The NOVA Alexandria Music Department Presented, The NOVA Community Chorus performing their October 22, 2019 concert, “Sing a Mighty Song.”
Our first song for the evening was, “Sing a might Song,” performed by all four Choirs! The NOVA Community Chorus was joined by Annandale, South County and Woodson High School Choirs. We managed to fit everyone on stage and the sheer sound was as impressive as the numbers.
The NOVA Community Chorus began their segment with Anton Bruckner’s Lucus Iste, (Translation: This Place was made by God, a priceless Sacrament; it is without reproach) and Joseph Hadar’s, Erev Shell Shoshanim (Evening of Roses).
Craig Hella Johnson’s The Water is Wide was beautifully accompanied by Soprano Susan Lewis Kavinski and cellist, Rachel Sexton.
One of my favorite works of the night.
This was followed by Sing My Child by Sarah Quartel. Our Quartet included Sarah Calvino, Luna Para, Phillip Todd and Neo Upod.
Our next segment featured The Annandale Singers, conducted by Patrick Vaughn. The Choir performed Michael John Trotta’s Shenandoah, Elain Hagenberg’s When We Love and Brian Tate’s Connected.
Amy Moir Conducted The Woodson Vocal Ensemble in Gerald Finzi’s My Spirit Sang All Day and Anders Edenroth’s, Chili con Carne.
The South County Choirs were conducted by Antonio Rodriguez and accompanied by Esther Lee and Tammy Lydon. Their performance begin with Goodnight, by Matthew Emery.
The South County Bella Voce: Performed Famine Song by Matthew Culton. The soloists were Josie Springer and Laurie Evans. This was followed by The South County Singers performing Michael Engelhardt’s Wayfaring Stranger showcasing soloist Ian Pathak. The final song was Hans Bridger Heruth’s “Joy” and featured soloists: Damaris Williams, Warisha Hussain and Madeline Schneider.
The final song of the evening was a beautiful work by Jacob Narverud, “Sisi Ni Moja (We Are One) featuring Steven Barnett on Percussion.
Please come to our next concerts:
Monday, Nov. 11: Jazz Ensemble Concert titled “NOVA Jazz Night at the Carlyle Club” — The Carlyle Club; 7:30-9:30pm; Address: 2050 Ballenger Ave., Alexandria, VA 22314; $25 minimum food and beverage purchase required per person; For more info, visit https://www.thecarlyleclub.com/about-us.html
Tuesday, Dec. 10: Holiday Concert titled “Joy to the World”featuring the band, chorus, and jazz band — Schlesinger Concert Hall; 8-9:45pm; FREE admission and parking.
Our music department wrapped up our semester with our 2019 spring concert! Friday, May 3, 2019 from 8-10pm.
It was a historic night for a couple of reasons. First, It was the final performance with a amazing chorus director, Chad Steffey. Chad has spend the past couple of years working with our chorus and helping build a new chapter in the chorus history with wonderfully fun Broadway reviews and bringing in fantastic guest singers.
The chorus gathered in the concert hall foyer to help send him off in style. Hugs, gifts and a massive round of applause.
The NOVA Community Chorus began the night with The Music of Living by Dan Forrest, followed by Selections from Old American Songs, Bring Me Little Water, Silvy, by Huddie Ledbetter, Cape Cod Girls, a traditional Sea Shanty and Ain’-a That Good News! by William Dawson.
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble picked up a jazzy set, with Maiden Voyage, by Herbie Hancock, Whisper Not by Benny Golson, Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane and Senor Mouse by Chick Corea.
Lisa Eckstein treated the audience by opening the band set with Mark Camphouse’s Air Mobility Command March.
Then the band provided a stunning performance of Nathan Pereda’s Starless Night.
Nathan’s piece offered a wonderful set of antiphonal trumpets that brought such beauty to the hall. The piece was extraordinary!
The band finished the evening with Xerxes by John Mackey and African Symphony by Van McCoy.
Everyone LOVED it all
Another great season coming to the close, but we’ll be back in the fall with more music!
