Choir rehearsing in Jarman

A tragic comedy. A Richmond Symphony performance. A preview of a Carnegie Hall concert in New York City. All of these are highlights of the spring music and theatre events calendar at Longwood.

February is an exciting month, with marquee theatre and music performances. The Longwood Theatre Department will produce Beth Henley’s Crimes of the Heart Feb. 15-19 in the CSTAC Mainstage Theatre, under the direction of alumna Joyce Sweet. Then on Feb. 24 the Richmond Symphony will return to the Jarman Auditorium stage for a special Symphony Series performance featuring a mix of contemporary and classical works. Admission to the concert is free and open to the public. Tickets are not required, and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors will open at 7 p.m., and the concert will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Come as you are or cap off an evening out with orchestra, band, choir, jazz, percussion, faculty, student and guest artist performances—there’s something for everyone!

Pamela McDermott, music department chair Tweet This

“We invite the greater Farmville community to come explore live music concerts at Longwood,” said Pamela McDermott, music department chair. “Come as you are or cap off an evening out with orchestra, band, choir, jazz, percussion, faculty, student and guest artist performances—there’s something for everyone!”

Directed by Sweet, who is also serving as an adjunct professor in the theatre program, Crimes of the Heart is a tragic comedy about three sisters surviving crisis after crisis in the small Mississippi town of Hazlehurst in 1978. The production runs Feb. 15-19, with evening shows at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m.

“We are especially excited to welcome back alumna Joyce Sweet to teach, direct and mentor our students. She has been a real asset to our program,” said Ronda Scarrow, theatre program coordinator. “Just this past week I sat in on a rehearsal for Crimes of the Heart and it was awesome. My advice is get your tickets now because this show will sell out.”

The theatre season will conclude with the musical Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for a New World April 12-16, which is a collaboration with Longwood’s music department. Bruce Speas, associate professor of theatre history and directing, will direct the show, with Dr. Christopher Swanson, professor of applied voice, diction for singers and opera workshop, serving as musical director. This contemporary song cycle that weaves characters and history together, illuminating the timelessness of self-discovery. Evening shows are at 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m., in the CSTAC Mainstage Theatre. Tickets for both spring theatre performances can be purchased through the Longwood Box Office.

Beyond the Richmond Symphony performance, the music department’s spring calendar once again provides a unique lineup of performances. Dr. Mike Waddell celebrates his debut year with the Wind Symphony, Dr. Lauretta Werner’s String Ensemble has grown into a Chamber Orchestra, and veteran directors are back with choral, jazz and percussion performances.

One highlight this spring is Gloria!, a Carnegie Celebration Concert on April 22, featuring a joint performance of the Longwood choirs, Longwood alums, the Hampden-Sydney Chorus and the Commonwealth Chorale. Each of the four groups will perform separately and then all join together to sing John Rutter’s Gloria. The performance is a preview of a concert scheduled for May 13 at Carnegie Hall. Thirty Longwood students, representing many different academic disciplines, will travel to New York City for the performance with singers from Alabama State University, a historically black university. In addition to the students, the group of singers also includes some Longwood alumni and local residents who are members of the Commonwealth Chorale.

“We have been fundraising all year for our students to be able to go,” said McDermott, who will co-conduct with a faculty member from Alabama State. “We initially thought we’d have a group of 20, but we ended up with 30.”

Another highlight is a Chamber Music Series concert by the Washington Saxophone Quartet in Molnar Recital Hall in Wygal Hall on March 27. Since 1997, recorded arrangements by the quartet have aired regularly throughout the United States on NPR’s broadcasts of “All Things Considered.” The ensemble taps into a rich repertoire, from early music to newly commissioned works, and draws on a wealth of experience to reach listeners of every age and background.

Parking for all concerts in Wygal Hall is in the faculty/staff lot behind Wygal and the Greenwood Library, or in the faculty/staff lots along Pine Street. Parking for concerts in Jarman Auditorium is in the Wheeler Lot.

View the full spring semester calendar of events.

Longwood University Music Department Spring Schedule

  • February 8—Faculty Recital: Lauretta Werner, violin, Lisa Kinzer, piano, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 16—University Choir, Chamber Singers and Camerata Singers, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 20—Faculty Recital: Black History Month, 7:30 p.m.
  • February 22—Wind Symphony, 7:30 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium
  • February 24—Richmond Symphony, 7:30 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium
  • February 25—Donovan Burns, percussion, 4 p.m.
  • February 27—Faculty Recital: Mike Waddell, euphonium, Lisa Kinzer, piano, 7:30 p.m.
  • March 2—Low Brass Studio Recital, 7:30 p.m.
  • March 16—Jazz Ensemble, 7:30 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium
  • March 17—Faculty Recital: Chris Swanson, voice, Lisa Kinzer, piano, 7:30 p.m.
  • March 18—Angela Carter, soprano, and Kylee Pickeral, saxophone, 4 p.m.
  • March 23—Chamber Orchestra and Ukuleles, 7:30 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium
  • March 25—Katie Trent, soprano, 7:30 p.m.
  • March 27—Chamber Music Series: Washington Saxophone Quartet, 7:30 p.m.
  • April 1—Faculty Recital: Fools of April, 7:30 p.m.
  • April 2—David Cassidy, violin, 7:30 p.m.
  • April 15—Annastasia Marle, soprano, 4 p.m.
  • April 16—Devon Shifflett, piano, 4 p.m.
  • April 20—Wind Symphony and Chamber Orchestra, 7:30 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium
  • April 22—Carnegie Celebration Concert: Gloria! Camerata Singers, Chamber Singers, Alumni and Friends, Hampden-Sydney College Chorus, Commonwealth Chorale, 7:30 p.m. in Jarman Auditorium
  • April 25—Percussion Ensemble 7:30 p.m., in Jarman Auditorium
  • April 26—Opera Workshop 7:30 p.m.
  • April 27—University Choir 7:30 p.m.

All concerts are held in the Molnar Recital Hall in Wygal Hall unless otherwise stated. Times and concerts are subject to change, so please check for up-to-date performance information. For more information, contact the Department of Music at 434-395-2504.

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