The Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts will soon provide a permanent home for a new resident choir. In fact, there was such a group at the park four years ago, called the Wolf Trap Chamber Singers, but it disbanded. Wolf Trap founder Catherine Filene Shouse decided to resurrect the defunct group and contacted Robert Schafer, director of the Oratorio Society of Washington, "about getting a top-notch professional chamber choir for the Barns," says one of the group's sopranos. But Schafer is still looking for singers -- seven have been signed up so far.
"There's a very special body of repertoire that is not performed in this city, and there is a special collection of Renaissance and contemporary music that I would like to focus on with a small professional group," says Schafer. "I think that there is audience for it, like there is in New York and Boston."
Because of scheduling difficulties, May 9 will be both the first and last concert for the current season. A full concert season has been scheduled for 1986-87. Individuals who are interested in joining the newly formed group should be able to sing with a solo-quality voice, and have outstanding sight-reading ability and a knowledge of choral repertoire from the Renaissance through the 20th century. Interested singers should call 237-1317.
In other Wolf Trap news: Shouse recently received the "Presidential Golden Links" from the Greater Washington Board of Trade for her contributions to the arts in the metropolitan area. Kennedy Center Orchestra Plans
The Opera House Orchestra at the Kennedy Center not only has changed its name -- to the Kennedy Center Orchestra -- but also will do something a little different for what would have been a "dark week," Jan. 7-12. John Mauceri, the orchestra's director, has tentatively scheduled two distinctive concert programs for that week: The first, on Jan. 7 and 9, will feature music from Act II of Verdi's "Aida" and the finale of Wagner's "Die Meistersinger"; the second, Jan. 10, 11 and 12, will bring some rarely heard songs from the musical score of "Show Boat" to the Opera House, along with the standard tunes from that musical. Call 254-3770 for ticket information. Special Constituencies Grants
Eight Washington artists and arts organizations have been awarded 1986 Special Constituencies grants by the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities to support arts programming for the elderly, the mentally and physically handicapped, the incarcerated and the institutionalized. The following groups and artists received funding: Community Education Exhibitions, $10,000; District Curators, $10,000; Joan Hart, $2,480; Living Stage Theatre Company, $10,000; Lorton Art Program, $6,000; Mary Quattlebaum, $870; Tomorrow's World Art Center, $6,000; and Washington Special Arts, $4,650. Names in the News
David Gockley, formerly the Houston Grand Opera's general director, has been elected president of OPERA America, the service organization for Western Hemisphere opera companies . . . Susan Bell, a veteran of numerous Broadway productions, is the new house manager at the Kennedy Center Opera House . . . Nigel Redden, dance program director at the National Endowment for the Arts, has been named the new general manager of the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, S.C.; Spoleto will celebrate its 10th anniversary this spring. Arts, Etc.
The sounds of ethnic quartets, ensembles and trios will fill the halls and exhibits of the National Museum of American History, Dec. 26-31, during its Holiday Celebration. Call 357-2700 for a schedule . . . The National Endowment for the Humanities last week announced $14.9 million in grants to 41 educational and cultural institutions nationwide, none of them in the Washington area . . . Samuel F.B. Morse's "Gallery of the Louvre," an 1830 mural-size painting that is considered to be the last significant "gallery picture" (a painting of paintings) by an American artist, is now on display at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond through Feb. 9.