Virginia Beach Chorale commissioning piece in remembrance of May 31 mass shooting

Local News

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — It’s been more than six months since the deadly mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

As we know, it takes a long time to heal.

A local choir wants to memorialize the victims and remember what the community has been through with a special musical piece.

“There’s some maybe unexplainable, mystical, magical connection that — that just brings people’s hearts and brains together,” said Virginia Beach Chorale Director Don Krudop.

Music is a universal language that expresses emotion when words fail.

“Sometimes music is able to say for us what we don’t know what to say for ourselves,” said Christine Lewis, Virginia Beach Chorale Board president. “We’re going to recognize that there’s rawness and there’s hurt and it’s just a terrible thing to happen. We’re also going to remember and echo that love and that resilience, the strength with the community coming together to support everyone.”

The piece they are commissioning will honor the victims and remember what happened on May 31 at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center.

“Obviously it’s something that affected all of us and we thought wow, isn’t this a way we can kind of help,” said Lewis.

Lewis says the choir tasked composer Daniel Gawthrop with bringing their vision to life.

“We know we’ve got the right man for the job,” she said.

Gawthrop wrote a piece for the group last year, in honor of its 60th anniversary.

“He is just a master at setting music to the text that creates the mood,” Krudop said. “We’re hoping it will mean a lot to everybody in the city.”

The group plans to debut the piece in the spring of 2021, with a private performance for those directly impacted by the shooting before sharing it with the entire community.

“… [T]hey feel the idea of resilience, yes we will, we will survive and we will get through this,” Krudop said.

The group still needs to raise a few thousand dollars to make this music come to life. If you’d like to donate, you can visit their website or Facebook fundraiser.

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