Sweet Briar singers to join Holocaust commemoration

Sweet Briar choir director Marcia Thom Kaley will accompany 28 choral students to Richmond this weekend to prepare to perform in “Voices of Survival” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 27, at Richmond CenterStage’s Carpenter Theatre.

The concert — which combines words, music and video — commemorates the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and observes International Holocaust Remembrance Day. It is presented through a partnership of the Virginia Holocaust Museum, the Carole and Marcus Weinstein Jewish Community Center and the Richmond Symphony, with a mass choir composed of singers from Virginia colleges and universities.

The program reflects humanity’s triumph over the atrocities of the Holocaust by featuring works of composers who suffered in Nazi ghettos and concentration camps. Video interviews with Richmond’s Holocaust survivors will present first-hand accounts of their experiences before and after their freedom was regained.

Renowned author and Virginia Commonwealth University alumnus James A. Grymes will also participate in the performance and related events. His book, “Violins of Hope,” recounts the violin’s role in Jewish culture and a 20-year journey to restore the violins of the Holocaust as a tribute to those who were lost.

College and university choruses from throughout Virginia were invited to provide singers to join the Richmond Symphony and Richmond Symphony Chorus for the performance. The concert will be recorded by PBS station WCVE TV for subsequent statewide broadcast. Music director Steven Smith will conduct the concert. Lodging is provided by the symphony.

Adult tickets start at $20. Discounted student and group rates are available. Tickets can be purchased online at www.richmondsymphony.com or by calling (800) 514-3849.

More information about the Richmond Symphony, Virginia Holocaust Museum and the Weinstein Jewish Community Center is available on their websites.