Internationally known vibraphonist, three time Grammy nominee, author and winner of the National Endowment for the Arts, JON METZGER, visited NOVA Alexandria on November 2nd for a master class in music. The students were absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from him.
He performed with our jazz faculty before the harder work of the master class. “All the Things You Are” was beautifully improvised by Jon, Kevin Pace and John Kocur.
He also performed with the faculty again, including Wade Beach, at the end of the class. I have never heard “Stella by Starlight” performed so conversationally before. Honestly, it was class in and of itself.
The students learned so much about how to up their abilities and perform at an even higher level.
Yon worked through collaborative jazz performance concepts with Rodney Avery on piano and Mary Himel on saxophone.
His innovative ideas on piano technique, collaborating through octave ranges during improvisation, where a lesson for all of us.
He coaxed Andrew Grabowski into the nuances of a whole new level of soloing. It was amazing to see how quickly he could change each students approach.
One of the great joys for everyone was jamming with Jon. The students were thrilled! What an incredible opportunity, this was.
Jon was able to funnel years of professional knowledge toward each students specific needs. It was a joy to hear the differences one master class could make.
After working with everyone, he answered question from all of us in the audience as well as the musicians he had just been coaching.
Truly, a great time was had by all! They are still talking about it!
A special thanks to Musser for helping sponsor Yon and to everyone who participated and the audience who came to learn!
What a night!!! A collaborative evening featuring The NOVA Alexandria Band, The George Mason University Wind Symphony, special guest french horn soloist Kat Fitzpatrick and two wonderful works by our very own student composers, Matthew Bandman and Nathan Pereda.
The NOVA Alexandria Band is a community band and mixes musicians of all ages and backgrounds.
Matthew Bandman took the time to explain his new composition Roses of Galante. What a wonderful work!
Matthew Bandman’s Roses of Galante being performed by the Alexandria Band. What a lovely piece!
Soloist Kate Fizpatrick, from the Air Force Ceremonial Brass, joined the band for Moreceau de concert by Camille Saint-Saens.
Kate has also performed with the Airmen of Note and spent 17 years with the Air Force Band.
Ashley Begley performing Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger
After intermission, Mark Camphouse and the George Mason Wind Symphony began their program with the house standing during The Star-Spangled Banner by John Stafford Smith.
They performed Festive by Edward Gregson, Be Thou My Vision by David Gillingham, March Militaire Francaise by Camille Saint-Saens and Rolling Thunder by Henry Fillmore. The most amazing work of their night, however was “Remembering the Many” by Justin David Casinghino. His work is a, “reflection on the atrocities of mass gun violence in our American schools.” What an incredibly stunning work.
Mark’s Bio is more than impressive! Here are some highlights, 2018-19, marks, Mark Camphouse’s 41st year of full-time teaching in higher education. He is the director of Concert Bands, conductor of the GMU Wind Symphony and a full faculty member for Music there as well.
Camphouse has 30 published works for wind band and performs around the U.S. and abroad in such prestigious venues as Carnegie Hall, The Kennedy Center, Symphony Center in Chicago, the royal Albert Hall in London and many more. Overall, he has served as guest conductor, lecturer, and clinician in 43 states and in Canada, Europe, China and Costa Rica. We are so pleased to have him collaborate and share the stage with us.
The final performance of the night, combined the GMU Wind Symphony and the NOVA Alexandria Band for a work that knocked us off our feet! Perseverance by Nathan Pereda.
Nathan is another student composer who created a work about persevering through depression and getting through life.
I can’t even begin to express how good this piece was. Well, You can hear it for yourself! I’ll be adding Matthew’s work as soon as I get that! In the mean time, Here’s Nathan!
Combined George Mason University Wind Symphony and the NOVA Alexandria Band. Lisa Eckstein, conductor
The standing ovation was immediate! What an incredible night!!!
Mark Camphouse let our student composers know how wonderful their works were.
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Our next Holiday Concert will be at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on Thursday December 11th from 8:00 – 10pm.
Our next event here at the school is a concert/master class by famed vibraphonist Jon Metzger. He is coming for our recital series at our Music Department Recital Hall in room 118 at the Center for Design Media and the Arts at our Alexandria Campus, right up the hill from the Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Additionally, please consider coming to our Recital Series below
Also please consider coming to spend an evening at the Carlyle Club, Nov. 5: with our NOVA Jazz Ensemble Night, 7:30-9:30pm, Carlyle Club in Alexandria, (tickets & food minimum required).
Thursday, Nov. 8: Air Force Band Wind Quintet Concert, 7:30-9:30pm, the Lyceum in Alexandria. Come hear the world premiere of a piece by NOVA faculty member, Dr. Jonathan Kolm, commissioned by the Air Force Band Quintet.
