NOVA Community Chorus at The National Cathedral!

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

On Friday, May 11th, Music at messiah presented “Evening Prayer” Music of Praise and Petition by Messiah Community Chorus and Friends, St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir and the NOVA Community Chorus.

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Both Jessica Irish and Chad Steffey conducted the evening.

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The wonderful mission of the Music at Messiah Concert Series brings community members into the Cathedral and allows donations to help the local community.

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The evening’s performance donations benefited The Weekend Backpack Program which helps food-insecure children in Springfield, VA,

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Our own John Kocur, who heads our Jazz Studies program mesmerized everyone with his solos on Evening Prayer”

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

It’s not often anyone gets a chance to play such an beautiful room and one that holds such ambiance and meaning.  Everyone had a lovely time.

The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus performs with the Messiah Community Chorus and the St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir for the concert, “Evening Prayer”, at the National Cathedral on Friday, May 11th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

To everyone who came to the concert, THANK YOU!  We so appreciate your support.  Please keep an eye on the blog and on our Facebook Page for up to date concert announcements and news! www.Facebook.com/MusicAtNova

Blog post by Britt Conley: Music Department Assistant

 

A Musical Odyssey: Spring Concert

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello.
A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

Our NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble rocked the house with Afro Blue, Tico Tico and Manteca.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

They knocked our socks off!!!!!!!

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

Jazz Director, John Kocur,  has been working with the ensemble all semester and boy did they shine!

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

The NOVA Community Chorus followed with Ride on, King Jesus. Choral Director Chad Steffey and our accompanist Anita Ferguson have supported the Choir all year.  The Chorus was lovely; every piece.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

Ralph Vaughan Williams, O’ Clap Your Hands was conducted by Lisa Eckstein.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

John Kocur accompanied the Chorus’ Evening Prayer  on his soprano Saxophone.  It was truly a stunningly beautiful piece.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley
A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

The NOVA Alexandria Band did four works:

Puszta: Four Gipsy Dances, Danzon No. 2, Viva Italia! and Berstein’s Mambo.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

One of the best moments of the night were the student awards.  The Billy Award, named after Bill Bovender was awarded to Judy Bendig.  The Betty Award was awarded to Elizabeth Todd.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

But that wasn’t the only great moment.  We also had Anthony Maiello, The Artistic Director and Conductor of the American Festival Pops Orchestra and Artistic Director of the School of Music at George Mason.

His Accordion performance on Viva Italia was a show stopper!

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

We were incredibly lucky to have him.

A Musical Odyssey. April 27th, 2018 with The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble, The Nova Community Chorus and the NOVA Alexandria Band with special guest accordion soloist, Anthony Maiello. Photo by Britt Conley

A phenomenal concert!  We look forward to seeing you all next Fall, for our 2018/19 season!  Until then, our students have recitals, juries and exams to contend with, and thanks to those who donated at our concerts this year, they have incredible opportunities ahead!

Please like out Facebook Page at www.facebook/MusicAtNova

Blog Post by Brit Conley: Assistant to the Music Department.

The 5th Annual Alexandria JAZZ4JUSTICE

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Each year The Alexandria Bar Association and The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble collaborate for an evening of JAZZ4JUSTICE!

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Today, through partnerships with 9 universities and numerous local Bar Associations, 44 Jazz4Justice concerts have been held across the Commonwealth: George Mason, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Christopher Newport University, Northern Virginia Community College, Shenandoah University and the University of Mary Washington.

The 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

These Concerts have raised over $400,000. for jazz programs and an array of education and charitable legal services benefiting Virginia’s local communities.

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The evening began with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy our NoVA ensemble, grab some food and drinks and listen to the pre-concert concert.

5th Annual Jazz4Justice at The NOVA Alexandria Campus. April 12, 2018. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
5th Annual Jazz4Justice at The NOVA Alexandria Campus. April 12, 2018. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The concert’s have raised over $400,000. for jazz programs and an array of educational and charitable legal services benefiting Virginia’s local communities.

5th Annual Jazz4Justice at The NOVA Alexandria Campus. April 12, 2018. Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA  Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA  Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

This year the T.C. William s High School Jazz Ensemble joined us.

