poster for November Choral Hour concert


The Music Program of the University at Albany’s Department of Music and Theatre is pleased to present the University Chamber Singers and University-Community Chorale in The Choral Hour on Sunday, November 4, 2018 at 3pm at the UAlbany Performing Arts Center on the uptown campus. Subtitled Musicians Against Gun Violence, the concert is one that promotes peace.

The program works on the premise that artists have long dealt with trauma and tragedy by creating moving works of art that speak to the basest of our human instincts: love, compassion, and support for one another in the most difficult of times. The program includes music written specifically in response to tragic incidents of gun violence in recent and distant memory (including a piece written after the Sandy Hook school shooting and one from after the shooting at Columbine High School) as well as some music written more generally in support of peace. The musical selections are accompanied by readings, poems and storytelling.

"The idea behind this performance is not necessarily to make a political stand one way or another on any of a number of issues related to gun ownership or constitutional rights. We are instead considering the impact of gun violence on our communities, our lives and our music,” explains Choral Director Michael Pfitzer. “The great thing about an art form like choral music is that we each bring our own inspiration to every song we sing. We can communicate something that goes beyond what we can express with words to cross boundaries. Our students have different opinions from one another about the political debate on gun control happening in this country. What we all agree on is that gun violence is a tragic and senseless act that cannot be tolerated and needs to be stopped. Through singing, we can use our voices to express that message however we’d like, and still be in unison with each other.”

Conductor ​Michael Pfitzer​​ is in his first year on the faculty as the Director of Choral Studies at the University at Albany, returning to the Capital Region after growing up in Saratoga Springs. He has previously conducted collegiate choruses at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Boston University and Harvard University. He has also led international choral performances in Brazil and Romania. An advocate for creating strong communities through music, Pftizer has previously been the music director for numerous community ensembles, including the Cambridge Community Chorus and the Wakefield Choral Society, both in Massachusetts.

“I grew up in Saratoga Springs, so the opportunity to work with the tremendous students, faculty, and staff at the University at Albany is a dream come true,” says Pfitzer. “I am grateful for the legacy of choral singing that I inherit, established by David Janower and furthered by a number of additional inspirational choral leaders in the last few years. It's very special to be able to make music back home with such energetic and committed people.”

Advance tickets are $5 for the general public and $3 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  Tickets purchased on the day of the show are $10 for the general public and $5 for students, seniors and UAlbany faculty-staff.  For reservations and further information, contact the Box Office at (518) 442-3997.