Each Sunday during this pandemic, the University of Virginia community has come together virtually to mark the close of another week with another episode of “Arts on the Hill”
University President Jim Ryan and aide Matt Weber launched the show last month to help connect far-flung Hoos and lift spirits during as the pandemic stretched on. The sixth episode, released Sunday night, opened with 2012 alumna Erin Lunsford, who started the show with a performance of “Neighbor’s Eye,” a song that she recorded in 2017.
Then, Michael Idzior, UVA assistant band director, used his euphonium to play not one, but all four parts of Mozart’s “Marriage of Figaro.” Fourth-year Caitlin Catterton performed a song from the musical “Waitress,” a cappella group the Hullabahoos performed via Zoom, and UVA alumnus Ron Suskind shared a poem, shaking things up with uncanny imitations of several U.S. presidents. Bill Antholis, director and CEO of the Miller Center for Public Affairs, and Melody Barnes, co-director of the Democracy Initiative, read a poem, “Of History and Hope” by Miller Williams, that was read at President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration.
To close, Dr. Eugene McGahren, a physician at the UVA Children’s Hospital, had a special surprise for his wife, Catherine. The couple celebrated their wedding anniversary on Sunday; McGahren performed a song that he wrote, called “Little One” when the couple welcomed their first child. They now have four children, two of whom attend UVA.
A new edition of “Arts on the Hill” is released each Sunday at 8 p.m. Anyone interested in submitting a performance or making a recommendation can email firstname.lastname@example.org.