The T. C. Williams High School Jazz Ensemble performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

They were fantastic as always!!!

The 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

We also had wonderful raffle offerings  for the events which featured restaurants around the area, classes, spa treatments, wine baskets and more…

The raffle drawing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Everyone came together to play the evening out….

The NOVA Nighthawks and T. C. Williams High School Jazz Ensembles performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

John Kocur gave us one of his renowned solos…

John Kocur taking the solo with The NOVA Nighthawks and T. C. Williams High School Jazz Ensembles performing at the 5th Annual Jazz for Justice benefit concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. April 12, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The night included works by Cole Porter, Lionel Ritchie, Jimmy Van Jeusen, Mack Gordon & Harry Warren, Paul Baker, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington ,  Bill Potts, Antonio Jobin, Norman Whirfield, Barrett String and Billy Page.

It was another GREAT night, had by all!

Don’t miss next years!  Come on over and help bring Jazz4Justice!

Blog post by Britt Conley, Assistant to the Music Department.

Faculty Concert

On April 3rd we had a great turnout for our Spring Faculty Recital in our new recital hall.  The concert began with the beautiful work, Ah se fosse intorno al trono from La clemenza di Tito by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  Patrick Cook stunned everyone with his extraordinary vocal abilities and sounding.

Chris Hagan and Patrick Cook perform (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

His second work, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kaby blyla u menya zalata kazna from Sadko was equally engaging and perfectly accompanied by pianist Chris Hagan.

Chris Hagan and Patrick Cook perform (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

Deborah Brudvig followed with the four beautiful movements from Bach’s Suite I in G Major for violincello.

Deborah Brudvig performing (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

Chris Hagan shined with her three works by Scriabin…  The Etude Op. 8 No. 2 in F Sharp Minor, the Prelude Op. 11 No. 15 in D Flat Major and the Etude Op. 8 no. 12 in D-sharp minor.

Chris Hagan performs Scrabin. Photo by Britt conley

Chris then accompianed our Band Director, Lisa Ecstein for her lovely performance of Sicilienee by Maria Theresia von Paradis.

Lisa Eckstein performing (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

John wowed everyone with the rare classical work played on saxophone, which he pointed out had not been invented yet for nearly another 100 years, after his performance piece was written.

John Kocur and Chris Hagan perform (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

John and Chris performed Bach’s Sonata N. 6 in E Major for flute and keyboard,

I Adagio, manon tanto

II Allegro (ma non troppo)

III Siciliano

IV Allegro assai.

John Kocur and Chris Hagan perform (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

The concert was wonderfully wrapped up with guitarist Ken Hall, who performed Pavane No. 1 from Six Pavanes and a Fantasia by Luis Milan, The Guardame Las Vacas by Luis Narvaez, Prelude No. 1 by Heitor Villa-Lobos and ending with his own arrangement for guitar, of George Harrison’s Something.

Ken Hall performs (TBA). Photo by Britt Conley

Everyone had such a wonderful time!  We are going to make this a an annually recurring event.  The Jazz Faculty recital will be in Fall and our Classical Faculty recital will happen in Spring.

Everyone had a wonderful time! Chris Hagan, Deborah Brudvig, John Kocur and Ken Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

We look forward to seeing you at the next one!

For more information contact John Kocur jkocur@nvcc.edu

 

The NOVA Community Chorus hosts, Broadway Celebrations!

Live From the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall…. it’s… Broadway Celebrations!!!

After a weather postponement, the NOVA Community Chorus hit the ground running on March 27th at 8:00 with a great program!

The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley

The evening begin with Cole Porter’s “Another Op’nin,  Another Show” from Kiss Me Kate and  Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “It’s a Grand Night for Singing” from State Fair.

Chad Steffey conducts the NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley

We had a great set of current and former students helping out with accompaniment! Marcelo Carrion’s guitar performance was wonderful!

Marcelo Carrion playing guitar. Photo by Britt Conley

Jonathan Padgett and Zach Williams did a phenomenal job!   So great to see them in action.

