University Singers 60th Anniversary Gala Concert

April 14, 2018 - 8:00pm
Old Cabell Hall
$15 General / $13 UVa Faculty & Staff / $5 Students / Free for UVA Students who reserve in advance

Join us April 14th at 8:00 pm as the University Singers, the University of Virginia’s flagship choral ensemble, celebrate their 60th anniversary with a gala concert in Old Cabell Hall.  The program includes Vaughan Williams’ powerful Dona Nobis Pacem with soloists Christina Pier, David Newman, and chamber orchestra, as well as selections by Ešenvalds, Dett, Hogan, and Whitacre.  The group will also welcome back Singers alumni from all eras to join the current ensemble on stage in Bruckner’s “Os Justi,” Paulus’s “The Road Home,” and the UVA songs.  Tickets are available at the UVA Arts Box Office in the Culbreth building, online at or by calling (434) 924-3376

The choice of Dona Nobis Pacem, a work Vaughan Williams wrote in 1936 as war approached in Europe, was in part inspired by alumni and other responses to the events of August 12th, 2017 in Charlottesville.  In using Biblical texts, poems of Walt Whitman, and a speech from John Bright concerning the Crimean War, the work seeks to expose the ravages of violence and conflict, even as it calls for peace and inspires hope in the promise of a better day. 

Led by faculty conductor Michael Slon, the University Singers is the University of Virginia’s flagship choral ensemble, performing a cappella and accompanied choral literature including major works with orchestra.  This season, the group joined the Charlottesville Symphony on the steps of the Rotunda to perform for UVA’s Bicentennial Launch Celebration, before an estimated crowd of 20,000.  In recent years, the Singers have also sung for Les Misérables creators Claude-Michel Schönberg and Alain Boublil during their UVA residencies, sung for the 2016 UVA Holiday greeting which received more than 400,000 views on social media, and taken a two-week concert tour of England, the Czech Republic, Poland, and Austria.  Founded in 1957, the group became a primarily student ensemble soon after UVA began admitting women in 1970, and celebrated their 50th anniversary with the 2007-2008 season.  Recent repertoire has included Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9 with the Charlottesville Symphony, Bach's Mass in B minor, Handel’s Messiah, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Verdi’s Requiem, and Mendelssohn's Elijah, as well as premieres of works by J. Todd Frazier, Stephen Paulus, Forrest Pierce, Judith Shatin, and Eric Whitacre.  Recent United States tours have taken the group to Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence, Virginia Beach, and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C., as well as the campuses of other American universities for collaborative concerts.

Historical highlights have included concerts and workshops with Bobby McFerrin, Meredith Monk, and Otto-Werner Mueller, a performance for Hillary Clinton, a performance for the 2010 VMEA Conference, international tours to Italy, Germany, Belgium, Russia, and Switzerland, and frequent collaborations with the Charlottesville Symphony.  The 2017-2018 season has also included the popular Family Holiday and Family Weekend Concerts, performances of Thompson’s Testament of Freedom, and a guest appearance March 17th with the Oratorio Society of Virginia for an American Anniversaries concert. Tickets for the concerts are $15 general/$5 students (UVA students may reserve a free ticket in advance), and are available at the UVA Arts Box Office in the Culbreth building, online at or by calling (434) 924-3376.  Tickets may also be available at the door. 

Active as a conductor of choral, orchestral, and operatic repertoire, Michael Slon is Director of Choral Music and Associate Professor at the University of Virginia, where he conducts the University Singers, UVA Chamber Singers and also guest conducts the Charlottesville Symphony. His ensembles have recently sung for composer Philip Glass, and the creators of Les Misérables – Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg – during their UVA residencies, and taken a two-week European concert tour. Since 2011, he has also served as Music Director of the Oratorio Society of Virginia. In that time, he has created a series of new artistic partnerships with the chorus, including an acclaimed 2014 semi-staged production of Bernstein’s Candide with Ash Lawn (now Charlottesville) Opera, a 2015 collaboration with the Charlottesville Ballet on Honegger’s King David, performances with regional orchestras and youth choruses, and a Community Sing-In to benefit local charities. Repertoire with the choruses has also included Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Handel’s Messiah, Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, Verdi’s Requiem and La Traviata, Stravinsky’s Symphony of Psalms, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Bach’s St. John Passion and Mass in B minor, Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, and a range of shorter a cappella and accompanied works.

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To make a gift visit: or contact the group at

To read more about the Bicentennial performance:

To see the University Singers promotional video, visit:

Old Cabell Hall is located on the south end of UVA's historic lawn, directly opposite the Rotunda (map). Parking is available in the Central Grounds parking garage on Emmet Street, in the C1 parking lot off McCormick Road, and in the parking lots at the UVA Corner. 

Please call the Music Department at 434.924.3052 for more information.
All events are subject to change. 


UVA Department of Music
112 Old Cabell Hall
P.O. Box 400176 Charlottesville, VA 22904-4176