A Professional Orchestra
by Upper Manhattan
for Upper Manhattan

The Washington Heights Chamber Orchestra was founded in August 2015 by conductor/composer Chris Whittaker, violinist Amos Fayette and Jacob Kallman to serve the communities of Washington Heights. In addition to performing regular concerts the orchestra and its musicians collaborate with other arts organizations in and around upper Manhattan and the NYC metropolitan regions.

The orchestra is comprised of professional musicians who have studied at Peabody, the Manhattan School of Music, Berkeley, Julliard, and more. Many of the musicians call Washington Heights and Inwood their home and rather than taking the subway can walk to concert location. In addition to traditional concert pieces, the organization has increasingly begun to collaborate across genres and disciplines, two highlights of the 2018 - 2019 season being a collaboration with the United Palace to produce Too Hot to Handel: The Gospel Messiah and an original bi-lingual production of Igor Stravinsky’s A Solider’s Tale. Our programming has been called “consistently fresh” and has been listed in a variety of publications, including the New York Times and Time Out New York.


We strive to engage the people of Washington Heights and neighboring communities through exemplary musical performances and innovative educational programming.


The Washington Heights Orchestra wants to connect all of us into a communal listening experience – an experience that celebrates diversity, engenders civic awareness, and enriches lives. More than classical music, our orchestra strives to be a place that connects the best art across genres and cultures and reconnects people in community. We want you to fall in love with this music. But we want more. We want you to be inspired by the positive energy created when like-minded people work together toward a common goal.