Jonathan Padgett and Zach Williams.  Photo by Britt Conley

Everyone really enjoyed, Ellie Briscoe and David Shilton wonderfully acted and sung, “I Wonder Why” from Call Me Madam,”

Ellie Briscoe and David Shilton. Photo by Britt Conley

Judy Robb and Tim Rinaman perform a hysterically fun rendition of “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” from The Sound of Music. They switched it for 56, going on 57. The crowd loved it!

Tim Rinaman and Judy Robb. Photo by Britt Conley

Maria Cussianovich solo work for “Someone to Watch Over Me” from Crazy for You, was delightful.

Maria Cussianovich. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley

After a wonderful performance of “Jet Set” from Catch Me If You Can,  Emi Eiting stunned everyone with a the wonderful, “Stars and the Moon” from Songs for a New World.  What a beautiful voice.

Emi Eiting. Photo by Britt Conley

The chorus performed “Lida Rose” / “Will I Ever Tell You?” from The Music Man.

The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley

Bernie Cohen and Tom Munger belt out the famed “Guys and Dolls” from Guys and Dolls

Bernie Cohen and Tom Munger belt out the famed “Guys and Dolls” from Guys and Dolls. Photo by Britt Conley

Randie Goode, Dylan Hohilly and Marvin Felton singing, “Luck Be a Lady” from Guys and Dolls.

Randie Goode, Dylan Hohilly and Marvin Felton.  Photo by Britt Conley

Mary Shilton wowed everyone with  Berstein’s “Somewhere” from Westside Story

Mary Shilton beautifully renders Berstein’s “Somewhere” from Westside Story. Photo by Britt Conley

Our Choral accompanist, Anita Feguson played the selections from Candide: “Life is Happiness Indeed” and  “The Best of All Possible Worlds” beautifully.

Anita Feguson.  Photo by Britt Conley.
The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley

Alan Bunner & Eric Ackerman do a great rendition of “Plant a Radish” from The Fantasticks.

Alan Bunner and Eric Ackerman.  Photo by Britt Conley

Dyland Nohilly sings Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Some Enchanted Evening” from South Pacific.

Dyland Nohilly. Photo by Britt Conley

The Choir sounded wonderful throughout and began wrapping up the evening with  “Look to the Rainbow” from Finian’s Rainbow before ending the concert with…

The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley

Marvin Hamlischs’ “One” from A Chorus Line.!  What a phenomenal night, had by all!

Look for our next concerts.  Next up is Jazz for Justice!  April 12th at Schlesinger.

For more information on the chorus, please contact Chad Steffey at csteffey@nvcc.edu

The 2018 Children’s Concert

The NOVA Alexandria Band performs at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on March 1st, 2018 Photo by Britt Conley

And what a great night it was!

The Children’s Concert

The 2018 Children’s Concert with the NOVA Alexandria Band, with special guest trumpeter Dennis Edelbrock, The George Mason Elementary School Jazz Band, The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, The Alexadria City Public Schools Student  Finalists in the National PTA Reflections Program and the Area School Band and Orchestra Students!

Nathan Evaristo was kind enough to do the concert notes!

Nathan Evaristo delivers his concert notes. Photo by Britt Conley

According the Nathan, the first performance of the night, ““Esprit de Corp”. It was written by an illustrious, modern composer named Robert Jager who has written pieces for the greatest and most esteemed bands around the entire world. This piece was written for the President’s Own Marine Corps Band, a group consisting of some of the world’s finest musicians who perform and record regularly right here on this very stage.  The definition of “Esprit de Corps” is a spirit of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty…that the US Marine Corps embodies.

In this piece, you will hear layers of sound.  For example, in the beginning, after the PUNCH of an entrance, you’ll hear a fast, fluttery flute and xylophone melody, and then enters a dancing saxophone part.  After that, a fanfare in the trumpets is added. This is all within the first few measures of the piece. The piece is like legos of musical sounds building a beautiful skyscraper! If you listen closely, you may even catch a short quote from the Marines’ Hymn.”

