Category Archives: Concerts

The 2024 NOVA Children’s Concert!

Picture of the concert program front that shows the name, date and time of the concert.
The 2024 Children’s Concert featuring the NOVA Alexandria Band, The Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band, A Modern Band Ensemble form George Washington Middle School, Guest Trumpet Soloist Denny Edlebrock, The Premier of “Splendiferous” by Matt Bondman and the Area School Band and Orchestra Students for the Grand Finale. Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

This evening’s concert featured The NOVA Alexandria Band, The Hammond Middle School 7th-8th Grade Band, The Modern Band Ensemble from George Washington Middle School, Trumpet soloist Denny Edelbrock, the Premier of “Splendiferous” by Matt Bandman and Area School Band and Orchestra Students in the grand finale!

Our first piece, “Choose Joy” is by Randall D. Standridge.  The work is part of the Unbroken Project,  created to bring awareness to mental health issues.  Standridge writes, “I live with depression. I am not afraid to say this. However, too many suffer in silence, shame, and fear. We must tear down these walls and normalize discussions about mental health issues. We owe it to each other.” – Randall Standridge, composer “unBroken.”

A picture of Lisa Eckstein conducting the NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Lisa Eckstein conducting the NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

This uplifting work was furthered by our exciting second piece featuring our annual master of trumpet ceremonies, Denny Edlelbrock, performing Tico Tico by Zequinha de Abreu.  Dr. Eckstein explains, “It’s a Samba, which googled defines as a “Brazilian dance of African origin.””

Denny Edelbrock performing the song Tico Tico on stage with the Alexandria Band on Feb. 22, 2024.
Denny Edelbrock performing on his trumpet at the 2024 Children’s Concert featuring the NOVA Alexandria Band, The Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band, A Modern Band Ensemble form George Washington Middle School, Guest Trumpet Soloist Denny Edlebrock, The Premier of “Splendiferous” by Matt Bondman and the Area School Band and Orchestra Students for the Grand Finale. Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Tico Tico is incorporates a wonderful swaying rhythm backing the quick and flighting journey or our trumpet.  Denny is perfect for this work.  His expertise is renown.  The Washington Post described Denny as having “incredible technique” and performing with “reckless abandon.  As a member of the U.S. Army Band and White House concerts, televised events and concerts across the country.   In recent years, he has performed with the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets, the New York Metropolitan Opera and recorded with the National Symphony, in addition to working with films scores for many famous films.

Denny Edelbrock bowing after performing Tico Tico on stage with the Alexandria Band on Feb. 22, 2024.
Denny Edelbrock performing on his trumpet at the 2024 Children’s Concert featuring the NOVA Alexandria Band on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

The third work of the night is Diamond Tide by Viet Cuong.  It’s a unique work that was inspired by scientists journey toward liquifying diamonds to help study the solar system. Nature Physics magazine explains, “extremely high pressure—40 million times the pressure we feel on Earth at sea level—is crucial to melt a diamond.

The extreme temperature and pressure used in this experiment are found Neptune and Uranus, and scientists therefore believe that seas of liquid diamond are possible on these two planets. Oceans of diamond may also account for these planets’ peculiar magnetic and geographic poles, which do not line up like they do here on Earth. Lastly, as the scientists were melting the diamonds, they saw floating shards of solid diamond forming in the pools—just like icebergs in our oceans. Imagine: distant planets with oceans of liquid diamond filled with bergs of sparkling solid diamonds drifting in the tide…

On Counts website, he explains, “These theories are obviously all conjecture, but this alluring imagery provided heaps of inspiration for Diamond Tide, which utilizes the “melting” sounds of metallic water percussion and trombone glissandi throughout.”

Our three percussionists helped make these sounds possible by using water in glass, triangles, and small cymbals.

Three NOVA Alexandria Band members use small cymbals and glass and water to add percussive sounds during their performance at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
The Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children’s Concert featuring the NOVA Alexandria Band on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Our 4th piece is Prelude in E-flate Minor, Op. 34, No 14 by Dmitri Shostakovich.  It’s part of a series of preludes that Shostakovich wrote to go around the circle of 5ths.

A photo of The Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

This piece was originally conceived for piano during the early 30’s to accompany the last act of the opera Lady Macbeth, and was later transcribed for band by Robert Reynolds.

Lisa Eckstein conducts the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Lisa Eckstein conducts the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.
Lisa Eckstein conducts the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Lisa Eckstein conducts the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.

Our next aural selection was “Play,” by Carl Holmquist.  A beautifully melodic flight that gathers instruments and sends us on our journey through the musical crowd and into a wonderfully textural  world.

Lisa Eckstein conducts the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Lisa Eckstein conducts the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

Dr. Eckstein explains, “Play! is the 4th and last movement of a larger piece titled, “A New Orleans Symphony.” It incorporates a hymn titled “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” The piece represents the different stages of emotions the people of New Orleans went through when they had to deal with Hurricane Katrina. Play! It represents the celebration of new life and the rebuilding of the city.”

The Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.

Percussion drives and continually accentuates the musical moments in the work. Carl Holmquist describes “Selections from Encanto,” as, “A simple tune emerges from the silence.  The music grows.  The vibrant city is being rebuilt.  We hear the rhythms of the second line.  The musicians are returning to Jackson Square.  This time, to celebrate new life!”

The Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

The next musical work was from, “Selections from Encanto,”  by Lin-Manual Miranda with Joshua Redhelm conducting.

Joshua Redhelm conducts the NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Joshua Redhelm conducts the NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.

Joshua is a musician and educator based out of Alexandria, Virginia.  Currently he teaches at Ashlawn Elementary School in Arlington, VA and is a member of The NOVA Alexandria Band. He received his B.S. in Music Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania in 2014 where he studied trumpet with Dr. Kevin Eisensmith and played under the baton of Dr. Jack Stamp.  He id currently working on his M.M. in Music Education from Eastern Washington University.

Joshua Redhelm conducts the NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Joshua Redhelm conducts the NOVA Alexandria Band at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

Selections from Encanto is a lively mix of South American inspired Music written for the 2021 Disney Film Encanto.

The NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley

Walt Disney Animation Studios describes the movie, “Encanto tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. The magic of the Encanto has blessed every child in the family with a unique gift from super strength to the power to heal-every child except one, Mirabel. But when she discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto is in danger, Mirabel decides that she, the only ordinary Madrigal, might just be her exceptional family’s last hope.” —Walt Disney Animation Studios

The NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The NOVA Alexandria Band performing at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Alexandria Band tympanist performing at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The NOVA Alexandria Band tympanist performing at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.

The next work of the evening was the world premier of “Spendiferous,” composed by Matt Sandman in 1998. The work was conducted by the composer himself!  Matt started his compositional journey in hight school at the Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, VA.  He has since received commission offers from Tuscarora High School, Northern Virginia Community College, where Matt is a current band member as the principle Alto saxophonist and current resident composer.

Matt Bandman conducts his work, "Splendiferous" with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Matt Bandman conducts his work, “Splendiferous” with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Matt’s musical inspiration  comes from his love of movie scores by the great film composers including John Williams, Hans Zimme, and John Powell.

Matt Bandman conducts his work, "Splendiferous" with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Matt Bandman conducts his work, “Splendiferous” with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

He has also been influenced by living composers of band music including Robert Sheldon, the late Robert W. Smith, Randall Standridge, Brian Balmages, and Rossano Galante who has become one of his biggest mentors.

Matt Bandman conducts his work, "Splendiferous" with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Matt Bandman conducts his work, “Splendiferous” with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Splendiferous is reminds us of a circus march, for example It has whistels, horns, cowbells, noise makers, brake drums and so on…nothing with too much pitch at times.   The work beautifully integrates fun elements within his phrasings.

