You’ve heard it said that Richmond has a thriving music and arts community. It’s true! Since Richmond Piano was founded in 1975 we have supported this community. Here is a list of local groups who make a vibrant sound around town. If your organization isn’t listed here, we apologize! Please send us details and we will include you in our Community page as soon as possible.
WCVE Public Radio
88.9 FM WCVE came under the Community Idea Stations umbrella in 1988 when the Union Theological Seminary decided to sell WRFK-FM, Richmond’s only public radio station. Today, 88.9 FM WCVE reaches more than 120,000 listeners in the greater Richmond area with NPR programming and classical and jazz music.
89.1 FM WCNV joined the Community Idea Stations family in the springl of 2006. 89.1 FM WCNV serves the northern neck with NPR programming and classical and jazz music.
90.1 FM WMVE is the latest addition to the Community Idea Stations family and serves south central Virginia with NPR programming, classical and jazz music since fall of 2006.
Community Idea Stations: Television
WCVE PBS made its debut on September 14, 1964 on channel 23 in Richmond. With a core mission of serving schools in central Virginia, it became the first educational television station in the south. Today, WCVE PBS serves 44 school divisions; and provides national PBS and locally-produced programs that provide life-long learning opportunities for all ages.
WCVW PBS went into full operation in 1968 on channel 57 in Richmond. Upon its arrival, WCVW began serving the high schools while WCVE focused primarily on serving the elementary and parochial schools. Today, WCVW PBS complements WCVE with PBS and locally-produced programming and covers the Richmond City Council meetings throughout the year.
WHTJ PBS began serving the greater Charlottesville community in 1989 with a full complement of PBS programming. WHTJ PBS has also been a producer of local programming such as Wilder: An American First, East of The Blue Ridge and Locked Out: The Fall of Massive Resistance, many of which have gone on to air nationally through the American Public Television Stations consortium (APT).
Today the Community Idea Stations reach more than 300,000 each week, providing programs and services that educate, entertain and inspire.
ACE – Atlantic Chamber Ensemble – is WCVE Public Radio’s Ensemble in Residence.
Launching its inaugural season in the fall of 2011, ACE is a dynamic group of young professional musicians based in Richmond, Virginia who are members of the Richmond Symphony and faculty members at institutions such as Virginia Commonwealth University, the College of William and Mary, and the University of Richmond.
Their mission is to build new connections and audiences with the people in the community via innovative programs and interaction, as well as through partnerships with local organizations such as WCVE Public Radio. Learn more about ACE by visiting their facebook page.
American Youth Harp Ensemble – The American Youth Harp Ensemble continues to dazzle audiences around the world as American’s premier youth harp ensemble, well known for their musical sophistication, rich sound, emotional power, and imaginative programming of repertoire. The American Youth Harp Ensemble (AYHE) has brought world-class music to enthusiastic audiences in the U.S. and abroad through hundreds of performances, recordings, television and radio features most recently on CNN, NBC, PBS, and NPR affiliate stations. With fifteen national and international tours to their credit since 1999, the AYHE made its international debut performing in the Maastricht Music Festival (Netherlands).
Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia – Formed in 2004, The Chamber Music Society of Central Virginia is a growing all-volunteer organization dedicated to presenting unusual classical music events in unique venues throughout the historic metropolitan Richmond area. Over the past years, we have presented music ranging from Baroque opera to electronic music, and we pride ourselves on our eclectic and exciting concert programming.
Through our educational program, called “The Ear Project,” CMSCA also presents free concerts for families, students, seniors, hospital patients, and a wide range of other Virginians. Because of their dedication to excellence in performance, and commitment to the cities of this region and their citizens, they were awarded a 2005 “CAREC” Grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Greater Richmond Children’s Choir – The Greater Richmond Children’s Choir is dedicated to bringing together boys and girls from diverse backgrounds to experience the joy of singing and to gain a life-long love for good music through age-appropriate vocal training. The GRCC strives to nurture the unique gift each child brings, to encourage all to reach for excellence, and ultimately, to create responsible and compassionate citizens of the world. Founding Artistic Director Hope Armstrong Erb has been proclaimed “a wonder” in her ability to maintain a high standard in both performance and teaching. Now in its fifteenth season, GRCC includes 65 choristers, ages 8-18 in five ensembles representing over 35 different schools in the city of Richmond and the surrounding counties. GRCC is a non-profit corporation providing need-based scholarships to over 30% of the children, and rehearses weekly at Grace & Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in the city, next door to the Landmark Theater.