Tuesday, Dec. 4: NOVA Student Jazz Combos Recital, 7:30-9pm, AFA Black Box Theater in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts – Room 103 in the Foyer.
Wednesday, Dec. 5: NOVA Student Chamber Ensembles Recital, 5:30-7pm, AFA Room 118 – Recital Hall for the Music Department, in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts.
Friday, Dec. 7: NOVA Student Piano Recital, 7:30-9pm, AFA Room 118 – Recital Hall for the Music Department, in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts.
Saturday, Dec. 8: NOVA Student Instrumental Recital, 2-3:30pm, AFA Room 118 – Recital Hall for the Music Department, in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts.
Saturday, Dec. 8: NOVA Student Voice Recital, 5-6:30pm, AFA Room 118 – Recital Hall for the Music Department, in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts.
Sunday, Dec. 9: Crystal Williams Cello Recital, 3-4pm, AFA Room 118 – Recital Hall for the Music Department, in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts.
Last night’s concert, Sacred and Profane brought together four choral ensembles. The NOVA Community Chorus, The George Mason University Chorale, The George Mason University Singers and the The Justice High School Chamber Choir! It was a phenomenal night, full of beauty and a powerhouse of sound for the second half!
The evening began with Hark, I Hear the Harps Eternal, arranged by Alice Parker (b. 1925), And I Saw a New Heaven by Edgar Bainton (1880-1956) and a wonderful rendition of I Sing Because I’m Happy, arranged by Rollo Eilwork (b.1970).
Our Master of Ceremonies for the night, Chad Steffey, Director of the NOVA Community Chorus, wonderfully informed the audience about the evening’s works.
The kids did a incredible job and sounded lovely!
Dr. Stan Engebretson conducted the George Mason University Singers in, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht by J. S. Bach.
They went through selection from Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65 by Brahms and a lovely work showcasing, soprano soloist, Ashlyn Rock.
Tenors, Lugman Fulmer and Ross Helunds soloed Ride in the Chariot, a spiritual, arranged by Brandon Waddles.
Their performance finished with Saints Bound for Heaven, a southern harmony from 1835.
The George Mason University Chorale followed with four wonderful works: The Last Works of David by Randall Thompson (1899-1984), Flight Song, by Kim Andrew Anrnesan (1980) Ukuthula, a South African Folk Song and River in Judea by John Leavitt (1956).
They were conducted by Lisa Billingham and Dannty Cabrejos, assistant conductor with Jane Moore Kaye as the collaborative pianist.
Ukuthula naturally brought out a swinging of individuals in the audience. You just wanted to dance with them!
The second half of the concert combined all four choirs:Dr. Stan Engebreston conducted, Jane Moore Kaye and Luke Ratcliffe accompanied with collaborative pianists Michael Barranco and Andrew Lewis with Colton Morris and victor Younge on Percussion.
They brilliantly performed selection from Carmina Burana!
Soprano, Bridget Nesfield and baritone Vasili Varfis sing Tempus est iocundum, a selection from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.
A resounding, standing ovation capped the an evening powerhouse of sound! What a phenomenal night!!!!
Please come for our next concert! It’s next week!!!
Thursday, Oct. 25, the George Mason University Wind Symphony under the direction of Mark Camphouse and the NOVA Alexandria Band under my direction will present a FREE concert!
Come and hear favorites by Camille Saint-Saens, Percy Grainger, John Philip Sousa, Henry Fillmore, David Gillingham, Edward Gregson, Charles Carter, Rossano Galante, and new pieces by young composers Justin David Casinghino, Matthew Bandman, and Nathan Pereda. This concert will also feature Air Force Band member, Kate Fitzpatrick, as French Horn soloist!
It was 2:00pm and those who knew just how great this concert was going to be were all ready in their seats and grateful they didn’t have to miss it, for a class.
