Reunion Choir

A retired DC high school music teacher, celebrated for changing her students’ lives, tracks down hundreds of former protégés to sing together once more.


It was 1988 in Ronald Reagan’s America and Marion Barry’s Washington DC, when an ensemble of Black public high school singers raised $160,000 to travel halfway across the world to a chorus competition in Vienna, Austria. The Eastern High School Choir returned home triumphant—with a Silver trophy and invitations to perform with musical icons, on national television, and at the White House for years to come.

Where are they now?

Reunion Choir follows retired music teacher Joyce Garrett, a petite septuagenarian powerhouse, as she reunites four decades of her students. Our story uplifts an era when many educators working in maligned, under-resourced school systems fought to give their students the best, regardless of circumstances. Along the road to a massive Eastern High School Choir alumni concert, then-and-now character portraits, rehearsals, and performances reveal the transformative power of choral music.



Feature-Length Documentary, In Postproduction
Directed by Malkia K. Lydia
Produced by Joyce Garrett and Malkia K. Lydia

Supported by Humanities DC initiatives funded by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, as well as Prince George’s Film Office, Kiplinger Family Foundation, Capitol Hill Community Foundation and many others. Thank you!


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