2019 Fundraising Goal
Blacksburg’s Master Chorale needs help raising money to commission an original composition from our artistic director, Dwight Bigler. This composition will blend multiple art forms together to address contemporary environmental challenges in a way that engages the choir and the community, providing a background for meaningful discussions.
This composition is inspired by Barbara Wolff ’s Psalm 104: The Ten Illuminations, which celebrates nature: mountains, rivers, rocks, trees, birds, flowers, animals and planets. Barbara Wolff has given permission to incorporate projected digital images of her work during the performance.
In Dwight's words: The texts for this piece will explore climate change, mountain top removal, mining, and other topics that illustrate how humans have sometimes harmed, polluted, or destroyed elements of nature. Those texts will be juxtaposed by excerpts from Psalm 104 that celebrate the stunning beauty, diversity, and power of nature.
I plan to engage the choir and community in discussions about these topics, finding ways we can make a difference in our local communities. Hopefully the musical setting and performance of these texts can help to facilitate civil, motivational, productive discussions.
Where BMC Started
Thirty-one years ago at Christmastime, Craig Fields, our founding musical director, recruited local choir members and musicians and, after just one rehearsal, performed Handel’s Messiah. The entrance fee was canned food for the local food pantry. That event led to the establishment of the Blacksburg Master Chorale (BMC), now at 80-100 singers with 3-4 major performances annually in the New River Valley and Roanoke Valley areas.
How We've Grown
This year the BMC is again performing the Messiah, but with significant differences - a fully rehearsed, full orchestra with professional soloists at one of the acoustically finest auditoria in the country, Virginia Tech’s Moss Arts Center (MAC). This change highlights the distance that BMC has come in the intervening years, led by a dedicated board of directors and extremely talented musical directors.
During this period, we have been guest conducted by chorale music giant, Robert Shaw. We have grown by performing in Roanoke, both independently and in collaborations with Opera Roanoke and the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra and at the MAC with professional touring companies. We are soon embarking on our third European tour, performing in major Spanish cities.
Our musical director, Dr. Dwight Bigler, Director of Choral Music at Virginia Tech, is now in his tenth year and has challenged the BMC with a widely varied, creative and inspiring repertoire that includes classical works, folksongs, and Broadway favorites. Dwight will be composing a major choral-orchestral work in the fall, based on Psalm 104, which the Blacksburg Master Chorale will premiere at the Moss Arts Center.
Please visit our website to find out more about Blacksburg Master Chorale, including information about our upcoming performances, or feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.