W&L University Singers to Perform “Tour Home” Concert The ensemble concludes its global tour with its Feb. 28 concert at the Lenfest Center.
The Department of Music at Washington and Lee University presents the University Singers, under the direction of Shane M. Lynch, associate professor of music and director of choral activities, in their “Tour Home” concert on Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 8 p.m. in the Wilson Concert Hall.
The performance is free and open to the public, and tickets are required. The event will also be streamed online at livestream.com/wlu.
The University Singers is an award-winning ensemble and continues to be recognized as one of the finest collegiate a capella choirs in the region. They are an internationally competitive touring choir, performing a wide variety of works at major venues across the globe and serving as artistic ambassadors for W&L in concert series, music festivals, conventions and university outreach events.
The Feb. 28 concert celebrates the ensemble’s return from a performance tour of Hawai`i, North Carolina and Virginia. The tour to Hawai’i was made possible through the generous donations of parents and alumni and was coordinated by Olivia (Shaves) Arnold ’17, who is a former member of W&L’s choral conducting membership program and currently studies music in Oahu.
The tour was a period of cultural exploration for the ensemble and their time in Hawai’i offered unique opportunities to learn about the culture and music of Pacific Islander Americans. While in Hawai`i, the University Singers also had the chance to work with renowned conductor Nola Nāhulu, the Hawaiian Youth Opera Chorus, and members of the Hawaiian chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, and to perform pieces of music written by Queen Lili‛uokalani, an accomplished composer and the last monarch of Hawai`i.
“The chance for the choir to work with a musician of the caliber of ‘Aunty’ Nola on the queen’s music is truly once-in-a-lifetime. Our students will learn and grow in ways, both musically and personally, that should influence their lives forever,” Lynch said. “There can be no greater gift than the chance to share this music that is so underrepresented within mainland circles in the United States.”
“Tour Home” will feature a variety of works representing the University Singers’ travels and will close with a selection of American folk songs. The first set, The Lutheran Choral School, explores how mainland and European music have combined Hawaiian elements throughout the past century. The second set, Three Centuries of Latin Polyphony, is inspired by the University Singers’ performance in the City of Derry International Choir Festival in October 2022 and includes an original composition by Lynch. The third set, A Hawaiian State of Mind, highlights the music of Hawai’i and the students’ experiences in the state. Finally, the University Singers will close the concert with audience favorites, including Stacey V. Gibbs’s “Ezekial” and J. Reese Norris’s “The Crossing,” and end with W&L’s traditional “Shenandoah” by James Erb.
Order your tickets online today at wlu.edu/lenfest-center/university-singers-tour-home-concert or call the Lenfest Center box office at 540-458-8000 for ticket purchase information. Box office hours are Tuesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.