:15pm with a Sunday morning warm-up at 9am from September through June. Come join us. All are welcome!

For more information about joining, email Director of Music, Chris Whittaker.

Click here to download the season schedule (PDF). Updated for 2019-20 season.

Youthful Voices

Our Children’s Choir meets regularly during the academic year, under the direction of Eric Alderfer. All children who like to sing are invited to join!

Email Director of Music, Chris Whittaker.

Ensembles in Residence

Connecting to the arts and one another in our neighborhood


Community Choir

FWCC hosts a new community choir program here in Washington Heights, now in its third year! We sing a varied repertory, sacred and secular, classical and contemporary, in a variety of languages. All people are welcome, regardless of faith traditions or previous choral experience. The ensemble rehearses on Tuesday evenings throughout the season in preparation for 2-3 public performances.

Interested in joining us? Click here to learn more and enroll!

Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra

Now entering its fifth season, FWCC hosts the up-and-coming performing arts organization, the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, who presents a varied season of excellent concert music featuring local professional musicians. To learn more, visit their website at

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About the Music Director

Currently in his sixth year on staff, Chris Whittaker was appointed Music Director in 2015 after having served in interim and assistant roles. A composer, conductor, and pianist from York, PA, Chris’s musical language of jazz, classical, and gospel melds genres and brings people together. As a composer, Chris’s music has been performed and broadcast throughout the United States.

Chris is the co-founder and Music Director of the Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra, a non-profit organization committed to engaging the community through free concerts and educational programming. He also serves as the founding Music Director of Marble Collegiate Church’s “Jazz Revelation” worship service.

Previously, Chris studied orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and Stuart Malina. His composition teachers include Philip Lasser, Christopher Theofanidis, and Nicholas Maw. Chris has served a diverse range of denominations and worship styles and brings over 10 years of music ministry experience to his post at Fort Washington Collegiate Church. Hear more from Chris at