Composer Robert Thurston! Photo by Britt Conley

In case you didn’t know, the DC Metro area is an excellent place to be if you’re into the music scene. There are a great deal of professional ensembles and renowned orchestras, bands, and virtuosos. There are even brilliant, accomplished composers that live in the area. Well, we’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with one of these composers for this very concert! Retired Chief-Arranger and Composer of the United States Air Force Bands, his name is Robert Thurston, and what he has written here is a delightfully innocent, soaring song called Across the Clouds. It features a solo trumpet part that’s… well, let’s just say that “it isn’t for the faint of heart.”  That would be putting it lightly!

And on trumpet tonight, we have trumpet phenomenon Dr. Dennis Edelbrock! Dr. Edelbrock teaches trumpet at the George Mason University and has an extensive expanse of musical accomplishments and involvements!  

Guest Trumpeter soloist, Dennis Edelbrock showed everyone what a trumpet can do! Photo by Britt Conley

“I have found that if I close my eyes, and try to focus only on my sense of hearing, this piece really does evoke the feelings of flying, soaring above the landscape, through the clouds. Fitting for a retired Air-Force Composer! So with great pleasure… Across the Clouds!”

Denny is a master at his instrument and knows how to bring the house down!

Guest Trumpeter soloist, Dennis Edelbrock showed everyone what a trumpet can do! Photo by Britt Conley

“we–along with many musicians around the world–are participating in a movement to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth in 1918.  Leonard Bernstein was a true Renaissance man. He was a leading activist and humanist, a brilliant musician and pianist, conductor, composer, and perhaps most importantly, a world-class teacher. And I mean WORLD CLASS. This man went through nearly the entire history of music, at a piano, in 5 minutes, on live TV…. Yeah! Exactly! It’s still on YouTube!

So, Bernstein… He started and popularized the Young People’s Concerts series. Now, as you can imagine, Bernstein was incredibly passionate about what he did. And I have always believed that the best teachers inspire students with positive displays of their own passion. And this man was absolutely no exception. In fact, his very first year directing the Young People’s Concert in 1958, it became the first series of concerts ever nationally televised from the Lincoln Performing Arts center where it was hosted, and those concerts have inspired people in every single generation ever since! I could go on and on all night about Bernstein, but I would risk turning this into the droning speeches in between pieces that most people can’t stand so I won’t do that… but seriously… Bernstein was a brilliant man!

A Simple Song from Mass by Leonard Bernstein and arranged by Michael Sweeney. Photo by Britt Conley

That brings us to these next two program selections for the “Bernstein at 100” celebration. The first is a simple and beautiful, relaxing piece from his Mass called “A Simple Song,” and the second is the rousing “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story.”

Gee, Officer Krupke from West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein and arranged by Michael Sweeney. Photo by Britt Conley

We’d like to finish the NOVA Band portion of this concert with one final piece! Have you all ever heard of the March King? The American born King of March–John Phillip Sousa!! Oooffff course you have! Well, this next piece is titled The Fairest of the Fair, which he wrote for the Boston Food Fair in 1908. As the story goes, one day, Mr. Sousa was at one of the many fairs he attended, and he saw a beautiful woman. And not just any beautiful woman. Apparently, she was absurdly, crazy gorgeous. SO much so that he was inspired to write an entire march for this fair lady. This march in fact. And this was the only piece he wrote that entire year. And considering we’re talking about somebody who wrote 137 marches in his lifetime… that’s saying something!

The NOVA Alexandria Band performs, The Fairest of the Fair by John Philip Sousa and arranged by Keith Brion and Loras Schissel. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Alexandria Band performs, The Fairest of the Fair by John Philip Sousa and arranged by Keith Brion and Loras Schissel. Photo by Britt Conley

Before we knew it, it was time for The George Mason Elemtary School Jazz Band to take the stage!  The band director, Heather Rosner is just incredible.  She had them up and ready to go in no time.

The George Mason Elementary School Jazz Band, directed by Heather Rosner. Photo by Britt Conley

What is not to love about these kids!  They began their set with Duke Ellington’s C-Jam Blues, with was arranged by Rick Stitzel.

The George Mason Elementary School Jazz Band, directed by Heather Rosner. Photo by Britt Conley

Their final piece was Ellington again!  Satin Doll, arranged by Michael Sweeney.