Matt Bandman conducts his work, "Splendiferous" with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Matt Bandman conducts his work, “Splendiferous” with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

After the World Premier of his piece, Lisa provided Matt with a lovely birthday card signed by the entire band!

A photo of Matt Bandman and Lisa Eckstein on stage after Matt conducted his musical work, "Splendiferous" with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Matt Bandman and Lisa Eckstein after Matt conducted his work, “Splendiferous” with the Alexandria Band during the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.

After a short intermission we were able to enjoy the George Washington Middle School Modern Band Ensemble directed by Heather Rosner.  Heather is an award-winning teacher who has spent more than 20 years pioneering innovative practices in music pedagogy.  She believes music education should be available in a variety of meaning fun ways to every student in every community no matter their race, socioeconomic status, ability, or previous experience.  The musician own the George Washington Middle School Ensemble tonight are representing the Modern Music Program, which is being offered at the middle school level in ACPS for the first time this year.  Operating alongside the traditional band program at GWMS, this program focuses on contemporary genres of music, offering student an opportunity to play ukulele, guitar, bass guitar and drum set.

A picture of The George Washington Middle School Modern Music Ensemble, under the direction of Heather Rosner, performing at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2-24.
The George Washington Middle School Modern Music Ensemble, under the direction of Heather Rosner, performing at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2-24. Photo by Britt Conley.

The second piece, Stand By Me was written by Ben E. King in 1961 and was wonderfully sung by Geovanny Chavez Palacio.

“When the night has comeAnd the land is darkAnd the moon is the only light we’ll seeNo, I won’t be afraidOh, I won’t be afraidJust as long as you standStand by me”

A picture of The George Washington Middle School Modern Music Ensemble, under the direction of Heather Rosner, performing at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2-24.
The George Washington Middle School Modern Music Ensemble, under the direction of Heather Rosner, performing at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2-24. Photo by Britt Conley.

This Is Hammond’s first year in joining the band concert and the students are wonderfully talented!

A photo of NOVA Alexandria Band director Lisa Eckstein handing the microphone to Dawn Wilson, director of the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
NOVA Alexandria Band director Lisa Eckstein handing the microphone to Dawn Wilson, director of the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.
A photo of Dawn Wilson, director of the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band, speaking to the audience, at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
Dawn Wilson, director of the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band, speaking to the audience, at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.

The first work of their performance was “Lift Every Voice” by James Weldon Johnson.  This work is often regarded as the anthem for the Black Community and in respect the audience stood during it’s performance.

A photo of the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band performing at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.
The Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band, speaking to the audience, at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Poetry Foundation, explains that JAMES WELDON JOHNSON, stated, “A  group of young men in Jacksonville, Florida, arranged to celebrate Lincoln’s birthday in 1900. My brother, J. Rosamond  Johnson, and I decided to write a song to be sung at the exercises. I wrote the words and he wrote the music. Our New York publisher, Edward B. Marks, made mimeographed copies for us, and the song was taught to and sung by a chorus of five hundred colored school children.
Shortly afterwards my brother and I moved away from Jacksonville to New York, and the song passed out of our minds. But the school children of Jacksonville kept singing it; they went off to other schools and sang it; they became teachers and taught it to other children. Within twenty years it was being sung over the South and in some other parts of the country. Today the song, popularly known as the Negro National Hymn, is quite generally used.
The lines of this song repay me in an elation, almost of exquisite anguish, whenever I hear them sung by Negro children.”

A photo of Dawn Wilson, directing the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
Dawn Wilson, directing the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.

An American March by John Edmondson was executed wonderfully with its rhythmic side.  The chime accents were perfectly placed.

A photo of the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band performing at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
The Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band performing at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley

The next work was, “Iron Heart,” by Randall D. Standridge.  JW Pepper music publisher describes Iron Heart as, “All artists must call on an inner strength to devote themselves to their craft, and this work was inspired by that strength of will. The sounds of a beating heart, combined with metallic accents in the mallet percussion, brake drum, and China crash cymbal, create a uniquely industrial sound as the melody races through life’s obstacles before climaxing in a beautiful, triumphant fanfare.” JWPepper.com

A photo of Dawn Wilson, directing the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
Dawn Wilson, directing the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.
A photo of Dawn Wilson, directing the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children's Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024.
Dawn Wilson, directing the Hammond Middle School 7th and 8th Grade Band at the Children’s Concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall on February 22, 2024. Photo by Britt Conley.

Grand Finale featuring a combined performance  of school children from are elementary and middle schools with the NOVA Alexandria Band.

A photo of Lisa Eckstein conducting the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Lisa Eckstein conducting the grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Our second to last piece of the night (March to Sunrise by Danielle Fisher), was part of the big Grand Finale featuring the NOVA Alexandria Band with students joining from area elementary and middle schools.

A photo of the musicians playing the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
The grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

On his website, Danielle explains, “This piece is intended to provide a joyous and accessible option for a first march experience. The march shares its main theme with Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46, movement 1 ‘Morning Mood’. You will need at least one player for each part listed (four players in the winds, and three percussionists). ” daniellefisher.net

A photo of the musicians playing the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Musicians performing the grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.
A photo of the musicians playing the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Musicians performing the grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.
A photo of the musicians performing the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Musicians performing the grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Champion by Nathan Pereda, first premiered on February 27th, 2020 and was written specifically for all the young ladies and gentlemen who came to play with us for the Grand Finale of our 2020 Children’s Concert.

A photo of the musicians playing the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Musicians performing the grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

Nathan is an incredibly talented composer and French horn player and a former member of the NOVA Alexandria Band as well.  He explains, “I wanted to write something that sounded fun and was fund to play, as it’s important that we experience some of that while learning.”

A photo of the musicians playing the grand finale section of the Children's Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children's Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall.
Musicians playing the grand finale section of the Children’s Concert featuring NOVA Alexandria Band and area elementary and middle school band and orchestra students at the 2024 Children’s Concert on Feb. 22, 2024 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall. Photo by Britt Conley.

 

 

 

Folk Music from around the World!

This evening’s concert featured folk music from around the world!  Our concert was introduced by long time At-Large Member of Fairfax County School Board, Ilryong Moon.  Moon was honored by the Fairfax County School Board in October 2021, for his long service on the school board by naming the main gymnasium at Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology as “Ilryong Moon Gymnasium.”

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra presents, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Aaron Copland’s 1942, “Fanfare for the Common Man.”  launched our musical evening.  Our music director Christopher Johnston,  explains, “The work was inspired in part by a speech made earlier that year by then American Vice President Henry Wallace in which Wallace proclaimed the dawning of the “Century of the Common Man.””

Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

He added Copland’s words, “…It was the common man, after all, who was doing all the dirty work in the war and the army. He deserved a fanfare.”

Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

It is interesting to note that Copland considered several other titles for the piece, among them Fanfare for the Spirit of Democracy, Fanfare for the Rebirth of Lidice—a town in Czechoslovakia that had been destroyed by the Nazis—and Fanfare for Four Freedoms. The last title refers to a 1941 speech by President Roosevelt in which he listed the four freedoms people everywhere should enjoy: freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Next we were riveted again by Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17″. Chris explains, “Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) composed his Symphony No. 2 in C Minor in 1872 and revised it seven years later. It is Tchaikovsky’s shortest symphony, but what makes this music distinctive is his use of folk tunes for some of its themes….

This technique was favored by “The Five” (Mussorgsky, Borodin, Cui Balakirev, and Rimsky Korsakov), and Rimsky-Korsakov in particular was impressed when Tchaikovsky played this music for him on the piano shortly before the premiere.  (Rimsky-Korsakov’s wife liked the last movement so much that she wanted to make a two-piano arrangement of it.)”

Next we enjoyed, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite.  Johnston explains, the, “English Folk Song Suite is one of the most popular works of English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872–1958). “It was first published for military band as Folk Song Suite and its premiere took place at Kneller Hall on July 4, 1923, under the baton of Lt. Hector Adkins.”

Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

“The piece,” He adds, “was later arranged for full orchestra in 1924 by Vaughan Williams’s student, Gordon Jacob, and published as English Folk Song Suite.”

Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Furthermore, “The suite consists of three movements; March, Intermezzo, and a final March.  The first march is entitled “Seventeen Come Sunday,” the Intermezzo is subtitled “My Bonny Boy,” and the final movement if based on four “Folk Songs from Somerset.”

The suite originally had a fourth movement, “Sea Songs,” which was played second, but the composer removed it after the first performance and published it separately with his own orchestration.”

Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Maestro Chris Johnston conducts The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Our evening’s guest conductor is not less than a up and coming composer Charles Stolpe!  Tonight he conducted his work,“Voided Dimensions.”

Charles describes his piece as, “Imagine walking in the woods, late at night, with snow falling around you. You are in your thoughts, contemplating life itself and your purpose in it. That is how this piece came to be. The point of “Voided Dimensions” is a melody that played in my head when deep in contemplation. It would start with the main theme playing, moving from soft to loud and feeling chaotic. The theme would return quieting down before ramping back up. There would be a bit of a triumph and victory of reflection before going back to the primary theme once more and fading away but not a complete finish as the void continued.”

Charles Stolpe conducting The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

He expands, “The piece begins with an introduction played by the low brass in a soft choral fashion. The main theme begins fully in the strings in a humming-like tune using a minor key representing the void of contemplation in my mind. The melody then gets passed to the woodwinds before the full orchestra comes into play with choral horns in the background. The first chaotic moment occurs as the orchestra builds into a new minor key. The new theme—which is a variation of the main theme— soars through the brass and winds, while the strings and brass play rhythmic and chordal textures in the background with loud percussion adding to the complexity. The orchestra ends that section in full before quieting down as the main theme returns in the strings, winds, and horns along with an added counter melody and chordal background. The second chaotic section begins with the return of the introduction in a march-like style in the woodwinds, while other rhythms and motifs are being played by the other members of the orchestra with the percussion maintaining a chaotic march.

Charles Stolpe conducting The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Charles Stolpe conducting The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The piece suddenly turns bright and cheerful as the orchestra comes in full, using a major key, inspired by an often-sung church hymn. This part of the piece symbolizes the remembrance of joy and victories of my trials experienced in life. The joy is short lived as suddenly the main theme returns one final time in the strings and added trumpets as the orchestra begins to quiet down and fade away. The piece ends with part of the major theme but played in our home C minor key in the flute with three hits from the timpani to close the piece out.”The piece received a massive and heartfelt ovation!  It is such an honor to not only hear a composer’s work but to see them conduct their own score is priceless!

Our next symphonic work was our own Christopher Johnston’s, “Variations on “Arirang” ” featuring Eunju Kwak on violin.   Our composing Maestro, Christopher Johnston elucidates,  the work was, “composed in 1999, and dedicated to the composer’s niece, Miss Jin Young Koh, the work was first performed at the Eastman Conservatory in Rochester, New York, with Miss Koh performing the violin solo. The Variations were originally composed for violin and piano, but after the initial Eastman premiere, Christopher Johnston (1960– ) scored the piece for full orchestra and solo violin.

Violinist, Eunju Kwak performs with The NOVA Symphony Orchestra for their Spring concert, “Folk Music from Around the World” April 27th, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

“Arirang” (아리랑) is perhaps the best-known folk song in the Korean language. There are approximately sixty different versions of the song, all of which include a refrain similar to “Arirang, arirang, arariyo.” It is estimated the song is more than 600 years old. In 2012, South Korea successfully submitted the song for inclusion on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list. The song is sung today in both North and South Korea and has come to represent a symbol of unity in the region that has been divided since the Korean War.

Lyrics: Arirang, arirang, arariyo…
You are going over Arirang Mountain.

My love, if you abandon me
your feet will be sore before you go ten “li” (miles).

This evening’s performance includes a new, recently composed variation. The NOVA Symphony Orchestra is honored to have Mrs. Eunju Kwak, who performed the Variations with the orchestra in 2015, returning this evening to perform this new version.”

The eveing ended with some Gershwin greats : Selections from Porgy and Bess

Chris explains, “Gershwin (1898–1937) referred to Porgy and Bess as his “labor of love.” Since the opera’s premiere on September 30, 1935, at Boston’s Colonial Theater, it has come to be regarded as one of the greatest works of the American theater. The libretto was written by author DuBose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin. It was adapted from Dorothy Heyward and DuBose Heyward’s play Porgy, itself an adaptation of DuBose Heyward’s 1925 novel of the same name. The premier featured a cast of classically trained African-American singers—a daring artistic choice at the time. After an initially unpopular public reception, a 1976 Houston Grand Opera production gained it new popularity, and it is now one of the best known and most frequently performed American operas.

The libretto of Porgy and Bess tells the story of Porgy, a disabled Black street beggar living in the slums of Charleston. It deals with his attempts to rescue Bess from the clutches of Crown, her violent and possessive lover, and Sportin’ Life, her drug dealer. The opera plot generally follows the stage play.

Some of the songs in the opera, such as “Summertime” and “It Ain’t Necessarily So” became popular and frequently recorded. In the late 20th and early 21st centuries, the trend has been toward productions with greater fidelity to Gershwin’s original intentions. Smaller-scale productions also continue to be mounted.”

Another phenomenal evening of extraordinary music!

Please join us for our NEXT NOVA concert featuring:

The NOVA Knighthawk Jazz Ensemble, The NOVA Community Chorus, and the NOVA Alexandria Band!

Upcoming Orchestra Performances in 2023 include: Summer 2023 Pops Concerts:

Wednesday, July 12, 2023, 8:00 p.m., in Room 118 of the Fine Arts Building on the Alexandria campus of the Northern Virginia Community College and Friday, July 14, 2023, 8:00 p.m., at Mason District Park in Annandale.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra’s Fall 2023 Classical Concert:

Saturday, November 11, 2023, 8:00 p.m., at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra

A collaborative arrangement between the Northern Virginia Community College’s Annandale Campus music program and the Reunion Music Society, Inc., produced what was then called the NVCC-Annandale Symphony Orchestra in 1994 as a college-community ensemble of musicians. The first rehearsal was held on January 18, 1994, at the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center Theater. Significant contributions to the organization and implementation of the orchestra’s management were made by NVCC faculty member Dr. Gladys Watkins and by Dr. Ann B. Reynolds and Dr. Claiborne Richardson of the Reunion Music Society, Inc. The orchestra’s first concert was performed on April 15, 1994.

The orchestra was officially named “orchestra-in-residence” for the Richard J. Ernst Community Cultural Center in the fall of 1994 under the late Dr. Kay Haverkamp who was the director of the center at the time. Dr. Claiborne T. Richardson and Dr. James Faye served as the first co-conductors. Since that time, the orchestra has provided an excellent opportunity for members of the community to continue or to resume playing a musical instrument. It has also served as a laboratory for NOVA students to learn the orchestral music repertoire.

In 2021, the orchestra was recognized as representing all five campuses of NOVA, and our rehearsal and performance home was moved to the Alexandria campus. Maestro Christopher Johnston has been our Music Director since 1996. This community orchestra comprises both NOVA students earning college credit and community volunteers. For this concert, approximately eighty-five musicians, both professional and advanced amateurs joining with the NOVA students, are taking advantage of this musical expression, embracing the music of different cultures, and performing both standard and new or underperformed orchestral works.

Inquiries from interested musicians and support staff are welcome. Please see our website www.NOVASymphony.org to view our schedule and learn about opportunities to participate as a musician and as a supporter of the arts in our community.

In addition to the Music Director and Conductor, the orchestra’s operations are managed and carried out by an advisory board.