Lyric Opera Virginia – THE LYRIC – was conceived and created to provide Virginians a major artistic institution whose mission is to present professional opera and musical theater gems of the classical and contemporary opera and musical theater repertoires in new, fresh and accessible formats appealing to 21st century audiences.
Monument City Music: Richmond Men’s Chorus & Richmond Women’s Chorus – Monument City Music reflects a commitment to excellence by: ensuring that performances are of the highest quality; establishing a reputation as an outstanding organization and valued community asset; and enabling each individual to recognize his unique and valuable contributions not just to the Chorus, but also to the arts and the greater Richmond community.
Our Mission: Musical excellence to inspire, entertain, educate, and unite our communities. The Richmond Men’s Chorus (RMC) is the flagship ensemble of Monument City Music Productions, Inc. and now MCM is thrilled over the launch of the Richmond Women’s Chorus (RWC) in September 2009.
One Voice Chorus – Incorporated in April, 2004 as an independent non-profit organization, more than 100 One Voice singers now come from all parts of Richmond and many choirs, including more than 50 churches and the Richmond Symphony Chorus. Our mission is to perform excellent choral music for the community and provide artistic and educational resources to promote the work of racial reconciliation.
Richmond Boys Choir – Now in its 16th season, the Richmond Boys Choir (RBC) began as a collaborative project of Theatre IV and the Boys and Girls Club of Richmond. After citywide auditions in the fall of 1996, 25 boys were selected for membership. In 1997, the Richmond Boys Choir became an independent, non-profit 501(c)3. Over the past 16 years, members of the Richmond Boys Choir have been provided opportunities to represent their beloved Richmond throughout the U.S. by traveling to such places as Fayetteville, Kansas City, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and New York.
In 1999, the Richmond Chamber of Commerce deemed RBC “Richmond’s Ambassadors of Song.” In keeping with that title, the Richmond Boys Choir continues to showcase its personal, academic and musical excellence, while representing Richmond’s diverse cultures through music and membership. RBC uses such opportunities to share with all who would hear the rich musical talent found right here in central Virginia. RBC welcomes members from all socio-economic, religious and cultural backgrounds.
Richmond Choral Society – Sixty-seven years ago, a dream long nurtured by the Musician’s Club of Richmond began to bear fruit: One hundred of Richmond’s best singers began gathering to rehearse selections from a wide spectrum of musical sources—the classical masters, hymns, spirituals, folk arrangements, novelty songs and contemporary works. On April 29, 1947, the singers—soon to be known as the Richmond Choral Society—premiered those nineteen pieces in a concert at the WRVA Theater on East Broad Street. Under the direction of James Rawlings Sydnor, a music professor and Presbyterian hymnbook editor, the Choral Society began decades of setting a performance standard in Richmond.
In the 2009—2010 season, the Richmond Choral Society began a new era, under the direction of Markus Compton, a dynamic young conductor who brings a wealth of experience to the leadership position. Under his guidance, we are continuing the tradition of excellence that has marked our long and proud history.
Richmond Jazz Society – RJS is a nonprofit corporation (tax exempt under Sec. 501(c)(3) IRC) created to educate the public regarding the historical development and significance of Jazz music, with a special emphasis on young musicians and young audiences; to be a valuable resource/referral and support center for Jazz in the Commonwealth of Virginia; and, to promote the advancement of Jazz as an American art form via activities such as performances, lectures, workshops, and exhibits.
Founded in 1979, RJS continues to build upon its initial success by adding innovative performance and educational programs each year. RJS has established a distinctive series of programs and events to serve performers, students, teachers and the existing jazz audience and to expand that audience. In 2008, RJS was one of ten recipients of the prestigious Governor’s Award For The Arts. It’s all here waiting for you – from the mountains to the ocean… Virginia Loves Jazz! Bright Moments!
Note: Richmond Piano is pleased to sponsor the RJS Guest Educator Series held monthly at Capital Ale House, 623 E. Main St., Richmond. Please visit the RJS website for details and upcoming performances.
