The 350-seat recital hall at UNC Greensboro’s College of Visual and Performing Arts has long been known as one of the most visually and aurally stunning performance spaces in the Triad. It is now known as the Tew Recital Hall in honor of Christopher and Laura Braxton Tew, both UNCG Class of 1969 alumni. The Tews provided a generous gift of $1 million to name the hall, honor the School of Music, and mark the 50th anniversary of the Class of 1969’s graduation.
The event to formally name the Tew Recital Hall was on April 11, 2019. The program featured compositions by Christopher Tew, including two songs for soprano and piano written while he was a student at UNCG, a piece for viola and piano, excerpted movements from three larger works for strings, and the premiere of “3 Panoramas: Memories of Japan” for string orchestra. The performances will also featured work by UNCG student Shar Joyner, Class of 2019.
“We are proud that this revered space will bear the names of Laura Braxton Tew and Christopher Tew,” Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. said. “Their support of UNC Greensboro, the School of Music, and the students and faculty is heartfelt and longstanding. It is truly an honor to share this gift with both the University and the community.”
Laura Braxton Tew grew up on tobacco farms in Pitt County, NC. After graduating from UNC Greensboro she went on to earn advanced degrees from Duke University and Pace University and pursued a career in the chemical manufacturing industry. She worked her way up from bench chemist to corporate director of stakeholder relations, which included global responsibilities. Since retiring, she has been involved extensively in volunteerism and philanthropy, and especially focused on introducing young women to STEM studies and careers. Her work in this area was recently featured in a piece titled “Girl Power” in UNCG’s magazine.
Christopher C. Tew is originally from McLeansville, NC and a graduate of UNC Greensboro. A professional composer, Tew was the first UNCG student to ever have his works performed by the UNCG Sinfonia and Symphony. Over the last 50 years, he has composed concert music for school, community, and professional orchestras. He has received commissions from groups as diverse as Louisville’s Jewish Community Center, Chattanooga’s Girls Preparatory School, the Muncie Symphony Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of Tennessee. His works have been performed by numerous professional orchestras, including the Salisbury and Hickory Symphonies and the NCSU Orchestra, as well as orchestras in Livonia, MI; Lake Charles, LA; West Hartford, CT; and Lone Tree, CO, as well as featured in a festival in Lviv, Ukraine. The Bratislava Symphony Orchestra in Slovakia has recorded two CDs of his compositions, including most of the works featured in the dedication program.