Eric Whitacre Dazzles During Visit to LVC

Eric Whitacre works with LVC students

Lebanon Valley College welcomed Grammy-award winning composer and conductor Eric Whitacre to campus in March. Whitacre performed a public concert with the Eric Whitacre Singers to a sold-out crowd in Frederic K. Miller Chapel. Earlier in the day, he hosted a capacity crowd, including the College’s choirs and 300 high school music students, for a master class.

Faith Brown ’18, a music education major, described the day as the experience of a lifetime.

“It was an honor having such a talented yet humble man teach us about his writing processes, inspirations, and work. As for his singers, I've never heard a choir that good—ever. They were truly amazing and made beautiful music,” she said. 

Fellow music education major Ashton Mooday ’19 wrote this post to Whitacre via his Facebook page. “Thank you so much for coming and sharing your talent, stories, and inspiration with us. It was such an amazing experience. Your humbleness and dedication to music inspires so many people!”

Whitacre, a graduate of the prestigious Juilliard School of Music, was recently appointed Artist-in-Residence with the Los Angeles Master Chorale having completed a five-year term as Composer-in-Residence at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University, UK. As conductor of the Eric Whitacre Singers he has released several chart-topping albums, including 2011’s bestselling Light and Gold. A sought-after guest conductor, Whitacre has conducted choral and instrumental concerts around the globe, including sold-out concerts with the London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Minnesota Orchestra. A charismatic speaker, Whitacre has given keynote addresses for many Fortune 500 companies and global institutions including Apple, Google, the World Economic Forum in Davos, the United Nations Speaker’s Programme, and two main stage TED talks.

Whitacre’s visit to LVC was made possible through gifts from the Wareham Estate and the Carmean Chair endowment. Ruth Karre Wareham, a music major from the LVC Class of 1945, and her husband, Leslie, left the College an estate gift that supports the Wareham Residency Program, which connects internationally renowned performers with students from LVC and Central Pennsylvania. The D. Clark & Edna Carmean Distinguished Chair of Music was established by the Carmeans in 1999. Clark H’85, a music professor and late LVC dean of admissions emeritus, and Edna ’59, H’85, late College historian and author, also established several scholarships to support LVC music students in perpetuity.

“This was an extraordinary opportunity for our students to work with an internationally renowned composer and conductor,” said Dr. Renee Norris, chair and professor of music. “During the afternoon master class, Mr. Whitacre was fun, articulate, and compassionate as he led a rehearsal of his composition ‘Lux Aurumque’ and took questions from the audience.” 

“The evening concert was beyond words—students reported feeling ‘breathless’ and in awe of the Eric Whitacre Singers. We are grateful for the support of the College administration and the donors who made this event possible.”

Whitacre posted a video from the master class on his Facebook page and it has more than 200,000 views.