Richmond Philharmonic – As Central Virginia’s premier community orchestra, our ensemble is comprised of fine musicians from all walks of life who dedicate themselves to the daily practice, weekly rehearsal, and year-long planning required to present full seasons of the world’s great music. We do this as volunteers, not only because we love to play, but also because we care passionately about sharing great music with our audiences.
2013 marks two milestones for the Richmond Philharmonic. First, it’s their 40th Anniversary. For four decades, it’s been RPO’s privilege to present performances for Richmond audiences. Also, this year, RPO has the special opportunity to introduce three finalist candidates for Music Director, each of whom will conduct one of the season’s Great Works Concerts.
Richmond Symphony – The Richmond Symphony was founded in 1957 by a small, dedicated group of music-lovers who desired to provide Central Virginia with a professional orchestra. The Symphony performed only three concerts in its inaugural season; today, the orchestra makes more than 200 public appearances each season. We employ 36 core (full-time) and more than 40 part-time musicians, perform for approximately 125,000 patrons each season, and reach thousands more area residents through educational outreach programs and weekly radio broadcasts on WCVE-FM. As a nonprofit corporation, the Richmond Symphony is partially supported by the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
The Richmond Symphony is dedicated to achieving excellence in both contemporary and traditional symphonic repertoire. Among our ticketed series are:
- Altria Masterworks – Crafted with you in mind: the classical music explorer. Saturday nights and Sunday matinees at the Carpenter Theatre.
- Genworth Financial Symphony Pops – The very best in symphonic entertainment – popular standards, a holiday tradition, and more – our POPS series at the Carpenter Theatre is perfect for the adventurous music lover.
- Metro Collection – Intimate, engaging chamber orchestra concerts at Randolph-Macon College. Get up close and personal with the musicians of the Richmond Symphony.
- LolliPops – Concerts for kids at the Carpenter Theatre are certain to bring out the kid in you. A fun introduction to the orchestra – perfect for families.
River City Blues Society – The River City Blues Society of Virginia is organized exclusively for educational, literary, artistic and charitable purposes. We are a non-profit, volunteer-based organization dedicated to the promotion, preservation, and perpetuation of the Blues as an original American art form.
Virginia Opera – produces five mainstage productions including performances at the Edythe C. and Stanley L. Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, at the Carpenter Theatre at Richmond CenterStage in Richmond, and at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts in Fairfax. Virginia Opera is the only opera company to perform a full season of opera in three separate mainstage venues and to reach more than 150,000 students and community members each year through its innovative Education and Community Outreach Program. Building upon past accomplishments, their upcoming Season will feature an exciting level of artistry and diverse programming – as the company moves forward to its Gala 40th Anniversary Season in 2014-15. While remaining committed to securing the highest caliber of vocal talent, the Opera will invite brilliant conductors, assisted by the next generation of gifted artists, to challenge audiences and create new opera experiences.
Virginia Symphony Orchestra – The Virginia Symphony Orchestra has enriched the communities of Hampton Roads for 90 years, offering more 140 classical, pops, family, educational, and outreach concerts each season, including orchestral support of the Virginia Opera and the Virginia Arts Festival. The 42-week season runs from September through June, and under Grammy Award-Winning Music Director JoAnn Falletta’s leadership, the orchestra has risen to new artistic heights. In August 2000, the Virginia Symphony was accepted into the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians, officially entering the “major league” of symphony orchestras. VSO concerts are performed throughout Hampton Roads, and the Commonwealth.
African American Repertory Theatre – engages, inspires and challenges audience through a broad range of theatrical presentations that promote, nurture, reflect, and celebrate the vast spectrum of life that is the African American experience. Through performance, education, community engagement and collective development we seek to establish and maintain a permanent theatrical institution based in Richmond Virginia.
Cadence Theatre Company – Since moving into its first permanent space last season, Cadence has solidified its place as Richmond’s main producer of contemporary classics.
Chamberlayne Actors Theatre – Live, professional theatre in Northside Richmond! Celebrating 49 years producing entertaining productions that run the gamut from comedies to mysteries to classics, CAT Theatre also provides opportunties for those interested in exploring theatre from the other side of the footlights. By creating a bridge between the diversity of our community and Richmond’s creative spirit, CAT provides theatre by and for the Richmond community.