Next up were the Student Winners from the Alexandria City Public Schools in the Visual and Performing Arts Categories of the National PTA Reflections Program.

The Student Winners for the Alexandria City Public Schools in the Visual and Performing Arts Categories of the National PTA Reflections Program. Photo by Britt Conley
The Student Winners for the Alexandria City Public Schools in the Visual and Performing Arts Categories of the National PTA Reflections Program. Photo by Britt Conley
The Student Winners for the Alexandria City Public Schools in the Visual and Performing Arts Categories of the National PTA Reflections Program. Photo by Britt Conley

They even announced the winner that made it to the State round!!!

After a huge round of applause for these incredibly talented kids, we welcomed the George Washington Middle Schoo Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard Seracino.

They began the set with Sugar by Stanley Turrentine, which was arranged by Mark Taylor.

Middle Schoo Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard Seracino. Photo by Britt Conley

They went on to play Sonny Henry’s “Evil Ways” and Shakey Ground by Alphonso Boyd, Eddie Hazel and Jeffrey Bowen.

Middle Schoo Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard Seracino. Photo by Britt Conley
Middle Schoo Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard Seracino. Photo by Britt Conley

After a great set, it was time for the big Grand Finale which combines our performing school children from area elementary and middle schools with the NOVA Alexandria Band!

Grand Finale with the students and the Alexandria Band! Photo by Britt Conley

They began to get ready to perform “Chester by William Billings and arranged by Brad Pfeil.

Grand Finale with the students and the Alexandria Band! Photo by Britt Conley

Lisa prepared the piece.

Grand Finale with the students and the Alexandria Band! Photo by Britt Conley

Soon enough, It was time to tune! I believe that’s concert C…

Grand Finale with the students and the Alexandria Band! Photo by Britt Conley

And then the music began… what a great piece!

Grand Finale with the students and the Alexandria Band! Photo by Britt Conley

The students ended the night with “Sword Dance” and the crowd loved it!!!

Grand Finale with the students and the Alexandria Band! Photo by Britt Conley

We also want to personally thank the Oaktones Jazz Quartet for providing the pre-concert music in the lobby!!! I will try to track down a photo.  They included:

Carly Gabriel, violin

Sebastian Villa, alto Sax

Kieran O’Shaughnessy,  tenor sax

Alexander Gabriel, piano

and Robert Gabriel, director.

Also check out Bob Thurston’s website at http://www.bobthurston.com

Please come to our next concert!  Tuesday, March 20th from 7:30-9:00pm.  Please join the NOVA Community Chorus for ‘ALL BROADWAY MUSIC!”

Concert flyer for Broadway Celebrations!

and consider joining our Jazz Ensembles for JAZZ FOR JUSTICE! Thursday, March 22nd with a pre-concert jam in the lobby begining at 6:00pm.  Concert begins at 7:30.

Jazz for Justice

and finally!

Our final concert of the season… The NOVA Alexandria Spring Concert: “Music from Around the Word!”

The Spring Concert!

Please consider liking our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/MusicAtNova

…and as always, we’d love to have you join our mailing list out in the lobby to get more information!

Post by Britt Conley, Administrative Admin for the music Department.

 

2017 NOVA Holiday Concert

What a great night!!!  The NOVA Alexandria Music Department presented it’s annual Holiday Concert on December 7th, 2017.

The NOVA Community Chorus at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

The evening began with the NOVA Community Chorus performing, For Unto Us a Child is Born from “Messiah” G.F. Handel.  Based on Isaiah 9:6.

The NOVA Community Chorus at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

Sure on This Shining Night from “Nocturnes”  by Morten Lauridsen  was also a hit. The work was based on a poem by James Agee.

The NOVA Community Chorus at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

The Choir ended it’s first half of the concert with a very merry rendition of Jingle Bells by James Pierpont, arranged by Gordon Langford.

The NOVA Community Chorus at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

Next up were our NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble beginning their set  with God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen arranged by Gordon Goodwin. The group also performed Blue Christmas by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson.  The work was arranged by Austin Windorski and The Little Drummer Boy by Katherine Kennicott Davis, arranged by Bob Washut.

