Violist Miles Hoffman has invited four old friends to Washington Saturday night and as the American Chamber Players they plan to make beautiful music together.

Hoffman founded the ensemble two years ago as an offshoot of the Library of Congress Summer Chamber Festival.

"We all had such a wonderful time playing together, we wondered why we shouldn't do it for more than one month a year," he says.

The result is that the players will kick off the Dumbarton Concert Series' 10th season at 8 p.m. at Georgetown's Dumbarton Church.

As artistic director of the American Chamber Players -- a "pure and total democracy" -- Hoffman has assembled a talented group. Violinist Alexis Galperine teaches violin at the Paris Conservatory; cellist Norman Fischer teaches at Oberlin College; horn player Anthony Cecere is a member of the Galliard Woodwind Quintet; and pianist Barbara Weintraub has soloed with orchestras around the country. Together, they will play pieces by Beethoven, American composer John Harbison, and Anton Dvorak.

Hoffman, 35, says the church offers fine acoustics and a cozy setting, making the concert seem like a gathering of friends.

"We all seem to be having a good time and it's true, we are," says Hoffman. "I hope it's communicated!" For more information call 965-2000.