Christian Youth Theater – Richmond – CYT is an after-school theater arts training program for students ages 4 – 18. Since its founding in 1981 in San Diego, CYT has grown to be the largest youth theater in the nation and is a non-profit 501(c)3 educational organization funded primarily through its tuition, ticket sales, and outside contributions. CYT Richmond is one of many CYT affiliates across the country training thousands of students each year and is a licensee of CCT/CYT (Christian Community Theater, located in San Diego, CA). It has been operating for the past 10 years with an extremely positive influence on the Richmond community. Kids and families LOVE it.
Because CYT does not own facilities for classes or productions, the organization works through the local community, utilizing classrooms and stages in churches, schools and local theaters. CYT is not affiliated with a church body, and people of all faiths are welcome.
CYT stands in the forefront in its commitment to the highest ethical, moral, technical and artistic standards of excellence. Instructors are professionals, qualified in teaching and/or performing, who must understand our mission statement, values, objectives and goals. The staff of CYT Richmond strives to be excellent role models.
Note: Richmond Piano is pleased to support CYT by providing a digital piano for use by their production orchestra. Visit the CYT website for a performance schedule.
The Conciliation Project – Their mission is to promote, through active and challenging dramatic work, open and honest dialogue about racism in America in order to repair its damaging legacy.
Firehouse Theatre Project – The Firehouse Theatre Project is formed to present important American contemporary theatre pieces with an emphasis on plays not previously produced in the metropolitan Richmond area, including developing, producing, and performing at least one new play each year.
Since taking up residence at Station House #10 in 1994, The Firehouse Theatre Project has been a cornerstone of the rebirth of a previously blighted area. Located in the heart of Richmond’s Fan district along Broad Street’s Arts Corridor, the Firehouse’s artistic environment can best be described as “Off-Broadway on Broad Street.” Going into its 19th season, the Firehouse Theatre Project has earned a reputation as the local choice for cutting edge performances. It aims to encourage and incubate emerging artists, with an emphasis on plays not previously produced in the metropolitan Richmond area, including developing and producing at least one new play each year.
The Firehouse’s commitment to partnerships is one of its greatest strengths. By partnering with fledgling and smaller performing arts groups, it fulfills its mission of supporting emerging arts and cultural endeavors. Possessing the ability to provide a space for a multitude of arts groups to entertain and educate with their unique events is an invaluable asset to the community. Dance performances, film festivals, awards ceremonies, local music and even silent movies can be found at the Firehouse. These partnerships aid smaller groups’ success and further promote the arts and entertainment industry in the heart of Richmond.
HATTheatre – Founded in 1993, HATTheatre is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) production company. Their goal is to offer Richmond audiences high quality theatre, featuring the area’s most talented & dedicated artists. Their venue is an intimate 70 seat black-box theatre. They also offer an extensive array of classes for all ages from 5 to adult in their education series.HATTheatre brings eclectic shows with broad-based appeal to our audiences and are dedicated to offering fair and reasonable ticket prices in order to be as accessible as possible to all who enjoy live, professional theatre.
HATTheatre plays host to one of the finest improv. comedy troupes in the area, West End Comedy, who brings its all audiences show (Friday) and the more mature show (Saturday), to the stage one weekend each month.
Henley Street Theatre Company – Henley Street stages classical and contemporary works that are relevant, affordable and alive. Their artistic standards are guided by three core values: a reverence for language, a commitment to diversity, and a spirit of adventure.
Language is the essence of Henley Street Theatre’s work. Hearing masterful language expressed powerfully improves our listening skills, ignites the imagination and allows us to deepen our understanding of the world around us. With a strong base in the works of William Shakespeare, their programming reflects works of world drama that have stood the test of time. They also produce new works that we believe will be appreciated for generations to come.
Diversity is their most important artistic commitment. This includes diversity in their choice of dramatic material, casting, collaborative partnerships, and in the audiences that they reach out to. It is through this diversity that they are able to satisfy their voracious artistic appetite and infuse the community with excitement and anticipation over what they’ll do next.