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

The minute they began, the phones begin popping up to catch the moment.

The NOVA Nighthawkes Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

John Kocur conducted phenomenally this evening!  As always…

The NOVA Nighthawkes Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

Even before the concert, everyone was rehearsing…

The NOVA Nighthawkes Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

A great time to grab a few, behind the scenes photos…

The NOVA Nighthawkes Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

The Nighthawks performed wonderfully

Kyle Wright sings with The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

Holiday Jazz is really wonderful!

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

In the end the ensemble slowly walked off, leaving Christopher Gardner to end our first half of the concert with a rousing drum solo, and the stage to himself…

The NOVA Nighthawkes Jazz Ensemble at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

The audience returned to a wonderful surprise to many, but not our students.  Our music students are not only enjoying our new Center for Design, Media and the Arts, they are also enjoying all the brand new Steinway’s that fill each room!

Tonight our Dean, Jim McClellan and Jonathan Kolm, our Assistant Dean and Director of the Music Program here at NOVA, were presented our new, official Steinway School plaque!  We are all so excited for what this means for our college.

The Steinway School Presentation. Photo by Britt Conley

After our exciting Steinway presentation, the NOVA Alexandria Band hit the stage with, “And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria! by Robert Longfield, followed by Gesu Bambino (Pastorale for Christmas by Pietro Yon, arranged by Mark Rogers and the Dreidel Dance by Robert Thurston.

The NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

There was even a secondary Brass rendition of Jingle Bells!

The NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

A phenomenal night for the Band!

The NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

For the last works, our new chorus director, Chad Steffey, came out to conduct, “The Many Moods of Christmas, Suite III…

The NOVA Community Chorus with the NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

A fun-filled set of holiday styled songs…

The NOVA Community Chorus with the NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

A grand time was had by all!  The audience was kind enough to give everyone a standing ovation!

The NOVA Community Chorus with the NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2017 Holiday Concert. Photo by Britt Conley

Thanks to everyone who performed, helped organize and those who came to hear what we have to offer!  We hope you have a wonderful holiday!

We look forward to seeing you at our next Spring concerts:

The NOVA Alexandria Band’s Children’s Concert on March 1st at 7:30pm.

The NOVA Community Chorus Concert, March 20th at 7:30

The Jazz4Justice Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble, March 22nd

and finally, The NOVA Spring Concert featuring

The NOVA Community Chorus, The NOVA Alexandria Band and The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble, Friday April 27th from 7:30-9:30pm.

See you there!

Blog post by Britt Conley: Assistant to the Music Department

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles performed at The Carlyle Club!

What a GREAT gig!  The NOVA ensembles performed at the famed, Carlyle Club in Old Town Alexandria on October 30th, 2017.

7th Annual NOVA Jazz Night at The Carlyle Club. Photo by Britt Conley

Our Jazz studies director, John Kocur, kicked off the evening events, directed and informed the audience about the club, songs and upcoming events.

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

The Nighthawks Jazz Band worked it!  Playing out at the club is really a wonderful opportunity for our students.

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

While everyone performed, dancers spun about the floor…

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! Photo By Britt Conley

There were even dance classes for those who wanted to learn some new swing moves!  NOVA’s ballroom dance instructor Alan Golombek took the time to teach anyone who was interested.  It turned out there were a lot of interested people!

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

Kyle Wright joined the band for several songs.  He really has a phenomenal voice!

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

Everyone played well and we all had a great time!

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

Look for the date for next year’s club date!  It’s every fall.

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

The music from all the ensembles was fantastic!

NOVA JAZZ Ensembles at The Carlyle Club! October 30th, 2017. Photo by Britt Conley

Looking forward to hearing them again at Jazz4Justice on March 22nd at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria!

See you there!

Blog post by Britt Conley: Assistant to the Music Department

NOVA Jazz Night at the Carlyle Club

This Monday! October 30th!  Come join us for the 7th Annual NOVA Jazz Night at The Carlyle Club, featuring our  very own, NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA Jazz Combos!  FREE! No tickets are required but free-will donations will be collected to benefit the NOVA jazz program’s public concerts and scholarship program. All are welcome to attend.”

