The New Virginians

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The New Virginians
New virginians logo.png
New Virginians Logo
Background information
Origin Blacksburg, Virginia, USA
Genres Collegiate, Patriotic
Years active 1972–1993, 1994–2004
Website http://www.newvirginians.org

The New Virginians was a musical group from Virginia Tech founded in 1972. Its founder and first director was Stan Kingma, who had directed the Virginia Tech Glee Club, later called the Showmen, which was the nucleus of choral music singing at Virginia Tech. The group featured 24 singer/dancers, a 12 piece showband, a technical staff and a public-relations staff focused on a musical variety show which toured Virginia and surrounding states as "musical ambassadors of Virginia Tech" in shows hosted by civic groups, conventioneers, and sometimes the university itself.[1] The group was known on campus for its annual "Homeshow" which was presented each spring and Christmas show during the holiday which benefited a local charity.[2][3]

During those 21 years, the group produced 17 albums and performed a cross country summer tour sponsored by Georgia Pacific in the late 1970s which concluded with an appearance on the Dinah Shore Show.[4] Georgia Pacific president and former Virginia Tech president T. Marshall Hahn was instrumental in arranging the tour. Stan Kingma, who directed the group for its first six years, and most of the original New Virginians staff and originators (Stan Kingma and Christopher "Kit" Bond) left the program at the end of the 1978 season.[5] After a year of inactivity, the University restarted the program in 1979 under the direction of John Howell where it continued until the end of the 1993 spring semester when John Howell founded and directed the Early Music Ensemble at Virginia Tech. Founding member Associate Professor of Music Emeritus Paul Breske led the showband until his death in 1992.[6]

Reorganization[edit]

The group was reorganized in 1994 as a 12 member Jazz Choir under the direction of Lisanne Lyons.[7][8] The new group also disbanded the showband, replacing it with a rhythm quartet of student musicians playing guitar, piano, bass and drums. That instrumental group was later replaced with prerecorded musical accompaniment. The group continued in the Jazz Choir format for 10 years, winning the Downbeat Award two years in a row for the most outstanding jazz choir in the United States. University budget cuts in 2004 forced the loss of all vocal and instrumental jazz professors and the group was completely disbanded bringing a close to the 30+ year history of groups under the New Virginians name.[9]

Reunions[edit]

In July 2007, over 100 Alumni from the Kingma years came together in Richmond, Va for a reunion celebrating the 35th anniversary of the founding of the group. Alumni stepped back into the tasks they performed so many times as students as technicians set the stage, and singers and band members performed for the community.[10]

Discography[edit]

All albums are available on LP only unless specified

Year Title notes
1993 Rockin the Place Tonight CD and cassette only
1992 Putting It Together CD and cassette only
1991 Sing! CD and cassette only
1990 Dancing in the Street cassette only
1989 Rising Stars
1987 American Made
1986 Great American Variety Show
1977 Coast to Coast double LP
1972 The New Virginians
1976 Celebrate
1985 That's Entertainment
1980 They're Playing Our Song
1982 Reach Out and Touch
1973 Morning Stars
1973 Golden Afternoons

Notable alumni[edit]

  • Chol Kong - Artistic Director of the Northwest Asian American Theater, Performer 1987-1991[11]
  • Nancy Glisson Lucy - 1993 Miss Virginia, 4th runner to 1993 Miss America, Performer, 1988-1992[12]
  • Bob Lambert - Lighting director in the late 1970s, later worked for Disney Imagineering, rising to become a senior executive with The Walt Disney Company.
  • Joan Grady (Gardner) - 1975 Miss Virginia, Miss Virginia Beach {12}
  • Pamela Polk - 1976 Miss Virginia (1976 Top Ten Finalist, Talent Winner in Miss America Pageant) {12}

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Getting Acquainted With Virginia Tech". Washington Post. September 28, 1989. pp. V07. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  2. ^ "NEW VIRGINIANS SHARE OLD MEMORIES". Roanoke Times. April 2, 1992. pp. E1. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  3. ^ "THEY'LL BE DANCING ALL AROUND". New River Valley Current (Roanoke Times). November 30, 1990. p. 2. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  4. ^ "New Virginians appearance on the Dinah Shore show.". 1978. 
  5. ^ "MEET MR. MUSIC LIKE HIM OR NOT, STAN KINGMA IS THE MAN WITH A PLAN - FOR MAKING MONEY FROM MUSIC". Roanoke Times. July 14, 1990. pp. E1. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  6. ^ "Breske Obituary". Virginia Tech Magazine. Archived from the original on 2007-01-29. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  7. ^ "POP-JAZZ SINGER TAKING OVER DIRECTION OF NEW VIRGINIANS". Roanoke Times. June 10, 1993. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  8. ^ "Reorganization changing New Virginians' status". Virginia Tech Magazine. Spring 1993. Retrieved 2007-07-15. 
  9. ^ "BUDGET TRIMS COULD TRIM NEW VIRGINIANS". Roanoke Times. January 31, 1993. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  10. ^ CRUTCHFIELD, LISA (2007-07-26). "Legendary choral group sets anniversary engagement". Richmond Times Dispatch. Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  11. ^ Adcock,, Joe (April 21, 1998). "BEING FIRST NOTHING NEW TO DIRECTOR". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 
  12. ^ "Former Miss Virginias". Miss Virginia Pagent. Retrieved 2009-09-18. 

External links[edit]