The Commonwealth Chorale of Virginia

"Cultural Jewel in the Heart of Virginia"



Search for New Director is Underway; Spring Concerts Coming in April!

Posted on March 4, 2019 at 5:35 PM

After 20 years of inspired leadership, Norma Williams has stepped down as Artistic Director of the Commonwealth Chorale.  A search for a new director is now underway.  For information about the opening for the position of Artistic Director, or about the upcoming spring concert season, interested persons may visit the Chorale's web page at

While the search for a new director continues, the Commonwealth Chorale will caryy on its tradition of bringing great music to area audiences with two exciting spring concerts.  The concerts will feature both the Chorale and Longwood University's Chanber Singers and Camerata Singers, under the direction of Dr. Pamela McDermott, Director of Choral Activities at Longwood.  The opening concert will be on Thursday, April 25, 7:30 Jarman Auditorium, 201 High St., Farmville, on the Longwood campus.  A repeat performance will be held Sunday, April 28, 3:00 p.m at Farmville United Methodist Church, 212 Hight St., Farmville, VA.  Concerts are free of charge and open to the public.  No tickets are required.

The spring concert repertoire will be varied, presenting music from the classical period to the present day.  Selections of earlier works include Mozart's Regina Coeli, K 276, "Gloria in Excelsis" from Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria, and the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's Messiah.  The wor of contemporary composers will be represented by an a cappella rendition of Alleluia. by Dr Gordon Ring, Professor of Music at Longwood University, as well as the featured selection, Gloria by John Rutter.

John Rutter is an English composer and conductor whose works have received popular and critical acclaim internationally.  Known mostly for his choral compositions, he has been affiliated with Clare College at Cambridge for many years.  According to the composer's web page, Gloria was written as a commissioned work for a choir based in the United States and first performed in Omaha, Nebraska in 1974.  The work is divided into three movements, cescribed by the composer as "respectively, proclamatory, prayerful, and joyfully affirmative."  The text derives from the hymn know as the Greater Doxology, or the Angerlic Hymn because it begins with the words "Gloria in excelsis Deo," as sung by the angels announcing the birth of Christ.  The melody is based on a Gregorian chant derived from this text.  The music is simple and direct, with the instruments (usually brass, percussion, and organ or piano) and voices playing an equal role.  The magnificent harmonies and joyful exuberance in Rutter's compositions provide an emotional uplift that is universally appealing to modern audiences, as shown by the fact that his music has been featured in a number of British celebratory occasions, including the two most recent royal weddings.  The Commonwealth Chorale is pleased to present this exhilarating program of eclectic music to area audiences.

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