Our amazing Jazz faculty warmed up and began performing one another’s works! The set list included:
Motor City by Kevin Pace
Key West Waltz by Harry Watters
Floating on AIR by John Kocur
Forgiven by John Kocur
Route 90 East by Ken Hall
Tune for Ralph by Ken Hall
The Grind by Kevin Pace
We have a stunning line up of musicians here at NOVA! Our latest faculty addition, Harry Watters, took us to a whole new world. Harry, has graced the stage with, “Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Erich Kunzel, Kevin Mahogany, Wycliffe Gordon, Lou Rawls, Maureen McGovern, Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whiggam, James Moody, Peter Erskine, Conrad Herwig, John Fedchock and the Boston Brass. In addition, Harry has appeared as a featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Tulsa Pops, the West Virginia Symphony, the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Moldovan Festival Orchestra and the U.S. Army Orchestra, to name a few…
Andrew Hare is an exceptional drummer! Andrew Hare grew up in a musical family, but didn’t find the drums until high school. He quickly fell in love with jazz through the music of Miles Davis and began to grow rapidly as a musician. His pursuit of jazz led to a music degree from Michigan State University, where he played in the schools award-winning Big Band, as well as an array of small groups. In addition to touring Japan and the United States with the MSU Big Band, he was also selected to participate in the prestigious Jazz Aspen Academy under the guidance of Christian McBride. He has also had the opportunity to perform with some legendary musicians including Rodney Whitaker, Jon Faddis, Frank Morgan, and Hank Jones. Since moving to DC in 2009, Andrew has become the chair of the percussion department at the Levine School of Music, earned a masters of music from the University of Maryland , and created the popular jazz drumming blog “The Melodic Drummer”, all while playing and recording with some of the area’s top jazz musicians. He looks forward to an exciting career of sharing his passion for music with audiences in DC and around the country.
Kevin, is known for his solid, earthy style of bass playing that you can hear live on over 30 recordings. A founding member of the DC Jazz Composers Collective, Pace has composed numerous award-winning compositions for jazz ensembles, orchestras, film, and artist collaborations. He has performed throughout the world at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, and the Smithsonian, as well as jazz clubs all over the East Coast. Pace has performed with jazz greats including Gretchen Parlato, Freddie Redd, and David “Fathead” Newman. He teaches here at NOVA as well as Shepherd University.
Our Jazz piano teacher, Wade Beach, (As George Mason’s website proudly states, ” is widely respected for his harmonic sophistication and superb technique, which knows no stylistic limitations.” vWade teaches at George Mason University, as well as here with our students. Wade is everywhere, He’s honestly just a joy to listen to. He’s collaborated, ” with jazz artists including: Eddie Harris, Billy Harper, Gary Bartz, Richie Cole, Grady Tate, Keeter Betts, and Andrew White. Also pop artists including The Jackson Five, Barry White, and The Dells. Performed sols piano at the Kool Jazz Festival in the Kennedy Center – also performed at the Wolftrap Jazz Festival. He Joined The Air Force Band in 1979,” as well as working with The Airmen of Note. Wade, ” has performed for three presidents, and with great artists such as: Peter Erskin, Bob Berg, Tommy Newsom, Joe Williams, Ernie Watts, Arturo Sandoval, and Dave Liebman.Twice performed Duke Ellington’s piano concerto “A New World A’ Comin” with The Air Force Orchestra at Constitution Hall. Traveled throughout the world performing at notable locations including Carnegie Hall in NewYork. Also created many recordings with The Air Force Band. Played on the Norway’s Jazz Cruise, at the East Coast Jazz Festival with Andrew White, and at Blues Alley with Vaughn Nark, Andrew White, and Tim Eyerman. Most recently Wade is playing in a group with Jeff Antoniuk, Tom Baldwin, and Tony Martucci called “The Jazz Update.”
Ken Hall received a bachelors from Westfield State University in Mass. and his masters from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1986. He’s studied classical guitar with Tim Olbrych and William Feasley and jazz guitar with Mick Goodrick, Barry Galbraith and Ted Dunbar.
Aside from teaching for us, Ken is an in-demand freelance guitarist playing engagements with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, Signature and Olney Theatres, Blues Alley and the Smithsonian. He toured the former Soviet Union with a 16-piece big band as a guest of the Soviet State Department and has performed with jazz greats Max Roach, Dave Weckl, Slide Hampton, Keter Betts, Don Braden, Hilary Jones, Chris Vadala, country rocker Charlie Daniels, gospel great Andrae Crouch, comedienne Joan Rivers, and Italian crooner Al Martino to name a few.
Aside from his time here at NOVA, he has also taught classical and jazz guitar at Amherst College, Westfield State University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va.
John Kocur is the head of our Jazz Studies Program. At the Washington Post puts it, “Kocur, a saxophonist so admired in the D.C. area that he’s nicknamed “The Smoker,” dominated the bandstand with his passionate playing.” – The Washington Post
When John isn’t teaching around town, he’s working with his quartet or freelancing. Recent performances by the John Kocur Quartet have included venues such as Bohemian Caverns, Blues Alley, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the DC Jazz Festival, Twins Jazz, and the Phillips Collection.
