Search form

University of Virginia UVA Arts & Sciences Default

A&S Taking Star Turns in Bicentennial Celebration

Oct 02, 2017 |

Hundreds of Arts & Sciences faculty and students will perform and be featured prominently this Friday at a series of public events marking the opening of the University of Virginia’s Bicentennial celebration, including an evening gala expected to draw more than 20,000 people.

The Bicentennial Launch Celebration gala, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday on the Lawn, will feature appearances from Broadway performer Leslie Odom Jr., known for his Tony Award-winning performance as Aaron Burr in “Hamilton,” Grammy-nominated R&B singer Andra Day and the rock group the Goo Goo Dolls. English professor and former U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove will debut her new poem about Henry Martin, the University’s bell ringer from 1847 to 1909, while notable UVA alumni such as broadcast journalist Katie Couric and actor Jason George ("Grey's Anatomy") are also scheduled to make appearances.

The gala also includes a performance by the Charlottesville Symphony and the University Singers, directed by UVA Director of Choral Music and Associate Professor Michael Slon of a specially commissioned piece. “We Hold These Truths” by Jefferson Todd Frazier, follows Thomas Jefferson as he composes the Declaration of Independence and founds the University of Virginia. The electronic music ensemble M.I.C.E., with Music chair Matthew Burtner, and the UVA Jazz Ensemble, with John D’earth, also will perform, as well as Music faculty members Greg Howard and A.D. Carson, and the Cavalier Marching Band (with Andrew Koch and William Pease).

The Charlottesville Symphony at the University of Virginia features 13 members of the McIntire Department of Music for this performance: Katy Ambrose, Ayn Balija, Adam Carter, Rachel Duncan, Shawn Earle, I-Jen Fang, Anastasia Jellison, Nathaniel Lee, John Mayhood, Kelly Peral, David Sariti, Daniel Sender and Kelly Sulick. The Symphony also will join with the Martha Graham Dance Company to perform excerpts from Aaron Copland’s “Appalachian Spring."

Professor Emeritus Robert Chapel (Drama) and Drama lecturer Cady Garey are collaborating in the staging of live actors interacting with Paintscaping Inc.’s projection mapping to tell the University’s 200-year story. 

The Bicentennial Launch Celebration gala is free and open to the public, but tickets are required. A limited number of additional tickets were made available Monday. The remaining tickets can be requested online on the University’s Bicentennial website.

This week’s schedule of other free Bicentennial events featuring A&S faculty is included below.

Thursday, Oct. 5

7 p.m., The Paramount Theater: Backstory Live – Who Speaks for America? 200 Years of Debate. The Corcoran Department of History’s Brian Balogh and fellow historians Ed Ayers, Joanne Freeman and Nathan Connolly will discuss current issues and trace them back to their roots in American history. Online registration for free tickets is required, with a two-ticket limit per registrant. 

Friday, Oct. 6

3-3:45 p.m., The Lawn: Tribute to the Laying of the Cornerstone. Faculty, staff and students are invited to the presentation of the bicentennial marker on the Lawn in a celebration of the appearance of three U.S. presidents – Thomas Jefferson, James Monroe and James Madison –on Oct. 6, 1817 to lay the cornerstone of the University of Virginia. The ceremony will feature a performance by the UVA Chamber Singers.

4-6 p.m., east of Brooks Hall, across from The Corner: UVA staff and members of the President’s Commission on Slavery and the University will be on hand to answer questions about the Memorial to Enslaved Laborers, designed to commemorate the contributions of enslaved workers.


Saturday, Oct. 7

10 a.m., Newcomb Hall Theater: “More than the Score” lecture by Alan Taylor (History). This free talk by the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian on Thomas Jefferson’s experiences as a student at the College of William & Mary and how they informed his plans for the University of Virginia is sold out.

10 a.m., UVA Bookstore Mezzanine: Authors in the Arts. Mix, mingle and enjoy coffee with your favorite faculty, see their latest publications and take home a personally signed book. More than 40 titles representing UVA’s art, creative writing, music and architecture departments will be available. Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. Poet Laureate Rita Dove (English) will be there at 11 a.m.


All week

“The University in 100 Objects” exhibit, Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library: Based on Brendan Wolfe's book, Mr. Jefferson’s Telescope, the exhibit features artifacts from the Special Collections Library, other University entities and private collections.

For more information on the full schedule of Bicentennial events, visit the University of Virginia Bicentennial website