December 9, 2014 Meeting

5:30 p.m. at the University Club, 10th floor of the Fifth-Third Bank Building in downtown Grand Rapids. Free parking in the 5/3 underground parking area. Enter from Monroe and tell the attendant you are with the Torch club.

December 9, 2014 Dinner Menu: Caesar Salad, Petite Prime Rib, Broccoli Parmesan, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Peppermint Ice Cream Sundae, House-made Rolls, Coffee and Tea Service

BARBARA WITHAM McCARGER, Associate Professor of Music, Aquinas College, and Hildegard Singers,  “Hildegard of Bingen, St. Ursula and the 10,000 Virgins” with a performance by the Hildegard Singers

Barbara Witham McCargerLast month, we flew into the sky with airplanes and this month our voices shall soar upwards with choral chants and the story of St. Hildegard of Bingen and her attachment to the story of St. Ursula and the 10,000 Virgins. The program will include a live performance of chants from the September 2014 CD by the Hildegard Singers. We are confident that everyone will be intrigued by this story as shared with us by Professor Barbara Witham McCargar, Associate Professor of Music at Aquinas College.

Hildegard SingersSt. Hildegard of Bingen was a 12th century mystic, abyss, healer, composer and adviser to the Pope whom Professor McCargar has been studying and learning about since 1999. During this educational journey, the story of St. Ursula and her companions has come up time and time again as both a focus and fascination for tonight’s speaker. In July of 2013, The Hildegard Singers traveled to the United Kingdom to perform at Cambridge and for the International Conference on St Ursula at the University of Wales, Trinity Saint David, Carmarthen where scholars from across the globe spoke on this topic. The legend of St. Ursula which inspired a large number of St. HIldegard’s chants will be reopened this evening - through words and song – as you take this ethereal trip back in time to the medieval period of the 12th century.

Further information can be found on this website:

Professor Barbara Witham McCargar, Soprano, began teaching on the campus of Aquinas College in 1987 and has been Music Department Chair for 20 years. During her long career in West Michigan, she has been a featured performer with many organizations including the Grand Rapids Symphony, Opera GR, Lansing Lyric Opera, Circle Theatre, Calvin College and Kalamazoo Oratorio Societies, GR Choir of Men and Boys, Ann Arbor Cantata Singers, Children’s Opera Workshop, Chamber Choir of GR, BLFAC, Dominican Center at Marywood and colleges. Ms. McCargar sang as a member of the medieval chant trio, Vox Angelica, for ten years, and now performs regularly with The Hildegard Singers, Claripiavoce (clarinet, piano and voice trio), Scintillating Sopranos (classical/opera duets with soprano, Mary Dean), and in recital on the campus of Aquinas College.

As a church cantor, voice specialist, and student of the Alexander Technique and Body mapping, she has been invited to present many vocal workshops for cantors and choir singers in the dioceses of Michigan, and for the National Pastoral Musicians conventions in 2006 and 2008. Her passions are directed toward promoting Healthy Singing, Women Composers and working with and following the careers of her past and present voice students. Besides her position at Aquinas, she is the Choir Director at St. Stephen Catholic Church in E. Grand Rapids. Learn more about Barbara at:

Please join us in our new Torch Club season with drinks, dinner, great conversation and an enjoyable evening with your friends at Torch Club. See you there!

Drinks and meet and greet begins at 5:30 pm and dinner normally begin at 6:00 p.m.  Reservations can be made below.