Category Archives: Concerts

Jon Metzger Master Class!

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.

Jon Metzger works with our NOVA Jazz ensemble students. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Internationally known vibraphonist, three time Grammy nominee, author and winner of the National Endowment for the Arts, JON METZGER, performing “All The Things You Are”,  November 2nd for a master class in music at The Center for Media, Design and the Arts at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

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.

Internationally known vibraphonist, three time Grammy nominee, author and winner of the National Endowment for the Arts, JON METZGER, performing “Stella by Starlight,”  November 2nd for a master class in music at The Center for Media, Design and the Arts at the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College.

The students learned so much about how to up their abilities and perform at an even higher level.

Jon Metzger performs with our NOVA Jazz ensemble students John Butler, Fernando Galeas, Bryan Dicks and jazz faculty Kevin Pace. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

Yon worked through collaborative jazz performance concepts with  Rodney Avery on piano and Mary Himel on saxophone.

Yon Metzger, Rodney Avery on piano and Mary Himel on saxophone. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

His innovative ideas on piano technique, collaborating through octave ranges during improvisation, where a lesson for all of us.

Rodney Avery and Jon Metzger working through some piano options on November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley
Andrew Grabowski on guitar, Kevin Pace on bass, Rodney Avery,  Jon Metzger, and Kurt Steinbacher on drums, working on musicianship with Jon. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Jon Metzger performs with our NOVA Jazz ensemble students. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

One of the great joys for everyone was jamming with Jon.  The students were thrilled!  What an incredible opportunity, this was.

Jon Metzger performs with our NOVA Jazz ensemble students. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Bryan Dicks and Jon Metzger. Master class on November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

After working with everyone, he answered question from all of us in the audience as well as the musicians he had just been coaching.

Jon Metzger answers questions from  our NOVA Jazz ensemble students and audience. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

Truly, a great time was had by all!  They are still talking about it!

Jon Metzger performs with our NOVA Jazz ensemble students. November 2, 2018 at the Center for Design, Media and the Arts. Photo by Britt Conley

A special thanks to Musser for helping sponsor Yon and to everyone who participated and the audience who came to learn!

 

2018 Fall NOVA Alexandria Band Concert

The NOVA Alexandria Band performing Overture for the Winds by Charles Carter at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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 performing Overture for Winds by Charles Carter (1926-1999) at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The NOVA Alexandria Band is a community band and mixes musicians of all ages and backgrounds.

The NOVA Alexandria Band performing Overture for Winds by Charles Carter (1926-1999) at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Matthew Bandman took the time to explain his new composition Roses of Galante.   What a wonderful work!

Matthew Bandman, one of our student composers explains his piece, Roses of Galante, performed by the NOVA Alexandria Band at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Matthew Bandman’s Roses of Galante being performed by the Alexandria Band.  What a lovely piece!

Pianist, Nathan Pereda performing “Roses of Galante” by Matthew Bandman, with the NOVA Alexandria Band performing ” at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Soloist Kate Fizpatrick, from the Air Force Ceremonial Brass, joined the band for Moreceau de concert by Camille Saint-Saens.

Soloist Kate Fitzpatrick joins The NOVA Alexandria Band performing Morceau de Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Kate has also performed with the Airmen of Note and spent 17 years with the Air Force Band.

Soloist Kate Fitzpatrick joins The NOVA Alexandria Band performing Morceau de Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
It’s always nice to see family and friends capturing the members of The NOVA Alexandria Band at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Ashley Begley performing Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger

Pianist, Ashley Begley performing Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger with The NOVA Alexandria Band at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Mark Camphouse conducting the George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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 Camphouse conducting The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Mark Camphouse conducting The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Mark Camphouse conducting The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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 Pereda describing his composition Perseverance, to be performed by NOVA Alexandria Band and The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Nathan is another student composer who created a work about persevering through depression and getting through life.

Nathan Pereda describing his composition Perseverance, to be performed by NOVA Alexandria Band and The George Mason University Wind Symphony at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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

https://youtu.be/c2rwKTpCNSM 

We are so proud of both of them!

Lisa Eckstein conducts, Perseverance, with the combined, NOVA Alexandria Band and The George Mason University Wind Symphony, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
Lisa Eckstein conducts, Perseverance, with the combined, NOVA Alexandria Band and The George Mason University Wind Symphony, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

The standing ovation was immediate!  What an incredible night!!!

The standing ovation for Perseverance, by Nathan Pereda, with the combined, NOVA Alexandria Band and The George Mason University Wind Symphony, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
Mark Camphouse and Lisa Eckstein at the end of the concert and performance of Perseverance, by Nathan Pereda, with the combined, NOVA Alexandria Band and The George Mason University Wind Symphony, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Mark Camphouse let our student composers know how wonderful their works were.

