The Virginia Gentlemen
The Virginia Gentlemen have been around since 1953, and we have no one to thank for our formation except Donald MacInnis, then-director of the Virginia Glee Club. By choosing eight Club singers to perform his 5-part a cappella rendition of “Perfidia,” Donald laid the foundation for over 60 years of great music and better memories. An instant hit with the student body, “The Original Eight” became the founding members of the Virginia Gentlemen, singing both classical and contemporary pieces at various Glee Club events. Though originally singing close to home at UVA or in the Charlottesville area, by the 1960s the VGs were performing across the country and around the world, whether with the Glee Club or on their own.
By the late 80s, the VGs were considering becoming a fully student-run group, independent of the Virginia Glee Club. 1987 saw this dream become a reality, when the group forged the VG Constitution. Expanding beyond their Glee Club repertoire, the new group produced well over a hundred arrangements over the next few years, including signature songs like “Insomniac” by Billy Pilgrim and “On the Turning Away” by Pink Floyd. This hard work brought the VGs across the world, beginning the annual VG International Tour. By the 60th Anniversary in 2013, the group had performed multiple times in the White House, at Nationals Park, and traveled to all seven continents.
With a history like ours, we have a lot to live up to; being a VG today involves a lot of work to uphold the same traditions and values laid out in the Constitution and lived out by Gentlemen since 1953. With recent tours in Washington DC, Nashville, New England, China, Hong Kong, Peru, and Southeast Asia, and nearly 100 performances each school year, we keep ourselves as busy as possible! During 2013’s 60th anniversary celebration, when we sang with over 80 alumni, including members of The Original Eight, we learned that even though so much has changed at the University and beyond, a VG is in the group for life. We have been to some amazing places and experienced some incredible things, but at our core, we are a group of guys who love to sing.