The public is invited to participate in a Broadway Sing-along that features two talented Virginia Tech pianists at the keyboard on Thursday, Oct. 8, at 7:30 p.m. at The Lyric Theatre. The event is free and open to all.

With song lyrics projected on the big screen, the audience will be led by assistant professors Dwight Bigler and Rick Masters at the piano along with student music majors. Familiar, crowd-pleasing melodies will be chosen from Broadway plays such as West Side Story, South Pacific, Annie, Fiddler on the Roof, My Fair Lady, The Lion King, The Wizard of Oz, and more.

Bigler, director of choral activities at Virginia Tech since 2009, has guest conducted and led workshops for high schools and universities across the county and internationally. Also a composer, Bigler has published works with Oxford University Press, Hinshaw, Walton, and Alliance Music Publishers. He is the 2015 recipient of the Excellence in Research and Creative Scholarship Award from the Virginia Tech College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. 

A solo pianist, chamber musician, and opera coach, Masters has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, and the Castleton Festival; and with Grammy Award-winning operatic baritone Donnie Ray Albert, mezzo-soprano Marta Senn, Juilliard String Quartet violinist Earl Carlyss, and many others. Masters has served as the Diversity Fellow for the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences for the last two years.

This will be the 11th annual Gay in Appalachia event, presented by the LGBT Caucus at Virginia Tech.

“The LGBT community has had a lot to celebrate over the last year, and we want to take time to share the joy in our own fabulous way with both town and gown,” said Jean Elliott, founder of the series and the university’s 2014 Presidential Principles of Community award winner and named an OUTstanding Virginian for Equality Virginia in 2012. “This year, it’s time to sing some favorite songs together and appreciate the musical gifts of Dwight and Rick, along with some other surprise guest performers.”

Over the past decade, the Gay in Appalachia series has focused on building an inclusive community by exploring various issues through the arts, showcasing filmmakers, theatre readings, and best-selling authors with discussions centered on themes of religion, resiliency, and election-year politics.

The Gay in Appalachia celebration has sponsors from across the university, including the Center for the Arts, the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences, the Department of Human Resources, Division of Student Affairs, the Graduate School, the Intercultural Engagement Center, and the Women’s Center.

The Lyric Theatre is located at 135 College Ave in downtown Blacksburg. Parking is available on nearby streets.

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