Overall, City Paper said it best, Alto saxophonist John Kocur isn’t called “The Smoker” for nothing. He’s simply one of the finest soloists the D.C. jazz scene has to offer—and, it turns out, one of its most promising composers and bandleaders, too.” -Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
In addition to leading his own group, John has performed as a sideman with the international touring acts such as Jamie Cullum and Joe Piscipo. In the Washington, D.C. area he has particiapted in the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, Capital Focus Jazz Band, and the Too Damn Big Orchestra. In addition, he frequently collaborates with musicians in other genres, playing with progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon and bluegrass duo Herb and Hanson. John has proudly performed overseas at the Jazz Ascona Festival in Switzerland and the first annual Nagano Jazz Festival in Japan. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with legendary jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Fred Wesley, Jimmie Owens, Freddie Redd, and Buck Hill.
And Jacob Garbus is our next up and coming saxaphonist! He’s placed all around the world and with our own John Kocur, The Pharcyde, De La Soul and Talib Kweli, to name a few! His bio will blossom before you know it because his playing is right up there! My advice is, learn what you can from him now, because he’ll be off creating an amazing career before we know it!
It’s not easy to move a massive band around town, but Band Director Lisa Eckstein is always undaunted! Saturday she procured a truck and packed everything up and met the students in Del Ray, in Alexandria, for a wonderful community concert! It was phenomenal!!!
Concert Band performed…
Overture for Winds by Charles Carter
Red Rock Mountain by Rossano Galante
Roses of Galante by NOVA alumnus Matthew Bandman
Carnival of Venice by Herbert Clarke featuring NOVA band euphonium player, Michael Brooke
Perseverance by NOVA student, Nathan Pereda
Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger
Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa
Playing outdoors is a whole other experience. Sound often travels away toward the audience and doesn’t bounce back well. You’d never know by how in step everyone was.
The pieces were fun, energized and filled the festival!
The band was not the only NOVA group to play! Our Jazz Band followed Lisa’s amazing performance. Our director of Jazz Studies, John Kocur was quick to set the space and add some chairs for a whole new audience!
The ensemble performed a variety of works…
“Zip-Ah-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Ray Gilbert and Allie Wrubel
“Flirtibird” by Duke Ellington (from Anatomy of A Murder)
“Call Me Irresponsible” by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen
“Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones
“Every Day” by Memphis Slim
“You’re Welcome” by Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble is a community Jazz Band. It brings students together, with community musicians, for a wealth of knowledge and learning for everyone. If you’d like to consider joining the ensemble, contract John Kocur at Jkocur@nvcc.edu
The band mainly performs at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and various community concerts. The Next Nighthawks Jazz performance will be at the Carlyle Club!
Monday, November 5, 2018
7:30 – 9:30pm
The Carlyle Club
2050 Ballenger Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314
Come on down for a GREAT night of Jazz in an amazing club, right here in Alexandria!
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.
Both Jessica Irish and Chad Steffey conducted the evening.
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 evening’s performance donations benefited The Weekend Backpack Program which helps food-insecure children in Springfield, VA,
Our own John Kocur, who heads our Jazz Studies program mesmerized everyone with his solos on Evening Prayer”
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.
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
Our NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble rocked the house with Afro Blue, Tico Tico and Manteca.
They knocked our socks off!!!!!!!
Jazz Director, John Kocur, has been working with the ensemble all semester and boy did they shine!
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.
Ralph Vaughan Williams, O’ Clap Your Hands was conducted by Lisa Eckstein.
John Kocur accompanied the Chorus’ Evening Prayer on his soprano Saxophone. It was truly a stunningly beautiful piece.
The NOVA Alexandria Band did four works:
Puszta: Four Gipsy Dances, Danzon No. 2, Viva Italia! and Berstein’s Mambo.
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.
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!
We were incredibly lucky to have him.
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!
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Blog Post by Brit Conley: Assistant to the Music Department.
Each year The Alexandria Bar Association and The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble collaborate for an evening of JAZZ4JUSTICE!
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.
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 evening began with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy our NoVA ensemble, grab some food and drinks and listen to the pre-concert concert.
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.
This year the T.C. William s High School Jazz Ensemble joined us.
They were fantastic as always!!!
We also had wonderful raffle offerings for the events which featured restaurants around the area, classes, spa treatments, wine baskets and more…
Everyone came together to play the evening out….
John Kocur gave us one of his renowned solos…
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.
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.
His second work, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Kaby blyla u menya zalata kazna from Sadko was equally engaging and perfectly accompanied by pianist Chris Hagan.
Deborah Brudvig followed with the four beautiful movements from Bach’s Suite I in G Major for violincello.
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 then accompianed our Band Director, Lisa Ecstein for her lovely performance of Sicilienee by Maria Theresia von Paradis.
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 and Chris performed Bach’s Sonata N. 6 in E Major for flute and keyboard,
I Adagio, manon tanto
II Allegro (ma non troppo)
IV Allegro assai.
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.
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.
We look forward to seeing you at the next one!
For more information contact John Kocur firstname.lastname@example.org