News Archive

Chorale Hosts Home Performance Before National Tour

Group will make appearances across nation during Spring Break

2/16/2006 3:14:44 PM


LYNCHBURG – The Randolph-Macon Woman’s College’s Chorale will kick off its latest tour with a Lynchburg performance Sunday, Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Wimberly Recital Hall.

The ensemble will spend its Spring Break traveling from Kentucky to Chicago to Cincinnati performing for several audiences.

“We’ll sing for any audience,” said Randall Speer, assistant professor of music and Director of Chorale. “There’s an experience we are after.”

That experience, he adds, is that of a working professional musician. The group basically “sings for its supper.” Students perform either for donations or for housing and meals. In many cases, they stay with host families while performing on the road.

“This allows us to get to know the locals and to see things we wouldn’t have normally seen,” Speer said. Students also experience how hard touring is for musicians. They charter a bus for a week and spend a lot of time on the road.

During the past six years, Speer has helped turn Chorale away from the typical “glee club” experience. Each year, the group holds four major concerts including Christmas Vespers in the fall. The group has toured as far away as Jamaica and also invites professional composers for residencies and commissions.

“A student who is involved in Chorale for several years is going to get a variety of different experiences,” Speer said. “She’s going to get a sense of the discipline required for performance touring.”

The students are not all music majors, although they must take part in the semester-long class. About 20 students are involved this semester.

During the tours, students perform for churches, universities, retirement homes, and almost anywhere requested. They also are able to visit local landmarks and sites along the way.

The students, Speer said, are amazing.

“They rise to the occasion,” he said. “That’s the best thing.”

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CONTACT: Brenda Edson, Director of College Relations