John Worthington
Southern Virginia University Concert Chorale, Bella Voce and Orchestra performing at the university's annual homecoming concert in October 2011.

ROANOKE, Va. — The Southern Virginia University Concert Chorale, Liberty University Concert Choir and Roanoke College Children’s Choir, along with the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, will perform a concert titled “American Voices in War & Peace” on Monday at 8 p.m. in the Roanoke Performing Arts Theatre.

The concert’s conductor, Dr. David Wiley, is director of both the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and New York’s Long Island Philharmonic. He has received numerous awards, and has conducted in nearly every state in the U.S. and dozens of countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

“I was absolutely thrilled to be invited and I feel very privileged that we will have this opportunity to perform with this well-known regional symphony and a conductor of David Wiley’s reputation and experience,” said Dr. La Rae Carter, director of Southern Virginia's Concert Chorale. “I think it’s going to be a phenomenal spiritual and musical experience for our students.”

Musical selections include Leonard Bernstein’s “Chichester Psalms,” as well as a selection from his musical “Candide,” and a variety of patriotic songs. The text of the “Chichester Psalms” is taken from the original Hebrew of Psalms 2, 100, 108 and 131, which include themes of peace and conflict.

Dr. John Hugo, professor of music at Liberty University and director of the Liberty University Concert Choir, contacted Carter last October to see whether the Concert Chorale would be able to participate in the concert.

“Dr. Hugo said that he had found an unofficial recording of one of our choir performances on YouTube, and he thought our choir would mesh very well with these other groups,” said Carter. “He has had a long association with conductor David Wiley and has taken choirs to participate in several of his combined performances."

Since then, both conductors have been in frequent contact. This is the first time that the two universities’ performing groups have collaborated.

Carter said she thinks this concert will highlight Southern Virginia University’s strengths to the public.

“People will become aware that we’re here and that we’re doing something creditable in music and see that a university of our size can produce a choir of 80 voices that is comparable to other choirs around us where the universities are much larger,” said Carter.

Tickets for the concert are $8 for students, $22 to $50 for the general public, and may be purchased at For more information, call the RSO box office at 540-343-9127.

Hannah Benson Rodriguez is a communications and marketing assistant at Southern Virginia University. She currently resides in Buena Vista, Va.