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The Oratorio Society of Virginia Michael Slon, Music Director

The Oratorio Society of Virginia hires David Perry to serve as its Executive Director

Mr. Perry will be responsible for promoting The Oratorio Society's mission and goals, and for handling a wide range of administrative and management tasks to support the organization. He will be a chief partner in the group's marketing, development and community outreach efforts, and will build and strengthen relationships with supporters and artistic collaborators in Charlottesville.

Perry joins The Oratorio Society with more than eight years of experience in music education and an extensive background in arts administration. As an educator, he previously served on the faculties of the University of Virginia and James Madison University, and currently serves on the music faculty of Radford University.

Among his administrative accomplishments, Perry founded The Second Movement, a chamber music organization that pairs professional musicians with underserved urban youth in New Haven, Conn., and served as its Director for four years. He also served as Operations Assistant for the Williamsburg Symphony.

An accomplished clarinetist, Perry has performed with the Charlottesville Symphony, among other groups. He holds an Artist Diploma from Yale University, a Master of Music from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Music from the University of Wyoming.

"We are very excited to have someone with David's exceptional talent and skills supporting our organization's mission" said Suzanne Schaeffer, President of The Oratorio Society of Virginia. "We eagerly anticipate his help to bring the joy of great choral music to the community."

"It is truly an honor be asked to serve The Oratorio Society of Virginia's mission. As a performer and educator, I believe that to make music is, at its essence, to create community and connection through lived experience. As The Oratorio Society's Executive Director, I am excited to bring that transformative experience to Charlottesville," said Perry.

Perry's contract with The Oratorio Society of Virginia began September 1st. The group's 2019-20 season begins Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019 with the annual Christmas at the Paramount concerts at the Paramount Theater on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. They will feature Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Christmas Carols and Finzi's In Terra Pax along with traditional Christmas and holiday favorites. Tickets will be on sale October 1st. More information is available at www.oratoriosociety.org.

Virginia "Ginny" Johns, 1927-2019

One of the founding members of the Oratorio Society of Virginia, Virginia "Ginny" Johns, passed away on Thursday, August 1st. She was 92 years old.

Mrs. Johns was a graduate of Simmons College in Boston, a gifted musician and a valued member of the Soprano section. With a few interruptions, she sang with the Oratorio Society for a total of 11 years, spanning the period 1968-2000.

Mrs. Johns also served as President of the Oratorio Society, and served on the Board of Directors 1968-81, 1991-96 and in 2000.

Oratorio Society Music Director Emeritus Donald Loach worked with Johns prior to the founding of TOSVA, and also at St. Pau's Memorial Church on University Avenue, where she was a longtime member of the parish and the choir.

"I knew Ginny even before she helped found the Oratorio Society, " says Loach. "She was a member of the town-and gown University Singers and St. Paul's Choir. During the academic year 1967-68, University Singers was directed by Oratorio founder Charles Bradley. He was also music director at St. Paul's."

"Ginny remained a force behind Oratorio until my retirement as music director and the appointment of Lance Vining in 1999 or 2000," says Loach.

Johns was interviewed by videographer and TOSVA Board member Stewart Searle in 2018 for a feature on the 50th Anniversary of the organization.

She is survived by daughters, Anne Johns Miller and Rebecca Johns Gerritsen (Mrs. Peter Gerritsen), both of the Boston area; and a son, Thomas Richards Johns III, of Charlottesville; grandchildren, Samantha R. Miller currently in Montgomery, Alabama, Evan Johns Miller and Elizabeth Johns Gerritsen of Boston, and Andrew P. Gerritsen, and his wife, Sarah, of Silver Spring, Md.

A private service will be held at St. Paul's on Monday, August 26, 2019, at 10 a.m. for close friends and family. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully requests donations to St. Paul's Memorial Church, 1700 University Avenue, Charlottesville, or to the Oratorio Society of Virginia.

All of us at The Oratorio Society offer our condolences to Ginny's many family members and close friends, and our sincere appreciation for her artistic and administrative contributions to our organization over the years.