University Singers

UVA University Singers | Singing at UVA! video

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The University Singers is the University of Virginia’s flagship choral ensemble, heard by thousands each season in performances of a cappella and accompanied choral repertoire, including major works with orchestra.  In 2017, 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 2018, the University Singers gave the regional premiere of Bernstein’s Mass at the Paramount Theater – and in recent years, the Singers have also worked with 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.  During the pandemic, they continued to present virtual performances, and hosted online master classes with Eric Whitacre, Alice Parker, and other choral luminaries – and since have returned to live singing with performances of Johnson’s Considering Matthew Shepard, the Rachmaninoff Vespers with the Oratorio Society of Virginia, and the North American premiere of Ešenvalds St. Luke Passion with the composer in residence. 

Founded in 1957, the group became a primarily student ensemble soon after UVA began admitting women in 1970, and celebrated their 60th anniversary with the 2017-2018 season.  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, national anthem for UVA Athletics and the Washington Nationals, and frequent collaborations with the Charlottesville Symphony including for the popular Family Holiday Concerts.  Repertoire has included Beethoven’s Symphony no. 9, Bach's Mass in B minor, Handel’s Messiah, Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, Verdi’s Requiem, Vaughan Williams Dona Nobis Pacem, Higdon’s O magnum mysterium, Whitacre’s Equus, and Hailstork’s I Will Lift Up Mine Eyes.  The Singers have presented premieres of works by Stephen Paulus, Forrest Pierce, Judith Shatin, and Eric Whitacre, also featured African-American composers such as Nathaniel Dett, Moses Hogan, and Rosephanye Powell.  Recent North American tours have taken the group to Atlanta, Boston, Buffalo, Charlotte, Charleston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Montreal, New Orleans, Orlando, New York City, Norfolk, Philadelphia, Providence, Toronto, and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C.  The group has also been heard on previous tours in Italy, Belgium, Germany, Russia, and Switzerland, and recordings include a CD of Mozart's Coronation Mass and Vesperae Solennes de Confessore, and Live on Tour 2019.  2023 featured a “From the Blue Ridge to the Big Apple” concert tour, and the 2024–25 season will bring performances of the Mozart Requiem, and an international tour. 

Students in the University Singers come from UVA's eight undergraduate schools, including Arts and Sciences, Education, Batten, Commerce, Nursing, and Engineering, as well as several of the graduate and professional schools.  While approximately 25-30% are music majors, the ensemble is open to any student by audition, and is a for-credit curricular class.  Together, members enjoy an esprit de corps that arises from the pursuit of musical excellence, and the camaraderie the singers develop offstage.  The University Singers is led by faculty conductor Michael Slon

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Auditions: Auditions for the University Singers take place at the beginning of each semester.  For more information about auditions visit:

Interest Form: To fill out an interest form so you will be reminded about auditions visit here.

Recent highlights:  Bernstein's Mass / Bicentennial Performance / 2016 Holiday Video / 2023 Concert Tour

Social Media for UVA University Singers:
YouTube channel

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To contact the group directly write:


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