Under the baton of Music Director Michael Slon, The Oratorio Society of Virginia (TOSVA) has expanded its appreciative audiences and is now widely regarded as one of the preeminent community choruses in the region. Founded in 1966, the Oratorio Society is the community’s longest running chorus and performs in Charlottesville finest venues — such as the historic Paramount Theater and the Martin Luther King Jr. Performing Arts Center.
Chorus members are of all ages and from all walks of life; all have considerable choral singing experience, and some are professional musicians and music teachers. They come together to perform choral masterworks and to share with audiences the genius and inspiration of the composers and works performed, which are carefully selected each season. Maestro Slon’s leadership of the 90-person chorus is attracting new and returning singers from past seasons, and he continues to form exciting partnerships with other community arts groups, including Ash Lawn Opera, the Charlottesville Symphony, the UVa University singers, and more.
As we approach our 50th year, we continue to engage the community in our music – as singers and as audience. To achieve this, we provide learning opportunities with lectures before each concert; collaborate with other arts organizations; invite students from UVA, PVCC, and local high schools to audition, as well as to perform at our Christmas concerts; and work with the UVa Music Department’s arts outreach program, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, UVa’s Madison House, and local churches to bring more young community members to our performances.
In spring of 2014, TOSVA hosted a community sing-in of Vivaldi’s Gloria and Mozart’s Ave Verum Corpus as a benefit for PACEM, a nonprofit that works with the faith community to provide services to homeless individuals. In March 2015, we will engage the community again as we perform Schubert’s Mass in G as a sing-in to benefit another service organization, to be chosen this fall. Our entire season’s repertoire is as follows: December 2014 Christmas at the Paramount Seasonal selections including Pinkham’s Christmas Cantata and elegant holiday favorites Partnering with Albemarle/Charlottesville School choruses Paramount Theater, Downtown March 2015 “ Together in Song ” Community Sing-In Schubert: Mass in G and other works Benefitting a local nonprofit organization, to be determined in October 2014 First Presbyterian Church, Park Street April 2015 Beethoven: Symphony #9 with the Charlottesville Symphony and UVA University Singers Martin Luther King, Jr. Performing Arts Center June 2015 Arthur Honegger: King David with members of the Charlottesville Ballet Dickinson Theater, Piedmont Virginia Community College
Our audiences are comprised of both experienced music from the Charlottesville/Albemarle area and surrounding counties, and have rewarded our previous performances with enthusiastic applause and supportive comments:
“GLORIOUS! Kudos all the way; best thing I’ve seen this year…” Audience member, Candide, May 2014
“What a wonderful treat for our community to have such a grand collaboration.” Audience member, Candide, May 2014
“After the concert I was so elevated, so inspired to just live and work, that such artistic vision is available to us. It was for me one of those higher moments never to be forgotten.” Audience member, Gems of the Baroque, June 2013
“Wow, what a great huge sound! I was just enthralled by such beauty! The concert was truly captivating.” Audience member, Gems of the Baroque, June 2013
“[Michael Slon] has artistic talent and gets so much subtlety from the chorus! Bravo! Love the music!” Audience member, Christmas at the Paramount, December 2011
“. . . generous and altogether moving. Thank you (and your fine musicians and volunteers) for drawing together our community for an hour of wonders.” former UVa president John Casteen, Christmas at the Paramount, December 2012
Dedicated to musical excellence, the Oratorio Society of Virginia enriches, inspires, and educates the
community through regular performance of choral masterworks that express the best of the human spirit.