Reconciliation: Grant Us Peace Concert

Tuesday April 18, 2023 at 8:00pm, featuring: The NOVA Community Chorus, Special Guests from the US Army Chorus, The Arlington Community Chorus and Instrumentalists from the NOVA Alexandria Band.

A beautiful start to an incredible evening!  The Combined Choirs & Instrumentalists performing The Battle Hymn of the Republic under the direction of Director Captain Bonnie Alger.

Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts The Battle Hymn of the Republic at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus.
Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts The Battle Hymn of the Republic at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

The NOVA Community Choir & the U.S. Army Chorus performing music faculty, Jonathan Kolm’s world premiere of Peace Restored conducted by our NOVA Community Choir director, Dr. Mary-Hannah Klontz.

Dr. Mary Hannah Klontz conducts The NOVA Community Chorus, the U.S. Army Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

Dona Nobis Pacem by Ralph Vaughan Williams featuring soloists from the Army Chorus and Blaise Catala, Abass Conteh, Kenneth Marr, & Chad Steffey, percussion.

Soprano, SSG Jocelyn Pride and baritone SSG Paul Grosvenor from the Army Chorus, performing at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.
Soloists from the Army Chorus singing Dona Nobis Pacem with The NOVA Community Chorus, conducted by Dr. Mary-Hannah Klontz, at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

Director Cynthia Young conducts The Arlington Community Chorus performing an American Folk Hymn, “How Can I Keep from Singing?”  The song was originally composed by American Baptist minister Robert Lowry.

Director Cynthia Young conducting the Arlington Community Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo By Britt Conley.
Director Cynthia Young conducting the Arlington Community Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.
Director Cynthia Young conducting the Arlington Community Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

The U.S. Army Chorus is under the direction of Captain Bonnie Alger, the first female director in the ensemble’s history!  The first song of their inspiring set was Jocelyn Hagen’s, “Someplace.”

Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts the U.S. Army Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

The U.S. Army Chorus next performing “Soldier,” by Timothy C. Takach.  “The U.S. Army Field Band commissioned Takach to write this piece for the Soldiers’ Chorus in 2020.

Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts the U.S. Army Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

Stephen Paulus’ “Hymn for America” was beautifully sung!  The level of vocal expertise is extraordinary.  It is, one of over 400 choral works written by Stephen Paulus.

Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts the U.S. Army Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

Their final song was Free at Last (from Big River) by Roger Miller.  Big River is a setting of Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”

Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts the U.S. Army Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Image by Dan Kauffman.

It’s always an honor to be able to hear The U.S. Army Chorus.

Director Captain Bonnie Alger conducts the U.S. Army Chorus at the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

The final segment of our concert included the Combined Choirs beginning with “Hope Lingers On” by Lissa Schneckenburger and featuring step dancer, Keyshawn Pierce, with Mary-Hannah Klontz & Tatiana Loisha on percussion and conducted by Director Cynthia Young.

Keyshawn Pierre performs with the combined choirs on April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

This work was made far more meaningful by the tremendously talented dancer, Keyshawn Pierre.  He managed to encapsulate so much in his brilliant dance and we were riveted and grateful to be there to see it and feel it.

Keyshawn Pierre performs with the combined choirs on April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

Mary-Hannah explains, “Andrea Ramsey arranged the work for voiced, percussion and optional body percussion.  Body percussion refers to making rhythmic sounds such as clapping, patting, stomping and snapping.  Step dancing has its roots in the South African “gumboot” dances performed by gold miners wearing boots.  The dancing sent codified messages to coworkers because speaking was forbidden.  Step dancing has evolved into a new art popular on high school and college campuses.”

Keyshawn Pierre performs with the combined choirs on April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.
Keyshawn Pierre performs with the combined choirs on April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

For the final work of the evening, the combined choirs performing Shalom, written by Dan Forrest and featured Hannah Leong on violin.   Mary-Hannah, explains, ” Shallom,” directly translates to, “Peace, hello and goodbye in Hebrew, but there conveys an even broader sense of well-being.”  Her hope was to have everyone leave with a sense of, “renewed … hope and peace.”  The concert was a stunning success all around and we all fet far better.

The combined choirs on stage under the direction of Mary-Hannah Klontz and featuring violinist Hannah Leong during the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.
The combined choirs on stage under the direction of Mary-Hannah Klontz and featuring violinist Hannah Leong during the April 18th, 2023 Reconciliation : Grant Us Peace concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the campus of Northern, Virginia Community College. Featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The United States Army Chorus, and The Arlington Community Chorus. Photo by Britt Conley.

An incredible evening of music that inspired us all!  I can’t wait to see what Mary-Hannah programs for this coming fall semester!  Oh wait!  I just heard!  Next Fall’s concert will be, “Seasons of Love and Life-love songs and more” on Oct. 17 at 7:30.  Our guests will be choirs from Justice High School and Glasgow Middle School.”

In the meantime, please join us for our next concerts!  Here at NOVA, we have programing from not only our choirs, but The NOVA Alexandria Community Band, The NOVA Symphony Orchestra and The NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble.

• April 27 (8pm concert): The NOVA Symphony Orchestra at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria!

PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland. 
Fanfare for the Common Man.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17.

• May 5 (8pm concert): NOVA Music Dept. Spring Concert with the choir, jazz, and concert band ensembles.

And this summer in the Northern Virginia Community College Fine Arts Building, room 118 we will have The NOVA Symphony Orchestra!Hope to  See You There!

NOVA Jazz Concert

The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featured the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble, Directed by Shannon Gunn and the NOVA JAZZ Combos Directed by Cristian Perez.

The evening began with a wonderful set list compiled by the NOVA Jazz Combos, under the direction of Cristian Perez.

Tenor Madness by Sonny Rollins, the title piece for his album of the same name was released in 1956 and featured himself and John Coltrane.

The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.

This was followed by Luis Bonfa’s Black Orpheus, a lovely Bossa Nova Classic.  Billy Shelton, Jon McGregor and Norman Butts on Guitar.

Billy Shelton, Jon McGregor and Norman Butts on Guitar performing at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.

Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints” offers a melodic and rhythmically-gaited journey.  The band wonderfully picked up the feel of this jazz waltz.

The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.

“Recorda Me” by Joe Henderson, is a wonderful classic that trips along with notational highlights that weave between the instruments.

Kurt Steinbacher (Drums), and Tyrone Southerland on Bass. The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.

Herbie Hancock’s “Cantaloupe Island” another favorite jazz standard, moves us along with this driving melodic line with brass overtones and phrasing.

The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.
Tupac Saavedra and Oliver Coudert performing at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.

“All of Me,” by Gerald Marks was first broadcast in 1931 and has repeatedly hit the charts and reaching no. 1 with Louis Armstrongs version.  As a standard, it’s been covered by a variety of artists spanning the likes of Frank Sinatra to Wille Nelson.

NOVA Jazz Combos (directed by Cristian Perez), performing at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Jazz Combos directed by Cristian Perez. Photo by Britt Conley.

Kuddos to our Jazz Combos ensemble and thank you for enriching us with all the great jazz and musical talent!

After a brief intermission The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble  took the stage to perform Frank Foster’s, Shiny Stockings.

The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.
Rob Orwin performing at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

According to ezjazzlines.com, “Frank Foster’s ‘Shiny Stockings’ is one of the most memorable hits from the discography of the Count Basie Orchestra. ”  

March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

Alright, Okay, You Win by Watts Wyche, trans, Myles Collins, and featuring Tai Nanthavongsa on vocals!  This, once Billboard top 100 jazz work has become a  vocal jazz classsic.

Tai Nanthavongsa performing “Alright, Okay, You Win” at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.
Percussionist, Kurt Steinbacher. The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Frim Fram Sauce by Evans, Ricardel, arr. Benny Carter featuring Chris Pham on vocals.  This lively work was once recorded by Ella Fitzgerald and Nat King Cole, among others.

Chris Pham singing Frim-Fram Sauce at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

I’ve Got You Under My Skin , by Cole Porter, arr. Nelson Riddle and featuring Bob Coyne on vocals.  This famed and recognizable classic has a long performance history since it’s inception in 1936.

Bob Coyne singing “I’ve Got you Under my Skin” at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

Love is Here to Stay by George and Ira Gershwin, arr. Riddle.  Featuring vocalist Regina Beglutti.  This classic is best known for it’s use in An American in Paris featuring Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron, but many more movies have used it, including  Harry Conick Jr’s version in “When Harry Met Sally.”

Regina Beglutti singing Love is Here to Stay at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.
Shannon Gunn performing at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

Quincy Jones’ arrangement of “I can’t Stop Loving You” has successfully moved Don Gibson’s work into the Jazz Sphere.  Andrew Howard’s piano accompaniment wonderfully added a sense of warmth and beauty.

Andrew Howard performing at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

Next up is the 1954 jazz standard, “Misty” with later lyrics written by Burke and Ganer.  Tonight we had Kreem Baltaji on vocals.   This song was originally inspire by a thunderstorm.

Kareem Baltaji performing “Misty” at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

Big Swing Face by Bill Potts was originally recorded by Buddy Rich’s Big Band in 1967.  It’s medium-swung groove offered a lively uplift to the set.

The March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

A Nightingale Sang in Berkley Square by Mashwitz, Sherwin, arr. Tomaro, was originally published in 1940.   Tonights vocalist, Rachel Scott did a beautiful job.

Rachel Scott singing “A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square,” at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

My God, was, Shannon Gunn’s first song written for Big Band.  Shannon, our Jazz studies musical director arranged the beautifully written work to include all of our vocalists for the evening.

Rachel Scott, Chris Pham, Regina Beglutti, Kreem Baltaji, Tai Nanthavongsa and Bob Coyne singing Shannon Gunn’s, “My God,” at the March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

God Bless the Child by Herzog, made famous by Billie Holiday’s recording, is a holiday jazz favorite.  was  also performed.

When you’re Smiling by Shay, Fisher, and Goodwin, arr. Kubis.

March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Woogle by Wycliffe Gordon.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRBHy6DSuo0

March 28, 2023, NOVA Spring Jazz Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA JAZZ Combos, at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Shown are the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble directed by Shannon Gunn. Photo by Britt Conley.

The night was a tremendous hit and hat’s off to Cristian and Shannon for working with all of the Jazz students and bringing us this evening of Jazz to the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center.

Special thanks to the following performers:

NOVA JAZZ COMBOS:

Guitar: Norman Butts, Oliver Coudert, Eleanor Lovinfosse, Jon MacGregor, Tupac Saavedra, and Bill Shelton

Trumpet:  Lu Goon

Trombones: De Angelo Palucho and Willy Vernia

Bass: Tyrone Southerland

Drums: Kurt Steinbacher and Manuel Vicens.

NOVA KNIGHTHAWKS:

Vocals: Kareem Baltaji Regina Begliutti, Bob Coyne, Tai Nanthavongsa, Chris Pham, Rachel Scott and Shacar Rogers.

Saxophones: David Bardash, John Butler Marie Himel, Michael Leahy, Rob Orwin, Caryl Salters and Susan Shapiro.

Trombones: Steven Bectel, James Colmie-Wilson, Patrick McNabb, De Angelo Palucho, Jason Smith and William Vernia.

Tuba: Jon Pacheco

Trumpets: Mike Dyson, Larry Craven, Julius Gatto and Lu Goon.

Guitars: Andrew Howard, Jamie Jackson, Eleanor Lovinfosse, Bill Shelton and Aaron Veal

Bass: Sam Dewlett and Kiri Ly

Drums: Kurt Steinbacher and Philip Tinnin.

Please join us for our next concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center…

• April 18, 2023, 8 pm in Schlesinger Hall
The NOVA Community Chorus with special guests from The U.S. Army Chorus and the Arlington Community Chorus.  Selections include The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a world premiere of Peace Restored by Dr. Jonathan Kolm, movements from Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams, Hope Lingers On and Shalom by Dan Forrest.

• April 27 (8pm concert): The NOVA Symphony Orchestra at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria!

PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland. 
Fanfare for the Common Man.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17.

• May 5 (8pm concert): NOVA Music Dept. Spring Concert with the choir, jazz, and concert band ensembles.

And this summer in the Northern Virginia Community College Fine Arts Building, room 118 we will have The NOVA Symphony Orchestra!See You There!

The Children’s Concert

February 23rd, marked another amazing Children’s Concert! Our director, Dr. Lisa Eckstein, began the NOVA Alexandria Band’s program, with “Flourishes!” by William Owens.  A wonderfully dynamic and inspirational opening to a fun-filled evening!

Lisa Eckstein conducts The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The was followed by Matt Bandman’s World Premier of his work “Red Rocks Saga.  Matt has been composing since high school and waht started as a hobby has turned into a passion.

Matt Bandman conducts the world premier of his work, “Red Rocks Saga with The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

He has received multiple recent commission offers and has become a published composer with Chris Sharp music publications.  Between 2018-2022, the NOVA band premiered two of his works: Roses of Galante and The Tattered Flag.

Matt Bandman conducts the world premier of his work, “Red Rocks Saga with The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Our next special guest, Denny Edelbrock, joined the band for Alberto Pestalozza’s , “Ciribiribin.” As with every other year we all begin to hold onto our hats as Denny takes us on a lively musical journey!  Denny has been described by the Washington Post as having “incredible technique” and performing with “reckless abandon.”

Denny Edelbrock joins the stage to perform with The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

He has a performing career spanning 48 states and 14 countries.  He was member of the U.S. Army Band and the Army Brass Quintet for 35 years.

Denny Edelbrock performs Ciribirbin, with The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

He was performed at the White House, state funerals, inaugurations, and, “in recent years, …with the Bolshoi and Kirov Ballets, The New York Metropolitin Opera, recorded with The National Symphony Orchestra and was featured as a soloist in Messiah for the world’s first webcast, Opening Ceremonies for the Olympic Games, and been on NBC’s Today Show and NPR’s Prairie Home Companion.  And that doesn’t even cover his recording for movie soundtracks!

Denny Edelbrock performs Ciribirbin, with The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Band’s next musical serving was the famed, “Raider’s March by John Williams.  The energy filled the hall!

Lisa Eckstein conducts The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

And for the last piece by the Band, we had Leroy Anderson’s Bugler’s Holiday was performed by nine trumpeters!!!  Steven Blake, Alfredo Hernandez Cruz, Jack Dusek, Dennis Edelbrock, Julius Gatto, Josh Redhelm, Alex Tavares, Elizabeth Todd and Dawn Wilson.

(Alphabetical order): Steven Blake, Alfredo Hernandez Cruz, Jack Dusek, Dennis Edelbrock, Julius Gatto, Josh Redhelm, Alex Tavares, Elizabeth Todd and Dawn Wilson performing “Bugler’s Holiday.” with The NOVA Alexandria Band for ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

After a short intermission, The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble enjoyed the stage!

The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Director Richard Seracino programed a phenomenal set beginning with Billy Strayhorn’s “Take the ‘A’ Train.

The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Moondance by Van Morrison was the second musical work.

The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

This was followed by The George Mason Elementary School Gyil Ensemble, under the direction of Heather Rosner, performing  the African song Na Wa Seb.

The George Mason Elementary School Gyil Ensemble, under the direction of Heather Rosner, performing at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Finally Paul Norris directed the Swanson Middle School Jazz Ensemble!

Swanson Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Paul Norris at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

They began with Blue Bossa by Kenny Dorham

Swanson Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Paul Norris at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Swanson Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Paul Norris at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

“Just Before I Close my Eyes” by Larry Neeck.