Mark Camphouse and Lisa Eckstein at the end of the concert let Matthew Bandman and Nathan Pereda know just how good their works are, at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 25th, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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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.

 

Sacred and Profane Concert

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).

The NOVA Community Chorus and The Justice High School Chamber Choir performing their fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Our Master of Ceremonies for the night, Chad Steffey, Director of the NOVA Community Chorus, wonderfully informed the audience about the evening’s works.

Chad Steffey with The NOVA Community Chorus and The Justice High School Chamber Choir performing their fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
Sacred and Profane fall choral concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The kids did a incredible job and sounded lovely!

The NOVA Community Chorus and The Justice High School Chamber Choir performing their fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus and The Justice High School Chamber Choir performing their fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Dr. Stan Engebretson conducted the George Mason University Singers in, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht by J. S. Bach.

Dr. Stan Engebretson conducted the George Mason University Singers in, O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht by J. S. Bach. performing their fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

They went through selection from Neue Liebeslieder, Op. 65 by Brahms and a lovely work showcasing, soprano soloist, Ashlyn Rock.

Bryan Stenson, associate Conductor led The George Mason University Singers in Only in Sleep by Erik Esenvalds. Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The audience enjoying the George Mason University Singers at our fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Tenors, Lugman Fulmer and Ross Helunds soloed Ride in the Chariot, a spiritual, arranged by Brandon Waddles.

Tenors, Lugman Fulmer and Ross Helunds soloed Ride in the Chariot, a spiritual, arranged by Brandon Waddles Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
A student enjoying video taping the concert to help him get ready for his concert report due later in the semester. The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Their performance finished with Saints Bound for Heaven, a southern harmony from 1835.

The audience our fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

The George Mason University Chorale performing at our fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Ukuthula naturally brought out a swinging of individuals in the audience.  You just wanted to dance with them!

The George Mason University Singers at our fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The George Mason University Singers at our fall concert Sacred and Profane at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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!

The NOVA Community Chorus and Justice High School Chamber Choir, The George Mason University Singers and The George Mason University Chorale, combined Choirs at the Sacred and Profane concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus and Justice High School Chamber Choir, The George Mason University Singers and The George Mason University Chorale, combined Choirs at the Sacred and Profane concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

Soprano, Bridget Nesfield and baritone Vasili Varfis sing Tempus est iocundum, a selection from Carmina Burana by Carl Orff.

The NOVA Community Chorus and Justice High School Chamber Choir, The George Mason University Singers and The George Mason University Chorale, combined Choirs at the Sacred and Profane concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus and Justice High School Chamber Choir, The George Mason University Singers and The George Mason University Chorale, combined Choirs at the Sacred and Profane concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus and Justice High School Chamber Choir, The George Mason University Singers and The George Mason University Chorale, combined Choirs at the Sacred and Profane concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

A resounding, standing ovation capped the an evening powerhouse of sound! What a phenomenal night!!!!

The NOVA Community Chorus and Justice High School Chamber Choir, The George Mason University Singers and The George Mason University Chorale, combined Choirs at the Sacred and Profane concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. October 16, 2018. Photo by Britt Conley

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!

We hope to see you there!

Blog post by Britt Conley

 

2018 Jazz Faculty Concert!

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.

The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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

The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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, drums, Harry Watters, trombone and Kevin Pace, bass, at the Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley
John Kocur, Jacob Garbus, Andrew Hare, Harry Watters, Kevin Pace, Wade Beach and Ken Hall at The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley
Andrew Hare and Kevin Pace brought every complex rhythm, together, at The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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 Pace performs at The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Wade Beach and Ken Hall at the The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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 performs at The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley
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 and Jacob Garbus at The Jazz Faculty Concert in The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, at Northern Virginia Community College, Alexandria Campus. room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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.

Jacob Garbus performing at The Jazz Faculty Concert at The Center for Design, Media and the Arts, room 118. Photo by Britt Conley

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!

 

 

 

 

 

Arts on the Avenue 2018

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!!!

The NOVA Alexandria Band plays the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

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

The NOVA Alexandria Band plays the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

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 NOVA Alexandria Band plays the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Alexandria Band plays the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

The pieces were fun, energized and filled the festival!

The NOVA Alexandria Band plays the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley
Michael Brooke, of The NOVA Alexandria Band plays the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

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 NOVA Alexandria Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Alexandria Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

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 NOVA Alexandria Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

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 NOVA Alexandria Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

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!

The NOVA Alexandria Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble at the Art on the Avenue Music Festival at Del Ray, in Alexandria, Virginia! Photo by Britt Conley

Blog post by Britt Conley

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

 

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.

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