According to John Kocur, “In bygone days, a night on the town could mean dressing to the nines and dancing the night away to a live band at a club where you could eat a good meal and sip finely crafted beverages. There are few locations remaining in America where live music can be experienced with this simultaneous sense of intimacy and sophistication. One of them is the Carlyle Club in Old Town Alexandria. With its spacious dance floor, ample stage, cozy booths, and tucked away bar, there are many options for enjoying the music and your company. Much of the décor is a throwback to the Art Deco style of the 1920’s, recalling New York’s Cotton Club, Savoy Ballroom, and Chicago’s Lincoln Gardens.

Our incredible jazz musicians have been diligently practicing and gearing up for a great night!

Photo by Britt Conley

NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble will perform Duke Ellington’s “Echoes of Harlem” and other works written for the orchestras of Count Basie, Stan Kenton, and Cab Calloway.

Come to dance to the music in an authentic setting. Don’t know how to swing dance? NOVA’s ballroom dance instructor Alan Golombek will teach you with a mini swing dance lesson during intermission.

Everyone can’t wait to hit the stage!

Photo by Britt Conley
It’s been pretty nice, practicing in our new percussion room in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts on the Alexandria Campus.
Photo by Britt Conley

Which, unlike our old rooms at Tyler are far more spacious.

Photo by Britt Conley
If you were thinking about something to do on Monday night, October 30th, this is it!!!  The Nighthawks Jazz Band will be working it all night!
Photo by John Kocur

Practice has been going really well.

Photo by John Kocur
Photo by John Kocur
If you haven’t been to the Carlye, It’s a Alexandria gem!
 
 This Monday, October 30th The NOVA Jazz Combos will present an opening set of listening music for your dining pleasure.
 
“If you’re looking for old-fashioned romance and entertainment, try the new Carlyle Club in Alexandria, where the sounds of the swing era play in an atmosphere unlike anything else on the night-life scene.” – The Washington Post
NOVA Jazz Night at the Carlyle Club

The Carlyle Club

2050 Ballenger Avenue Alexandria, VA 22314

(703) 548-8899
For more information contact John Kocur at jkocur@nvcc.edu

Spirit of the Bard Concert!

The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

October 24th, marked the premier of The Nova Community Chorus under the new direction of Director Chad Steffey.

The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall.
The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

The concert began with “Full Fathom Five”by Charles Wood, continuing with “Sing Joyfully” by William Byrd, In Windsor Forest: A cantata adapted from the opera, “Sir John in Love” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Songs and Sonnets”from Shakespeare by George Shearing, “If Music be the Food of Love” by David Dickau and finally, “Dance a Cachuca” from the Gondoliers by Sir Arthur Sullivan.

The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

The chorus was glad to be back at The Schlesinger Center for the Arts.

The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

Chad enlightened us on the stories and backgrounds of the music, in between works.

The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

The chorus was accompanied by Anita Ferguson, who also joined The NOVA Community Chorus, this year.

Anita Ferguson accompanying The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

Anita, has been working in the Fairfax County Public School system, for the past six years, as both an accompanist and substitute teacher.  She played wonderfully.

The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley
Chad Steffey, directing The NOVA Community Choir Spirit of the Bard Concert. October 24th, 2017 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

Chad comes to us from a impressive background.  He served for 20 years on active duty int he United States Air Force, retiring in the rank of Major in July 2013.  His career spanned several assignments as a percussionist and conductor in the Air Force Band career field.  Since 2015 Chad has been the Director of Choirs at J.E.B Stuart High School and serves as the Director of Music at St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church in Fairfax Station, Virginia.  He is also currently completing his doctoral studies in choral directing at George Mason University.

It was a great night overall and wonderful kickoff to our 2017-18 NOVA musical season.  Our next concert is this evening, October 26th.  Lisa Eckstein will conducting the NOVA Community Band with her annual Halloween concert, Spooctacular Sounds in the Haunted Hall, also featuring the Wakefield High School Band!  Music from Bach, Holst and Mussorgsky to Andrew Weber, Sousa and more!  It will be great to see this year’s halloween costume contest!

See you this evening!

Britt Conley (Assistant to the Music Department).