VT School of Performing Arts Remembers World War I Through Music

Soldiers stand at attention on the Drillfield of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in 1918.

The Virginia Tech School of Performing Arts will commemorate World War I through music as it celebrates, through two “Music on Mondays” performances, the history and sacrifice of the gallant men and women who gave their lives.

On Feb. 27, “On the Eve of the Great War” will showcase the talents of visiting artist Wesley Baldwin on cello and Virginia Tech faculty member Tracy Cowden on piano. On April 17, “The Land of Lost Content: The Great War in Song” will feature two faculty members, tenor Brian Thorsett and pianist Richard Masters.B oth performances will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Squires Recital Salon.

The recitals complement VPI in World War One, a collaborative project of the Virginia Tech Department of History and University Libraries. The project — which includes electronic exhibits, photographs, biographical information, and archives of the “Virginia Tech Bugle” from 1910 through 1919 — celebrates the memories and legacies of Virginia Tech graduates who fought in the Great War. The VPI in World War One project can also be found on Twitter at @VPI_WWI.

It has been almost a century since the first World War ended. One of the deadliest conflicts in history, the war led to major political changes and global revolutions. The Great War mobilized more than 70 million military personnel and led to more than 38 million casualties, including an estimated 7 million civilians.

The global conflict also led to the creation of some of the world’s most memorable and remarkable compositions. While the Allies faced off against the Central Powers, great composers such as Sergei Rachmaninoff, Claude Debussy, Anton Webern, and Zoltán Kodály were composing some of the most beautiful music ever written. The war touched those composers deeply and resonated in their stunning and powerful compositions.

“On the Eve of the Great War,” which will feature work by those composers, is presented with support from a gift to the School of Performing Arts by Robert and Beverly Williges.

Tickets for “On the Eve of the Great War” — $15 for general admission, $12 for seniors, and $7 for students — may be purchased online, at the Squires Centers and Activities Ticket Office on the first floor of Squires Student Center, or by calling 540-231-5615.

Tickets will also be available at the Squires ticket office beginning one hour prior to the performance. Admission to “The Land of Lost Content: The Great War in Song” is free.

The Squires Student Center is located at 290 College Ave. on the Virginia Tech campus. Parking is available in the Squires lot located at the corner of College Avenue and Otey Street and the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Limited Street parking is also available.

If you are an individual with a disability and desire accommodation, please call Susan Sanders at 540-231-5200 or email her prior to the event.