The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, hosted this year’s JAZZ for JUSTICE event, featuring the NOVA Nighthawks with our very special guest Warren Wolf and TC Williams Jazz Ensemble!
The evening began with some music from one of NOVA’s Jazz student ensembles providing some wonderful sounds for the start of a great evening.
We had some artists from the Torpedo Factory take part in the evening as well. Pat Sargent (Studio 325), printed up some postcards for the evening that were beautifully done.
Rosemary Feit-Covey spent the evening doing demos on her card making on the second floor, in (Studio 224)
Lisa Schumaier was also there on the first floor in (Studio 16).
Patrons gathered and enjoyed an evening of music, art and silent auctions
The MainStage music portion started off with an introduction of The T.C. Williams Jazz Ensemble by Brett Johnson from The Torpedo Factory.
They had people dancing in no time.
There were proud parents friend and family everywhere.
And of course we had some of own NOVA support, come to check out the band!
There was a great crowd with a lot to enjoy between catching up and checking out the art!
Everyone looked like they had a great time enjoying conversation, the music the art and the reason for being there, JAZZ 4 JUSTICE!
The evening included a raffle some amazing prizes!
The later half of the evening featured the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble featuring our very special guest, Warren Wolf! Warren is a world class performer and we were so lucky to have him. He’s traveled the world and played or recorded with the best: “Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Pelt and “Creation”, Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield, Adonis Rose, Donal Fox, Anthony Wonsey, Aaron Goldberg, Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash, Willie Jones, Eric Reed, Mulgrew Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Yoron Israel, Larry Willis, David “Fathead” Newman, Stefon Harris, Reuben Rogers, Kevin Eubanks, Curtis Lundy, Steve Davis, Duane Eubanks, Ron Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spaulding and many others.”
The Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performed:
Flying Home by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton, arr. Dave Barduhn
Satin Doll by Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, and Johnny Mercer, arr. Jerry Nowak “
Whisper Not by Benny Golson, arr.
Marty Paich “Maiden Voyage” by Herbie Hancock, arr. Mike Tomaro
Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael, arr. Bill Holman“
Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane, arr. Mark Taylor
Señor Mouse by Chick Corea, arr. Mike Tomaro “
Bag’s Groove by Milt Jackson, arr. John Clayton
Is That You? by Bryan Kidd
Oye Como Vaby by Tito Puente arr B Minzter
No Scuffle Shuffle by Dominic Spera
Not your Momma’s Samba by Paul Baker
La Malanga by Eddie Palmieri arr A Caceda
Nice ‘n’ Easy by Lew Spence, arr. S Nestico
Two Seconds to Midnight by AlanBaylock
Such Sweet Thunder by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn arr. M Kamuf
Flow Chart – Paul Baker
The evening was a hit and all for a GREAT cause! JAZZ4JUSTICE
The concert for this event benefits the charitable endeavors of the Alexandria Bar Foundation, Legal Services of Northern Virginia and the music scholarship fund at NOVA.
In 2001, Fairfax attorney Ed Weiner attended a student recital at George Mason University. He was impressed by the music, but distressed by the small audience. As the President of the Fairfax Law Foundation (FLF), he saw an opportunity for a new part- nership — the GMU School of Music would provide the musical
talent and the local Bar Association would provide the audience and sponsors. Thegoal would be to raise funds to support local Legal Aid, as well as the university’sjazz program. With the support of George Mason and FLF leadership, Jazz 4Jus-ticeTM was born.
Today, through partnerships with 7 universities and numerous local Bar Associa- tions, 48 Jazz4Justice concerts have been held across the Commonwealth: George Mason University, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth Universi- ty, Christopher Newport University, Northern Virginia Community College, the University of Virginia, and the University of Mary Washington. These concerts have raised over $450,000 for jazz programs and an array of educational and chari- table legal services benefiting Virginia’s local communities.
Jazz4Justice has received awards from the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. J4J is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Visit us atwww.jazz4justice.com.
