Fall choral concert brings music, people together

The music department hosted its annual fall choral concert for the first time since 2019


Kristina Ayers ‘25, Molly Morrison ‘25, Keren Katz ‘22, Michael McLaughlin ‘23, Matt Flynn ‘25 sing in the opening song “Rise.” (Photo by Ullmann ‘25)

Liv Ullman

“Good evening, and it is so good to see people,” Shane Lynch, music department head, said to the second live, indoor audience Washington and Lee’s choral program has hosted since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since fall term started, members of the university’s Glee Club and Cantatrici have met three days a week and University Singers have met four days a week to prepare for concerts like the Fall Choral Concert, which featured 15 pieces ranging from a Slovenian wedding song to Yeats’ poetry.

The concert took place Oct. 26 at 8 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall. The audience was packed with eager students, parents, faculty and staff alike.

“I really enjoyed listening to the diverse blend of voices that all of the different performers brought to the table,” said Eli Catanzarro, ’25. “It was fascinating to see how everyone came together to make some really awe-inspiring pieces come to life.”

Both Lynch and his wife Lacey Lynch, the new lecturer in music for Cantatrici, conducted during the show with accompaniment from pianist Anna Billias.

Some students from the Choral Conducting Mentorship Program (CCMP) also got the opportunity to play live music and conduct the choir themselves.

“The CCMP students help plan and program the entire first half of the concert. The CCMP program is a leadership cohort model of education…that allows musically gifted singers a chance to learn nuance and details of conducting, education, and vocal performance… throughout their four years on campus,” Shane Lynch said. “They’re the backbone of the choral  program and help it run in every aspect.”

Before the brief intermission, the choral singers performed Ola Gjeilo’s “Tundra.”

The piece features Charles Anthony Silvestri’s poem of the same name about a grueling journey through a frozen wasteland. The lights dimmed while blue light and fog swept across the stage to envelope the audience.

“The added production aspects really brought the piece together and it was a blast to rehearse,” said Lianna Murphy, ’25, who received her first solo feature in “Tundra.”

The choral program is seeking new members for winter term.

Auditions for Glee Club (Tenor/Bass) and Cantatrici (Soprano/Alto) are hosted at the beginning and end of each term, and auditions for University Singers take place in March for the following school year.

Interested students can reach out to Shane or Lacey Lynch or a current member of the choir for more information.