Broken Worlds: Music to Heal or to Divide with Robert Shoup

by | Mar 16, 2023 | What’s Happening

Monday, April 3; Reception: 6:15 pm, Lecture: 7 pm

Brock Commons, Virginia Wesleyan University

In a world that seems to be defined by conflict and seemingly endless divisions, music continues to function as a steady thread through individual and shared experiences. While music’s capacity to heal is well-known, is it possible people unwittingly contribute to the climate of divisiveness by the ways they listen, sing, or play? From political and religious animosities to racial and cultural contentions, music has long had a role in both binding and opening wounds.

In environments as varied as the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and the Norfolk Street Choir Project, Robert Shoup seeks to deploy music as a vehicle for meaningful human connection.

In addition to the many choirs he has led and the numerous international orchestras he has conducted, Shoup has served as chorus master and staff conductor for the Virginia Symphony Orchestra since 1997, leading in commercial recording projects, international tours, and multiple collaborations with Virginia Arts Festival. In 2016 he founded the Norfolk Street Choir to engage individuals experiencing homelessness. He is a founding board member of the National Alliance for Music in Vulnerable Communities and serves as the music director for Second Presbyterian Church of Norfolk.

Hosted by the Robert Nusbaum Center at Virginia Wesleyan University, this annual endowed lectureship pays tribute to the life of Justine L. Nusbaum, a local humanitarian who was born in 1900 and whose compassion and generosity reached people of diverse religions, races, and nationalities.

For more information, contact the Robert Nusbaum Center at 757-455-3129 or