Event canceled: April 23 Choir Fest will not be held as previously announced

Published 6:24 pm Monday, April 17, 2023

Editor’s note: Due to unforeseen circumstances, Suffolk Center for the Cultural Arts announced late Monday that the Chowan University Singers will not be performing April 23. The event has been canceled.


Updated 9:27 a.m., Tuesday, April 18, 2023.

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The Chowan University Singers, the premier touring choral ensemble of Chowan University, perform at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, April 23 at the Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts’ Spring Choral Fest.  

The Chowan University Singers is an auditioned ensemble performing a variety of classical, sacred, and contemporary choral repertoire. Arrangements include: “There is Sweet Music Here,” “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and “Keep Your Lamps.” Their April 23 performance also features Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Divertimento” in D Major, K. 136. 

According to John Mangum, the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association’s Program designer/annotator, Mozart’s Divertimento is in three movements, fast-slow-fast. The opening Allegro, centers around a delightful, charming theme that ends with an amusing little dynamic retreat. The Andante is typically warm and elegant, its two halves contrasted by a brief acceleration in the accompaniment’s pulse. A spirited Presto finale brings the Divertimento, a fine example of Mozart’s ambitious work in a genre traditionally designated as “light” music, to a close.

In March 2022, the ensemble traveled to perform at New York City’s Carnegie Hall. Previous performance trips have included concerts throughout North Carolina and the mid-Atlantic region, as well as in Ireland and Italy. 

The Chowan University Singers is directed by Dr. Benjamin Thorburn, associate professor of music and director of choral activities at Chowan University. Thorburn holds degrees from Yale University and the University of Rochester, and he performs frequently as a vocal soloist and recitalist. The pianist for the choir is Dejuan Lee, a graduate of the Chowan University music program.

Tickets to attend the Chowan University Singers Spring Choral Fest are $15 for general admission seating. Tickets may be purchased online at www.SuffolkCenter.org or by calling the Box Office at 757-923-2900. Suffolk Center for Cultural Arts is located in historic downtown Suffolk, 110 West Finney Ave.