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VCU Commonwealth Singers – APPM 358

The VCU Commonwealth Singers is a select choir of mixed voices chosen from throughout the university and known for its sensitive and dynamic performances of masterworks and a diverse spectrum of standard and non-traditional choral repertoire.

Commonwealth Singers meets Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 12:00-1:15 pm. Auditions take place the day before and the day of the first day of classes.

Recent performance highlights include:

    • April 2018: Performance of the world premiere of Open Minds, Closer Thoughts by VCU faculty member Antonio Garcia. With text from Writing Our Way Out, Memoirs from Jail, by David Coogan and several co-authors, the students explored themes of social justice in this unique project.

Open Minds, Closer Thoughts: A VCU Choral Premiere and post-concert talkback.

  • February 2018: Participation in a celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Chorus as well as collegiate choral ensembles from around the Commonwealth. Students performed Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy and Undine Smith Moore’s Scenes from Life of a Martyr. Several students had solo or small ensemble features as well, and some met Senator Tim Kaine afterwards.

    VCU Commonwealth Singers member, Shyheim Hinnant, pictured with the daughter and granddaughters of composer Undine Smith Moore.

  • November 2017: Performances with the Richmond Ballet and Richmond Symphony as the featured chorus in Vivaldi’s Gloria, set to ballet by Dennis Spaight. Additionally, four members of the VCU Commonwealth Singers performed solos.

    VCU Commonwealth Singers and the dancers of the Richmond Ballet after dress rehearsal of “Trio”.

  • February 2017: Performance in Carnegie Hall as part of Distinguished Concerts International New York. Conducted by VCU’s Director of Choral Activities, Erin Freeman, Commonwealth Singers joined a professional orchestra and choruses from Florida, Georgia, Virginia, Massachusetts, and Wales for a performance of Poulenc’s Gloria.

    VCU Commonwealth Singers outside Carnegie Hall, before their February 2017 performance.

  • September 2015: Commonwealth Singers joined the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Chorus to perform Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony for the opening ceremony of the World Cycling Championships – for a crowd of 10,000!
  • May 2013: Commonwealth Singers toured internationally to Montreal, Canada for a performance with the acclaimed professional chamber orchestra Ensemble Appassionata at the Salle Pierre Mercure performance hall. Tour performances included: Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal, Princeton High School in New Jersey, Rhinebeck Reformed Church and Taconic Hills High School in New York state.
  • March 2013: Commonwealth Singers premiered A U.S. Civil War Musical Retrospective by Allen Wittig for choir, orchestra and narrator, as a part of the “VCU Year of Freedom,” remembering 150 years of Civil War And Emancipation History.
  • February 2012: VCU Commonwealth Singers were selected to perform at the American Choral Directors Association (ACDA) Southern Division Conference in Winston Salem, N.C.
  • Summer 2008: As hosts for “A Mid-Atlantic Choral Tribute to the Olympics,” the group performed in Beijing with the Beijing Film Philharmonic Orchestra in the Forbidden City Concert Hall, in the Oriental Art Center in Shanghai, and in an exchange concert at Fudan University, one of VCU’s 16 partner institutions around the world.