A jazz tribute to Black History Month, alumni band directors showcasing their high-school ensembles, and the first-ever collaboration between Longwood and VCU highlight the spring season of performances from the Longwood Department of Music.
The season begins with the return of the Richmond Symphony to Longwood, continuing a partnership established by the late Dr. John Cook, a Longwood alumnus and benefactor of the Cook-Cole College of Arts and Sciences. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert on Feb. 4 are available at the Longwood Box Office.
The Feb. 22 jazz tribute to Black History month will feature the music of Billie Holiday, one of the most prominent and influential swing-jazz singers of the 1940s. Performers in the 7:30 p.m. concert include Dr. Lisa Burrs, assistant professor of music, who will sing Holiday standards including the haunting "Strange Fruit," noted for its explicit lyrical theme of Jim Crow repression.
Burrs will be accompanied by the Southside Jazz Quartet, who will be joined by Morgan Burrs, a guitarist from Richmond, and Greg Robey ’13, trombonist and director of bands at Prince Edward County Middle School.
March is National Music in Our Schools month, and Longwood will feature several unique concerts that underscore the university’s deep ties to middle- and high-school music programs.
"Around the country, states and counties balance budgets by cutting music and arts programs," said Dr. Pam McDermott, professor of music and director of choral activities. "Longwood has always been invested in producing fantastic music teachers who spread their love for the discipline to the next generation of musicians, and we want this year to honor them and their efforts."
The Longwood Wind Symphony, joined by Dr. David Niethamer on clarinet, will perform at 7:30 p.m. March 1 with the Appomattox County High School band, led by Longwood alum Bryan Allgood ’10, in Jarman Auditorium. Two weeks later, the trend continues as alumnae Lizzie LeGrow Williamson ’01, who teaches at Holman Middle School in Glen Allen, and Jennifer Maynard Jarrett ’11, a teacher at Menchville High School in Newport News, bring their ensembles to the Jarman stage at 7 p.m. March 14. Williamson’s and Jarrett’s ensembles will appear with Longwood’s Chamber Singers and Camerata Singers.
"These two concerts will be truly special as Longwood continues to play a role in music education on all levels," said McDermott. "Those who attend won’t just be impressed with Longwood students, but with what Longwood students can achieve when they become teachers themselves."
The spring performance season also brings to the stage, in Farmville and Richmond, a pair of concerts resulting from a new collaboration between Longwood and Virginia Commonwealth University. The Chamber Singers will travel to Richmond on March 18 for a 7:30 p.m. concert at the Singleton Center Concert Hall and the VCU Women’s Choir will travel to Farmville to perform in Jarman Auditorium at 7:30 p.m. March 29. Each choir will sing selections from its own repertoire, then the groups will join together for two movements from Gyorgy Orban’s Mass No. 6 and Libby Larsen’s Womanly Song of Gold.
Full concert schedule
All concerts are free and open to the public and begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise noted. Campus map & directions available here.
Feb. 15: Chamber Music Series: Andreas Klein, piano. Wygal Hall.
Feb. 22: Black History Month Recital. Moton Museum.
Feb. 25: Faculty Recital: Stephanie Ycaza, tuba; Kevin Fairbairn, trombone. Wygal Hall.
March 1: Wind Symphony, with David Niethamer, clarinet. Featuring the Appomattox County High School Band. Jarman Auditorium.
March 14: Pyramid Concert: Chamber Singers and Camerata Singers, featuring the Holman Middle School and Menchville High School ensembles. Jarman Auditorium, 7 p.m.
March 17: Jazz Ensembles Concert. Jarman Auditorium.
March 20: Alumna Recital: Molly Bouffard ’13. Wygal Hall.
March 21: Chamber Music Series: Pivetta Duo, flute and piano. Wygal Hall.
March 29: Chamber Singers and VCU Women’s Choir. Jarman Auditorium.
April 11: Faculty Recital: David Niethamer, clarinet; Lisa Burrs, voice; Lisa Kinzer, piano. Wygal Hall.
April 19: Wind Symphony and Jazz Ensembles. Jarman Auditorium.
April 22: Faculty Recital: Lisa Burrs, voice. Wygal Hall.
April 25: University Men’s and Women’s Choirs. Jarman Auditorium.
April 28: Chamber Singers and Camerata Singers. Jarman Auditorium.