Seeking the UVA Madrigal Group

The UVA Magazine posted a great collection of stories from women at the University of Virginia. One area that they didn’t dive into was the history of women’s choral music at the University.

The earliest reference we have to women of the University community participating in Glee Club performances comes in 1944, when a “Madrigal Group” made up of women from the University joined the Glee Club in its fourth annual Christmas concert. The Madrigal Group lasted two seasons, disbanding after the end of World War II, and except for a brief reinstatement in the 1950s there is no further word about a women’s choir until the formation of the University of Virginia Women’s Chorus in 1974. So while the Glee Club collaborated in virtually every home concert with a women’s chorus, they always had to reach outside the University community for their collaborations.

It would be great if any of the original members of that Madrigal Group could share their stories. According to the December 15, 1944 “College Topics,” they included Kathryn Bell, Barbara Bishop, Phyllis Black, Joyce Blume, Adele Chauvenet, Mary Costello, Virginia Cummings, Nancye Jane Davis, Renee Gretcke, Barbara Harris, Mary Lamb, Jeanne Mills, Margaret Neale, Betty Pritchett, Roberta Richman, Catherine Spencer, Doris Spradlin, Mae Thacker, Virginia Ware, Anna Witt, Mary Broyles, Dudley Burruss, Priscilla Calmer, Calise Chauvenet, Mary L. Forbes, June Kittleson, Betty Newton, Nancy Spicer, Patsy Walker, and Mary Wheat.

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