American Anniversaries Concert

Saturday, March 17 - 4:00 PM

The Oratorio Society of Virginia presents its mid-season concert:
"American Anniversaries: Honoring Martin Luther King Jr. & Leonard Bernstein," featuring Bernstein's melodious and magically unique "Chichester Psalms," African-American spirituals, and special appearances by a boy treble soloist, Zion Union Baptist Church Adult Choir, and the UVA University Singers.

Ticket price: $15
Tickets are available at the door, from any Oratorio chorus member, or online at

Detailed Description:
The Oratorio Society's mid-season concert commemorates both the 100th anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth, and the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.

Jewish-American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein wrote “Chichester Psalms” on a commission for the 1965 Southern Cathedrals Festival at Chichester Cathedral, UK by Dean Walter Hussey. Sung in Hebrew and featuring a boy treble soloist, chorus, organ, harp and percussion, the work contains passages from a number of Psalms of the Old Testament, including Psalm 23, known as the “Psalm of David.”

The work of American Baptist minister and civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a reawakening of the African-American spiritual, a largely oral tradition that evokes both the past pain of slavery and the future promise of freedom. All three choruses featured in the concert will perform 20th-century settings of a number of traditional spirituals. Ending the concert on a high note, the more than 200 singers will perform the final piece together, embodying Bernstein's words: "This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before."

Additional information:


First Presbyterian Church
Charlottesville, VA 22902
Event Type


The Oratorio Society of Virginia

Date / Time

Saturday, March 17, 2018
4:00 PM - 6:00 PM


Rowena Zimmermann
More Info: