• 63°

Piedmont Singers embark on second season

There is a new kid on the block in terms of professional music ensembles in Central Virginia. 

The Piedmont Singers of Central Virginia is a chamber choir, made up of eight singers from the Piedmont region, now embarking on its second season, bringing choral music to Farmville, Charlottesville and Richmond.

According to a press release, they specialize in new choral music that is unaccompanied, and often sing in eight-part harmony, with one singer on each part. 

According to the release, three of the members hail from Farmville: Founder/Director Dr. Helena von Rueden, assistant professor of fine arts in music at Hampden-Sydney (College), who sings alto; soprano Dr. Pamela McDermott, director of choral activities at Longwood University; and tenor Chris Swanson, professor of voice at Longwood and artistic director of the Summer Garden Opera in Farmville.”

According to the release, the other singers are professional musicians from Richmond: “Longwood graduate Erin Wind, Adam Bailey, Abby Outlaw, Ian Richardson and Daniel Stipe. The group sang its first series of concerts in 2016. After a wonderfully positive experience with audiences in Farmville, Richmond and Charlottesville, the Piedmont Singers are embarking on a second concert series in August and September of 2017.”

This year’s program is titled “Alpha and Omega.” 

According to the press release, “On the inspiration for this year’s concert, director Helena von Rueden commented that ‘the idea came from the exhibit of sculptures that will be shown at the ArtSpace Gallery in Richmond when we sing there in September. The pieces we sing follow a musical journey through life, exploring themes of life, death, childhood and love. It’s a very diverse and moving program, with something for everyone.’

von Rueden noted that all the music is written by composers of today, including Kim Andre Arnesen, Melissa Dunphy, Ben Folds and others. The style of the music varies from contemplative to upbeat, and represents modern classical, folk and popular styles.

The Piedmont Singers of Central Virginia will bring its second season concert series, “Alpha and Omega,” to Hampden-Sydney’s Crawley Forum on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. The concert is free and open to the public, and sponsored by the Hampden-Sydney Music Series. There will be repeat performances Aug. 26 at 7:30 p.m in Charlottesville at St. Pauls Memorial Church and Sept. 9 at 7:30 p.m. in Richmond at ArtSpace Gallery.