Swanson Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Paul Norris at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Grand Finale was a combined performance of school children from area elementary and middle schools, all performing with The NOVA Alexandria Band!

Lisa Eckstein conducts The NOVA Alexandria Band and guest students and teachers at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Lisa Eckstein conducts The NOVA Alexandria Band and guest students and teachers at ‘A Children’s Concert’ on Thursday, February 23, 2023 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

We swing into the Finale with, “Great Beginnings” by Michael Kamuf.

Our last piece of the evening is a huge fan favorite… Surfin’ U.S.A by Chuck Berry and Brian Wilson.

What a phenomenal way to end a truly exciting evening!

A huge thanks to all the students, schools and participating teachers!  Our Grand Finale included students from:

Arlington Science Focus Elementary, Charles Barrett Elementary, Francis C. Hammond Middle School, George Mason Elementary, Swanson Middle School, Williamsburg Middle School

And to our participating teachers:

Michelle Shine, Erin Flynn-Pace, Dawn Wilson, Heather Rosner, Rick Seracino, Paul Norris Daniel Edwards.

To enjoy more music, please join us for our upcoming concerts:

· March 28 (7:30pm concert): A Tribute to Gospel Concert

Featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble & Special Guests!

• April 18, 2023, 8 pm in Schlesinger Hall
The NOVA Community Chorus with special guests from The U.S. Army Chorus and the Arlington Community Chorus.  Selections include The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a world premiere of Peace Restored by Dr. Jonathan Kolm, movements from Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams, Hope Lingers On and Shalom by Dan Forrest.

• April 27 (8pm concert): The NOVA Symphony Orchestra at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria!

PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland. 
Fanfare for the Common Man.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17.

• May 5 (8pm concert): NOVA Music Dept. Spring Concert with the choir, jazz, and concert band ensembles.

And this summer in the Northern Virginia Community College Fine Arts Building, room 118 we will have The NOVA Symphony Orchestra!

We Hope to See You There!

 

2023 Upcoming NOVA Spring Concerts!

· February 23, 2023  (7:30pm concert): A Children’s Concert

Featuring the NOVA Alexandria Band,  Special Guest Trumpeter Denis Edelbrock, The George Mason Elementary School Gyil Ensemble, The George Washington & Swanson Middle School Jazz Ensembles and Area School Band & Orchestra Students in the Grand Finale!

· March 28 (7:30pm concert): A Tribute to Gospel Concert

Featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble & Special Guests!

• Master class with Sarah Whitney

Thursday, March 30, 2023 from 2:00pm-4:00pm in room AFA-118

• Solo Violin Recital with Loop Pedel by Visiting Artist Sarah Whitney.

(As a soloist, Sarah has collaborated with the Alvin Ailey and Jose Limon dance companies, as well as featured on-stage with Adele, Ellie Goulding, the Transiberian Orchestra, NAS, Jeff Beck, Tommy Lee, Father John Misty. Active as a recording artist, Sarah has performed on albums with Darlene Love, Josh Ritter, Stephen Kellogg and can be heard on William Bolcom’s Grammy-winning album ‘The Songs of Innocence and Experience’. She has performed electric-violin with DJ’s Doug E. Fresh and DJ Spooky, as well as opened for Jennifer Hudson and Diana Ross.).
• April 18, 2023, 8 pm in Schlesinger Hall
The NOVA Community Chorus with special guests from The U.S. Army Chorus and the Arlington Community Chorus.  Selections include The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a world premiere of Peace Restored by Dr. Jonathan Kolm, movements from Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams, Hope Lingers On and Shalom by Dan Forrest.

• April 27 (8pm concert): The NOVA Symphony Orchestra at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria!

PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland. 
Fanfare for the Common Man.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17.

• May 5 (8pm concert): NOVA Music Dept. Spring Concert with the choir, jazz, and concert band ensembles.

And this summer in the Northern Virginia Community College Fine Arts Building, room 118 we will have The NOVA Symphony Orchestra!

A Holiday Concert: Joy To The World

The NOVA Community Chorus, The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble, and The NOVA Alexandria Band!

The NOVA Community Chorus during, ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

What better way to enjoy the holidays than with ‘Joy to the World,’ featuring Paul Klontz on Trumpet!  Although the renowned work was originally written in 1719  by English Composer Isaac Watts, we most often are enjoying the  American arrangement by Lowell Mason.

Trumpeter Paul Klontz performing Joy to the World with The NOVA Community Chorus during, ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The spirit of peace was elaborated through ‘Carol of the Bells’, a Ukrainian Folk Song written in 1914 by Mykola Leontovych. 

The NOVA Community Chorus Performing ‘Carol of the Bells’ during ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The work is about generosity and proclaiming a bountiful new year for all.  It was later arranged in 1922, by American Composer, Wilhousky for a performance by the Ukranian National Chorus at Carnegie Hall.

Tatiana Loisha performing with The NOVA Community Choir at The Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

A rhythmic rendition of Winter Wonderland featured our own Philip Tinnin on drum set.  The famed song was originally inspired by the sight of fresh fallen snow in Honesdale Pennsylvania.

Philip Tinnin performing Winter Wonderland with the NOVA Community Chorus as part of the NOVA Holiday concert ODE To JOY on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Community Chorus during, ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Alondra Gutierrez-Rivera,  A.J. Foley. and Emma Brush had just as much fun singing Winter Wonderland during the rehearsal before the hall opened!

Alondra Gutierrez-Rivera. A.J. Foley. Emma Brush singing Winter Wonderland during the rehearsal for the NOVA Holiday concert ODE To JOY on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The warmth of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’

The NOVA Community Chorus during, ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

This was soon followed by rousing rendition of Hine Ma Tov featuring Tom Munger on tambourine and dancers:

The NOVA Community Chorus during, ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall & Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Alondra Gutierrez Rivera, Lillian Jeng, Marissa Mulero, Preet Singh, Cecilia Brakffield, Jackie Cohan, Roberta Comer, Bailey Lee, Na Lin, Daniela Santos, Carol Uri, Ana Vaquerano, Huy Anh Le, Isaiah Dillard-Scott, Johnny Lazo, Carment Mendoz, Aj Foley, and Daniel Hall.

The Chorus inspired us all with Three Carols: Jingle Bells, Deck the Halls and We Wish You a Merry Christmas before ending with Beethoven’s An die Freude (Ode to Joy), from his Symphony No. 9!

Ally Richardson and Mary Yee singing Beethoven’s Ode to Joy.

Ally Richardson and Mary Yee perform Ode To Joy with The NOVA Community Chorus during ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Our next ensemble, under the direction of Shannon Gunn, brought us a set of great holiday numbers Jazz Style!  The NOVA Nighthawks began their set with Let it Snow!, Let it Snow!, Let Snow!

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Adonnis Colindres-Rosado Performing, ‘When your Smiling’ by Shay and Fisher.

Adonnis Colindres-Rosado Performing, ‘When your Smiling’ with The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The group followed with Frank Foster’s Shiney Stockings and Thad Jones ‘A Child is Born.’

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt ConleyBefore we knew it we were being serenaded by Bob Coyne and Regina Begliutti with, ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ by  by Frank Loesser.

The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Hat’s off to The NOVA Nighthawkes!

After a short intermission it was time for the NOVA Alexandria Band directed by Dr. Lisa Eckstein!  The first piece was Overture to a Winter Celebration by James Stephenson.

Lisa Eckstein directs the NOVA Alexandria Band performance of Overture to a Winter Celebration at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
Lisa Eckstein directs the NOVA Alexandria Band performance of Overture to a Winter Celebration at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Carol of the Drum by Katherine Davis sent us on an unexpected and familiar journey.

NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
Former Director of the NOVA Alexandria Band performing, Carol of the Drum with the band at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

A Rollicking Hanukkah

NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Heather Planey and the NOVA Alexandria Band performing Roger Zare’s December Lullaby.

Heather Planey performing with the NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

The evening ended with a phenomenal ‘Sleigh Ride’ written by Leroy Anderson.

NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley
NOVA Alexandria Band performing at ‘A Holiday Concert: Joy to the World’ on Tuesday, December 6th, 2022 at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley

Another amazing Holiday Concert has to come to an end.  If you enjoyed this evening please come back support our Spring Concerts!

SPRING 2023

Thursday, February 23, 2023: A Children’s Concert featuring:

The NOVA Alexandria Band and special guests:

· March 28 (7:30pm concert): A Tribute to Gospel Concert

Featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble & Special Guests!

• March 31st 7:30pm – Solo Violin Recital with Loop Pedel by Visiting Artist Sarah Whitney.  ROOM 118 of the NOVA Alexandria AFA (Fine Arts Building) at the Alexandria Campus. 

• April 18, 2023, 8 pm in Schlesinger Hall

The NOVA Community Chorus with special guests from The U.S. Army Chorus and the Arlington Community Chorus.  Selections include The Battle Hymn of the Republic, a world premiere of Peace Restored by Dr. Jonathan Kolm, movements from Dona Nobis Pacem by Vaughan Williams, Hope Lingers On and Shalom by Dan Forrest.

• April 27 (8pm concert): The NOVA Symphony Orchestra at the Schlesinger Concert Hall in Alexandria!

PROGRAM:
Aaron Copland. 
Fanfare for the Common Man.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky. Symphony No. 2 in C minor, Op. 17.

• May 5 (8pm concert): NOVA Music Dept. Spring Concert with the choir, jazz, and concert band ensembles.

 

Let Freedom Ring: The NOVA Symphony Orchestra

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

One of the many great gifts one gets by coming to the NOVA Symphony Orchestra concerts, is that Maestro Christopher Johnston spends great time considering and writing phenomenal program notes. Usually, only the guests get to read all about music.  I think his notes are best served with a side of photographs from the wonderful concert.

We began with the famed Overture to William Tell by Rossini!

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

“Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868) was one of the most celebrated Italian composers of the 19th century and consequently enjoyed widespread success, prestige, and wealth during his life.  He was one of the most prolific opera composers, and William Tell was his thirty-ninth and final opera.  the four-act opera is based on Friedrich Schiller’s play (“Wilhelm Tell”), which tells the story of William Tell, an archer and Swiss hero who helps to liberate Switzerland from Austrian Occupation.  Though the opera is rarely performed, the overture (the introduction to the opera) remains a concert favorite.”

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

 

“The overture is divided into four sections: 1 Dawn, a lyrical cello quintet, 2 Storm, a musical representation of the onset and retreat of a violent thunderstorm, 3 Ranch des Vaches (“call of the cows”), a pastorale featuring an English horn and flute duet, and 4) Finale: March of the Swiss Soldiers, a dynamic gallop heralded by trumpets and played by the full orchestra.  Much of Rossini’s musical motives have become mainstays of popular culture.  Most notably, the melody from the Finale has been cemented into radio and television history as the opening theme to the radio and TV version of The Lone Ranger

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Symphony No. 1 in A-flat major, “Afro-American” by William Grant Still.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Composed in 1930, William Grant Still’s (1895-1978) Symphony No.1 “Afro-American,” was the first written by a African American and performed for a United States audience by a leading orchestra. Premiered in 1913 by the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and later published in 1935, it it a symphonic form with blues progressions and rhythms characteristic of popular African-American music at the time.  Still sought to demonstrate how the blues could be raised to the highest musical rank, as it was often considered to be music that was not appropriate for the concert hall.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The symphony comprises four movements: Longing,” “Sorrow,” “Humor,” and “Aspiration.”  The second is calm and reflective of the movement.  The third movement creates a light-hearted, celebratory atmosphere using fast rhythmic patterns accompanied by tenor banjo.  The fourth opens with a somber melody in the strings and closes with a grandiose and satisfying finale in the minor mode.

“The Old Boatman”

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Florence Prince (1887-1953) originally composed “The Old Boatman” for solo piano, specifically for the benefit of her developing piano students.  Upon hearing it , Dana Paul Perna found it very reminiscent of Edvard Grieg, specifically his “Lyric Pieces,” and ” and 19 Norwegian Folk Tunes,” Op 66.  With that in mind, he proceeded to score her work in the literal transcription for string orchestra in 2002.  Upon the advice of conductor, John McLaughlin Williams, Perna extended his initial transcription of Price’s piece, completing the more comprehensive arrange heard this evening.

The world premiere of this arrangement took place on October 19, 2017, at MATCH (Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston) in Houston, Texas by Orchestra Unlimited under the direction of Kirk Smith.

Finlandia, Op. 26

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Jean Sibelius (1865-1957) composed Finlandia in 1899 and revised it in 1900.   It was an agreed upon contribution by the composer to the Press Celebrations of 1899, a covert protest against increasing censorship from the Russian Empire.  It was the last of seven pieces performed as an accompaniment to a tableau depicting episodes from Finnish History.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The premiere was on July 2, 1990, in Helsinki with the Helsinki Philharmonic Society conducted by Robert Kajamus.   To avoid Russian censorship, Finlandia had to be performed under alternative  names  at various musical concerts.  Famous examples include Happy Feelings at the awakening of Finnish Spring, and A Scandinavian Choral March.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

Most of the piece is taken up with rousing and turbulent music, evoking the national struggle of the Finish people.  Toward the end , a calm comes over the orchestra, and a sense of melodic hymn is heard.  Often incorrectly cited as a traditional folk melody, the hymn section is of Sibelius’s own creation.

“Victory at Sea”

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

After retiring from the service in 1948, Henry “Pete” Salomon began work on developing the concept for a “telementary” that would chronicle the US Navy’s war-winning efforts in all theaters of conflict during World War II.  The title of the work would be “Victory at Sea.”

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

In the year after its first broadcast (1952), “Victory at Sea” won numerous awards, including a Peabody and an Emmy, and a George Washington Medal from the Freedoms Foundation.  Composer Richard Rodgers (1902-1979), fresh from his work on The King and I, also, received a Distinguished Service Award from the US Navy.  His theme for “Beneath the Southern Cross.” a favorite of series theme music devotees, was given words by Oscar Hammerstein II and became the hit song “No Other Love.”  In many ways, thought, it was arranger/orchestrator Robert Russell Bennett’s score, recorded by RCA and released on two LP records that had the most enduring influence  and became a fixture in millions of households.

The NOVA Symphony Orchestra, directed by Christopher Johnson at the “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The score’s most famous fan was US Navy WWII veteran Richard M. Nixon, who was known to play it at a high volume after political victories and made it echo down the halls of the White House during his six years as president of the United States.  Still played by many orchestras and radio programs on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, the guns and strings of “Victory at Sea” continue to resonate in the twenty-first century.

Reception cake for The NOVA Symphony Orchestra concert “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Reception cake for The NOVA Symphony Orchestra concert “Let Freedom Ring” concert on Friday, November 11th, 2022 at 8:00pm at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

If you enjoyed coming to hear the NOVA Symphony Orchestra, please return for our upcoming concerts!

• Dec. 6, 2022  (8pm concert): NOVA Holiday Concert with the

Featuring: The NOVA Alexandria Community Chorus, Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA Alexandria Community Band!

 

45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Tonight’s concert celebrates the Alexandria Band’s 45th Anniversary!!!

Celebratory Cake! The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
Walking through history! The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Everyone was so excited for the evening!  Dr. Camphouse and Dr. Eckstein were so happy to meet with our Alexandria Provost, Dr. Haggray.

Dr. Annette Haggray, Provost of The Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, with Dr. Mark Camphouse, composer and Band Director George Mason University and Nova Alexandria Band Director, Dr. Lisa Eckstein. The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Tonight was a rare moment to bring the past to the present with an entire history of the band, set out in the foyer for all to enjoy.  We begin with Dr. Robert Petrella, (aka “Dr. Bob”), who is the fouder and Director emeritus of the NOVA Alexandria Band. He founded the ensemble in 1977 with 17 members and directed the band for three decades. Now, the group has 70+ members.  The band has performed at the Kennedy Center, George Washington Masonic Temple, The Old Post Office Pavilion and Georgetown University.  Dr. Bob still participates in the band by playing in the clarinet section and occasionally guest contacting.

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Our next director was Wendy Matthews! Dr. Wendy K. Matthews is an Associate Professor of Music Education at Kent State University. She holds degrees from the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University, University of Maryland-College Park, and George Mason University. Prior to joining the faculty at Kent State University, Dr. Matthews led the music department at Northern Virginia Community College as Assistant Dean and directed the Alexandria Campus Band, Orchestra, and Chamber Winds.  Wendy directed the band between 2007 and 2012.

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Currently, Lisa Eckstein (aka Dr. Ecks) is our Band Director.

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Lisa is an Associate Professor Of Music, Band Director and College-wide Music Department Chair at Northern Virginia Community College.   She teaches music theory, history and appreciation classes in addition to directing the band.  Lisa is making her mark with collaborations with renowned professional musician and soloists from the Washington D.C. region.  One of those collaborations will featured this evening with conductor and composer Mark Camphouse, who will be having his world premier of Valor and Remembrance.

Tonight we not only celebrate The NOVA Alexandria’s past and present, we also are featuring a historic hero, Doris Miller.

Our Provost opened the evening’s concert, speaking of Doris Miller and his history.

Dr. Annette Haggray, Provost of the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College, speaking at the 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

United States Navy Mess Attendant 2nd Class Class Miller was the first African American recipient of the Navy Cross for valor for his heroic actions on December 7, 1941 aboard the USS West Virginia.

Born in Waco, Texas on October 12, 1919, Miller enlisted in the Navy in September 1939 as a mess attendant.  In 1941,  African Americans were not allowed to man a gun in the Navy.  In high school, Miller was a fullback, and on the West Virginia, He was the ship’s heavyweight boxing champion.  Miller was collecting laundry on the West Virginia  when the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor began.  According to U.S. navy records,

“He headed for his battle station, the anti-aircraft battery magazine amidship, only to discover that torpedo damage had wrecked it, so he went on deck.  Because of his great physical strength, he was assigned to carry wounded fellow sailors to places of greater safety..  Then an officer ordered him to the bridge to aid the mortally wounded captain of the ship.  Although never trained to operate a machine gun, Miller manned a .50 caliber Browning anti-aircraft machine gun until he ran out of ammunition and was ordered to abandon ship.”

We begin our concert with “Legends of the Galaxy, (A Cosmic Fanfare)” by Chandler L. Wilson, assistant Director of Athletic Bands and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Floria State University.

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

The World Premier of Mark Camphouse’s, “Valor and Remembrance”. The work honors U.S. Navy Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller, who was the first African American recipient of the Navy Cross, for his heroic actions aboard the USS West Virginia on December 7th, 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

Composer and Conductor Mark Camphouse. The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Valor and Remembrance completes a trilogy of works by Camphouse honoring great African Americans: Civil Rights Heroine Rosa Parks (A Movement for Rosa), Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Homage to The Dream), and Pearl Harbor hero Doris Miller. It is hoped Valor and Remembrance will help promote great awareness of and appreciation for the heroic contributions by African Americans while serving in U.S. Armed Forces in the defense of freedom.

Dr. Lisa Eckstein conducting The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Second Suite in F for Military Band by Gustav Holst.

I. March

II. Song without Words

III Song of the Blacksmith

IV Fantasia on the Dragon.

Our founder, Dr. Bob, traded places with Dr. Ecks and guest conducted Jean Sibelius’ Finlandia.

Dr. Robert Petrella Conducting Finlandia. The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
Dr. Robert Petrella conducting Finlandia. The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.
Dr. Robert Petrella, founder of The NOVA Alexandria Band. The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Followed by a rousing Henry Filmore composition, The Orange Bowl.  Dr.  Bob,  who  currently  also  plays clarinet  is  so  grateful  to be able to continually perform with  the Band.

Fantasy on an African American Spiritual.

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Thank you for coming to celebrate our 45th Anniversary!!!  What an amazing musical journey!

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Those who were here enjoyed a post concert celebration with band.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share our joy with everyone!

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

………………..and of course, there was cake!

The 45th Anniversary Celebration Concert and Tribute to Doris Miller at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on Thursday, Oct. 27, 2022. Photo by Britt Conley.

Please join us again, this spring as we bring in 2023 with more music by all of the NOVA ensembles!

Be the Change: The NOVA Community Chorus

Our Combined Choirs began our evening concert with ‘Be the Change’ with Gandhi’s famed words, including, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”  This was set to the music by Marc Kaplan and Colin Britt, featuring Max Hoffman on percussion and Jane Michaels.  This was followed by Pete Seeger and Lee Hays, “If I had a Hammer.”

Be The Change featuring The NOVA Alexandria Chorus, The NOVA Annandale Chorus, The Justice High School Choirs and the Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Justice High School Choir, directed by Miranda Lansberry, performed Malakatumba by Josu Elberdin, Hold Me, Rock Me by Brian Tate and Wau Bulan, a Malaysian Folk song.

Be The Change featuring The NOVA Alexandria Chorus, The NOVA Annandale Chorus, The Justice High School Choirs and the Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.
Be The Change featuring The NOVA Alexandria Chorus, The NOVA Annandale Chorus, The Justice High School Choirs and the Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

“Wau Bulan” Malaysian Folk Song arranged by Tracy Wong.  The Lyrics, Ewah buleh teraju tigo mean “Wow!  The three-cornered moon.”

Be The Change featuring The NOVA Alexandria Chorus, The NOVA Annandale Chorus, The Justice High School Choirs and the Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir, directed by Mary-Hannah Klontz performed Harry Belafonte’s, “Turn the World Around,” followed by Sherrie Blevins’ “You Hold the Key” and Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run.”

The Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir. Be The Change concert featuring The NOVA Alexandria Chorus, The NOVA Annandale Chorus, The Justice High School Choirs and the Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

The Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir performed Turn the World Around, You Hold the Key and Let the River Run.  Thanks to Dean Kauffman for capturing their lovely performance.

• The NOVA Annandale Chorus Performed “More Love,” featuring Aj Foley, Johnny Lazo, Huy Anh Le, Cecilia Brakefield, Alondra Gutierrez-Rivera & Preet Singh.

The Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir. Be The Change concert featuring The NOVA Alexandria Chorus, The NOVA Annandale Chorus, The Justice High School Choirs and the Excelsior Voices Chamber Choir on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center. Photo by Britt Conley.

• The NOVA Tenor & Bass Ensemble performing Omnia Vincit Amor by John Michael Trotta. “Love conquers all.  Therefore let us surrender to love”

The NOVA Alexandria Community Chorus singing Michael Bussewitz-Quarm’s “I am the Voice that Sings.”

  • This was followed by the NOVA Soprano and Alto Ensemble singing Weir Eilen Mit Schwachen from Cantata 78 by J.S. Bach.
  • The finale of the evening featured a powerhouse performance by Shawn Kirchner, singing “I’ll Be On My Way”

• Special thanks to Dean Kauffman for coming and video tapping the evening!

Join us next time at The Holiday Concert featuring The NOVA Community Chorus, The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and The NOVA Alexandria Band!

 

From the entire NOVA Alexandria Music Department, Thankyou for ALL your support!  Hope to see you soon!