Jazz Vocalist Virginia Schenck to Perform a Celestial Show in Honor of Fall Equinox

Tomorrow evening, local jazz vocalist Virginia Schenck, who performs under the stage name VA, will be performing alongside mythologist and filmmaker Phil Cousineau in Starry, Starry Night, a celebration of the Fall Equinox. The night of stories, poetry, and song, and starry visions will take place at Agnes Scott College’s Bradley Observatory, with a planetarium show to follow.

Image courtesy of Virginia Schenck

 

Audience members will be offered a range of selected works from authors and artists including Sylvia Plath, Shakespeare, John Coltrane and Neil Young. The show also incorporates elements of myth and lore inspired by the grandeur of the night’s sky. As Schenck and Cousineau weave together an hour of song and spoken word, the night sky projected over the audience’s heads will transform, inspired by the elements of the performance.

Schenck has a special reverence for the meaning of the songs that she chooses to perform. “It all just makes it richer in my belly when I’m singing of how we’re all tied together, she tells Her Campus. “You know, we specialize in our little corners, but how fun to weave all that together as a culture, as an art form.” She was born on a spring equinox and cheerily states that John Coltrane was similarly born on a fall equinox, possibly inspiring his song “Equinox,” which will be included in the lineup of songs.

Schenck does not seem to pin herself down to one corner, though, as she has flowed in and out of performance throughout her life. A licensed music therapist, she has also spent plenty of time developing her music therapy career and working in continuing education. She also guides singing “pilgrimages” to locations, including Ireland, to lead singers in an exploration of their craft. “I do think that music and one’s life should be organic in that way,” she says referring to her broad career in music. “The more that we can ebb and flow, the better that we can negotiate life, the better we meet challenges and present the best that we have to give to the world.”

She grapples with the challenging topic of race and racial healing in both her personal reflections and through her music. Recognizing the importance of acknowledging that her craft is rooted in African American history, she tries to respect this rich history in the songs that she chooses to cover, the venues in which she performs, and even in her own song writing.  

Last month, Schenck recorded an album with her quartet, the VA Quartet, that she hopes will be released next year. In addition to writing, singing, and recording, she travels frequently to inspire and advance her work. “I love teaching and traveling doing my singing retreats or pilgrimages because that’s how I get fed to come back and then perform. I need both,” she says.

Schenck will be performing at the Bradley Observatory tomorrow night at 8 p.m. She will also be offering discounted student tickets for her show on Sunday, September 30 at Eddie’s Attic where she will be performing as part of the VA Quartet.