Department of Music

Virginia Community Music Festival

May 15, 2021

The Virginia Community Music Festival provides community music ensembles the experience of performing in the acoustically superb halls of the Ferguson Center for the Arts, celebrates and promotes lifelong music making, offers workshops and clinics on how to better serve the community and manage an organization, and enhances the cultural life of Hampton Roads.

The festival presents public performances by community music ensembles throughout Virginia, in addition to lectures and workshops on health for adult musicians, audience development, fundraising and more. The concerts are free and open to the public and are held in Christopher Newport University’s Ferguson Center for the Arts and Pope Chapel.

Each ensemble receives a professionally mastered video of its performance, and the performances in Diamonstein Concert Hall and Peebles Theatre are livestreamed. Participating ensembles may have a table in a lobby. Instrument, music and fundraising vendors will be on on site. Each ensemble’s performance can last no longer than 45 minutes. Christopher Newport provides chairs, stands, percussion instruments, choral risers, a Steinway 9-foot piano, podiums, an organ (Pope Chapel) and a microphone, all free of charge. There are several restaurants in the area, and Hilton Garden Inn Newport News is offering a special rate for all participants.

To Apply

Ensemble participation is free, and all concerts, lectures and masterclasses are free and open to the public. To apply for one of the limited performance times, please send either a video or a sound recording of a live, unedited performance from within the past two years to:

Virginia Community Music Festival
Department of Music
Christopher Newport University
1 Avenue of the Arts
Newport News, Virginia 23606

Please include the name of the ensemble and contact information (name, street address, e-mail address and telephone number).

The sound recording or video must be received by the Department of Music no later than November 1, 2020. Materials will not be returned. Notification of the decision will be sent via email no later than December 15, 2020.

For more information, please contact the Department of Music at (757) 594-7089 or Dr. Mark Reimer, director of music, at reimer@cnu.edu or (757) 594-7074.

Board of Advisers

  • Butch Barnard, president, Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble
  • Daniel W. Boothe, conductor, Symphonicity
  • Bruce Bronstein, executive director, Ferguson Center for the Arts
  • Dr. Dave Doughty, provost, Christopher Newport University
  • Major William Garlette, conductor, Chesapeake Bay Wind Ensemble, co-founder
  • Dr. John Irving, director of choral studies, Christopher Newport University
  • Raymond Jones, classical radio host, WHRO 90.3 FM
  • Dr. Mark Reimer, director of music, Christopher Newport University, co-founder
  • Dr. Jacob Tews, director of orchestral studies, Christopher Newport University
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