University Singers - 2011 Winter Concert Tour
The University Singers, the University of Virginia’s premiere choral ensemble led by UVa faculty conductor Michael Slon, have recently returned to Charlottesville after their 10-day, 8-concert January 2011 concert tour of the Southeastern U.S. Performing a program of a cappella and accompanied works featuring composers such as Britten, Biebl, Kodály and Whitacre to an estimated audience of 1,600 people, the University Singers performed in Lynchburg, Abingdon, and Christiansburg, VA, as well as Charlotte, Memphis, New Orleans, Birmingham, and Atlanta.
Performances included concerts at Virginia’s historic Barter Theatre, Christ Church Cathedral in New Orleans, Christiansburg High School, Mayfield Baptist Church in Charlotte, and St. John’s Episcopal in Lynchburg, where the Lynchburg News and Advance declared the group a “best cultural bet.” The tour also included an impromptu performance at the UVa Club of Southwest Virginia’s holiday party (prior to the Abingdon concert), and a concert at Atlanta’s Lenbrook Retirement Community, arranged at the last minute when the original concert venue (the Westminster Schools) was closed due to a snow emergency. On less than 24-hours notice, several hundred came to hear the University Singers. One audience member wrote afterward, “The youthful exuberance and enthusiasm that was demonstrated by all of your singers added to the performance in a way that is difficult to describe. I have lived in Atlanta long enough to have had the privilege of hearing Robert Shaw and his Chorale… But, for me, a university singing group offers a collection of voices that surpasses any others as far as sheer enjoyment is concerned.”
The tour repertoire included Eric Whitacre’s new work “little man in a hurry,” co-commissioned by the University Singers and based on a text by e.e. cummings. Additional repertoire included Franz Biebl’s “Ave Maria” – a beloved standard in the choral repertoire – which was greeted with standing ovations at several concerts. The program also featured Czech, Hungarian, and Scottish folk songs, a lively Zulu wedding song, and an appearance by the UVa Chamber Singers (a select ensemble drawn from the University Singers), performing Britten’s virtuosic “Hymn to St. Cecilia.”
For more information, contact Marcy Day (434) 924-6492 or Michael Slon (434) 924-6504 at the McIntire Dept. of Music.