Sweet Briar’s Chamber Choir is one of 21 choral groups from Virginia colleges and universities invited to perform as a 200-strong choir ensemble during a special concert to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation. The public performance will be held at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 13, at Richmond CenterStage’s Carpenter Theater.
The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Commission of the Virginia General Assembly is partnering with the Richmond Symphony to produce the concert, which is one of the signature events of the commission’s celebration of the anniversary of emancipation.
Tickets are free and will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis with a limit of two tickets per person. Tickets may be ordered at www.richmondsymphony.com; by phone at (804) 788-1212; by email to firstname.lastname@example.org; or in person at the Richmond CenterStage Box Office, 612 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219, by April 5.
Steven Smith, Richmond Symphony’s music director, will lead the choral and orchestral production, which tells the story of emancipation in historical context. According to a commission news release, it will “reflect the turbulent times in the nation’s history, illuminate the perseverance of the human spirit, and celebrate freedom and liberation.”
The program features national and state luminaries, as well as music written during and after the Civil War period by nationally acclaimed Virginia composers and artists. The mass choir will be a highlight of the show. Accompanying members of Richmond’s One Voice Chorus and the Richmond Symphony Chorus will be singers from the following Virginia colleges and universities:
Bridgewater College, the College of William & Mary, George Mason University, Hampden-Sydney College, Hampton University, Hollins University, James Madison University, Longwood University, Mary Baldwin College, Norfolk State University, Old Dominion University, Randolph-Macon College, Regent University, Shenandoah University, Sweet Briar College, Union Presbyterian Seminary, University of Mary Washington, University of Richmond, University of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia State University and Virginia Union University.
Thirteen Chamber Choir members will represent Sweet Briar: Caroline Lacy ’14, Holly Nadel ’15, Jennifer Will ’13, Katherine Brown ’16, Sarah Capen ’15, Sadé Fountain ’15, Shannon McCarthy ’16, Victoria Eisenmann ’14, Rebecca Sly ’15, Erin Geiersbach ’15, Adrianna LaCandia ’14, Morgan Deal ’16 and Charlotte von Claparede-Crolla. Amherst County High School senior Bethany Roberts will also sing with the choir.
Marcia Jones Thom directs the Sweet Briar choir, with accompaniment by pianist Anna Billias.
Also appearing in the program will be performers from Richmond’s Elegba Folklore Society and a guest narrator of national renown to present Aaron Copland’s “A Lincoln Portrait” with the orchestra. Visual and language arts contributions by Virginia school children also will be exhibited. The concert will be recorded for subsequent broadcast by WCVE television and radio.