Their approach their work with a spirit of boldness and adventure, always aiming for the dynamic and the unexplored. It is in this spirit that they stretch their artistic muscles; continue to learn and grow from their experiences; and excite fellow artists with the challenge of stepping outside of their comfort zones. They believe that theatre is an adventure and they want to take as many people along as they can.
Richmond Shakespeare – Richmond Shakespeare celebrated its 26th year by returning for year two to Richmond CenterStage! It’s their winter home, with performances, readings, student workshops and adult classes from October to May. In the summer months, the company produces outdoors with the Richmond Shakespeare Festival at 500 year-old Agecroft Hall, a Tudor estate home that stood in England during Shakespeare’s lifetime. It was brought across the Atlantic to Richmond, Virginia in the 1920’s. Where better to host the Shakespeare Festival?
A fully 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization, Richmond Shakespeare also performs and teaches across Virginia and around the country–visiting 23 states and more than 100,000 people over the last dozen years.
Richmond Triangle Players – RICHMOND TRIANGLE PLAYERS is committed to the passionate exploration of theatre and its role in the global community. They embrace a wide audience with a focus on works relevant to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities. Their highest aim is to enlighten those around them with theatre that warms the heart, educates the mind and entertains the spirit. Richmond Triangle Players’ goal is to be the premiere theater organization celebrating and advocating diversity through creative endeavors.
(SPARC) School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community – SPARC inspires young people, ages 5-18, to reach their full potential through quality training in the performing arts. SPARC develops life skills among young performers, preparing them for productive lives and leadership.
Founded in 1981 by Jeri Cutler-Voltz, the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community has been “setting the stage for life” for the region’s youth for 30 years. SPARC students study a graduated, experience-based curriculum of acting, singing, and dance. In addition to building the skills for excellence in the performing arts, our students gain valuable life skills through our programs, such as poise, confidence, character, appreciation of diversity, and teamwork.
SPARC offers a range of classes for youth of every age at every stage. Students exploring the performing arts for the first time, as well as those looking toward a career in the arts, will find classes appropriate to their age and development. Classes held in the fall focus on process – building the age-appropriate skills that form the foundation for the performing arts. Classes held in the spring concentrate more on performance – how it feels to work toward a final, staged performance with a live audience. SPARC offers a full range of summer programming: half-day camps, full-day camps, acting intensive workshops, a touring performance ensemble, and a fully staged musical. SPARC’s STAGES program provides performing arts training, during the school day and after school, for over 700 students in more than 25 schools in the Richmond region.
Swift Creek Mill Theatre – On December 2, 1965, Swift Creek Mill Playhouse opened its doors. To convert the old grist mill into a dinner theater required an addition to the three story building to house the kitchen, dressing rooms and restrooms. Stairways were built leading to upper and lower dining levels, and to the theatre located on the top floor. Much of the old equipment in the mill was refurbished to lend a rustic atmosphere.
Swift Creek Mill has been preserved as both a historical landmark and cultural outlet for the talent of local artists, skilled actors, directors, designers and technicians whose efforts have made possible the artistic achievements of the Mill.
Sycamore Rouge – Sycamore Rouge is Petersburg’s professional theatre for the community. Their mission is to use the performing arts to promote creativity, to help revitalize Petersburg’s downtown area, to strengthen the communities they serve through communal arts experiences, to stimulate the hearts and minds of the community, and to educate the community and its children.
Virginia Repertory Theatre – Virginia Repertory Theatre combines the talents and strengths of two companies that shared facilities, resources, and management teams for over a decade. Now the heritages of Barksdale Theatre and Theatre IV live on in their new form, as Central Virginia’s flagship professional theatre company.
Virginia Rep presents national caliber productions of the great dramas, comedies and musicals—past, present and future. With equal enthusiasm, we explore the classics, contemporary works and world premieres, always seeking to demonstrate the unique power of theatre to engage, enthrall, educate and inspire.
Virginia Rep is committed to artistic excellence and professionalism. We nurture and support outstanding local, regional and national artists, and pay them at professional standards.
Virginia Rep is committed to community. We connect with and continually seek to expand our audience through a wide array of innovative programs and initiatives that promote both access and inclusion.
Virginia Rep is committed to sound management. While remaining focused on the cherished ideals of our past, we seek to maintain the responsible and sustainable balance between artistic excellence and fiscal accountability that will enable our future.