Alexandria Bar Foundation
The Foundation of the Alexandria Bar Association is an integral part of theBar’s structure. The Foundation works with local organizations to providescholarships to high school seniors and provides grants to local organiza-tions to help them serve the community more effectively. The Foundation’s “Beat the Odds” program has been singled out for awards for their contribu-tions to the City of Alexandria and its citizens. The Alexandria Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
An Evening of Environmental Music, Art and Inspiration at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts featuring the Third Millennium Ensemble. The evening brought together works from various composers illustrate environmental experience for places, wildlife and societal impacts on the earth. A beautiful partnership of music expressing our partnership with our planet.
A lovely and inspiring concert was begun by percussionist, Bill Richards who performed Suomineito for solo vibraphone by NJ Zivkovic. The Finish title, ‘Suomineito’, is from the language of the ‘Suomi’ People and essentially means, Finish girl. The work was inspired by a Finish folk song.
Terra Secundum, a piece our very own Jonthan Kolm, includes five movements that cover the journey through an apocalyptic planet event. The piece works through, Portal, Fossils, Blackout, Wasteland and Equilibrium.
Barbara Brown did a wonderful rendition of Givanni Sollima’s Lamentatio for solo cello. What a lovely piece. The work is for cello and human voice. It includes the vibration of the two as well as a bowing bounced percussion on the strings themselves. It’s really a wonderful work.
Barbara, Hui-Chuan Chen and Sally McLain performed Very Angry Birds by Piotr Szewczyk. A feverishly energetic work for Bass, Piano and Violin.
Pamel Helton Performed Elegy for The Earth for Bass Clarinet and Sound. It was an amazing work that used whale sounds with emulated whale sounds from the bass clarinet. Just lovely.
The final piece of the evening was Music of Amber by Joseph Schwantner. The work perfectly ended the evening with a journey that took us through the movements Wind, Willow and Whisper, ending with Sanctuary.
We are very lucky to the Third Millennium Ensemble come to our campus. Please visit www.thridmillenniumensemble.org for more information on upcoming concerts.
On Thursday, March 7th we gathered in the concert hall at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center for a great evening of music and fun, all around.
The NOVA Community Band began the evening with The Thunderer by John Philip Sousa, followed by Children’s March “Over the Hills and Far Away” by percent Grainger.
Clarinet soloists, Brian Jones and Charles West joined the band for Il Convegno by Amilcare Ponchielli. Hearing them together was a treat! What incredible nuance!
Trombonist Harry Watters took the crowd with Cherokee by Ray Noble and Over the Rainbow, by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg. What a phenomenal stage presence!
The last piece from The Band for their first performance section, offered up a beautiful World Premiere by composer Robert Thurston, titled “Civil Discourse” which featured Dennis Edelbrock on Trumpet. The piece’s complexities and journey was stunningly written and we were lucky to have Robert Thurston in the audience to hear it performed.
The George Mason Elementary School Jazz Band rocked the house with Michael Sweeney’s “Blue Machine” and the Sesame Street Theme by Joe Raposo. Director, Heather Rosner, has everyone at a superb level of musicianship.
The annual Recognition for Student Winners from Alexandria City public Schools in the Visual and Performing Arts Categories of the National PTA Reflections Program was another heart-felt moment. Each student winner had the opportunity to tell the audience about their award.
The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Richard Seracino, performedDouble Play by Carl Strommen, Buckjump by Troy Andrews and Mdke Ballard, and Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing” by Stevie Wonder.
The final number of the night brought school children from area elementary and middle schools together with the NOVA Alexandria Band.
They all played Havana and Fanfare and Fireworks!!! What a great experience it was for everyone!!!
Please join us at The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria for a great benefit concert with the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble!
Also, PLEASE COME TO THE LAST CONCERT OF THE SEASON!
May 3rd, 8:00-9:30PM at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center!
We will have a combined concert featuring ALL of our ensembles! The Community Choir, The NOVA Alexandria Community Band and the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Band!
We look forward to seeing you soon!
For more information contact Lisa Eckstein at Leckstein@nvcc.edu
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!
Since 1967, helping people of all ages grow in the joy of making music.