The electric reverberations of people singing in harmony is what Jeff Webb, Associate Professor and Choir Director, is attempting to do – but he will do it virtually. Webb is conducting a joint student-alumni choir performance integrating individuals using a digital program so that 75 alumni are able to rehearse with current Pitt-Johnstown students in preparation for a virtual choir performance. Webb will release the concert by the end of May. “This both shows the enduring involvement of our alumni, the importance of Pitt-Johnstown in their lives, and their desire to engage with our students and our campus community, “ said Dr. Michael P. Stoneham, Humanities Division Chair.
Webb holds alumni chorus every five years when it began in 2011 with my his tenth year at UPJ. Since word got out the choir has grown. "We had 20 singers the first time in 2011, we had roughly 40 singers in 2016 and we were to have singers on campus this year to celebrate my 20th year conducting the choir," Webb said. "Covid has changed all that, obviously and so the current choir has been doing virtual choir performances (like the Alma Mater that we completed in the fall). I invited the alumni to join us in a performance of the song Freedomsong by Eric Morris. Over 70 alumni singers contacted me to say they were intending to participate."
Alumni singers have been mostly rehearsing on their own, but over the last couple of Tuesday evenings, they have been joining current choir members over Zoom to rehearse the piece. Everybody is to turn in their virtual recordings by April 9 and he is hopeful that all of the editing will be completed in order to premiere the virtual video on June 1.
Watch The Pitt-Johnstown Chamber Choir sing the University of Pittsburgh Alma Mater.