Our music department wrapped up our semester with our 2019 spring concert! Friday, May 3, 2019 from 8-10pm.
It was a historic night for a couple of reasons. First, It was the final performance with a amazing chorus director, Chad Steffey. Chad has spend the past couple of years working with our chorus and helping build a new chapter in the chorus history with wonderfully fun Broadway reviews and bringing in fantastic guest singers.
The chorus gathered in the concert hall foyer to help send him off in style. Hugs, gifts and a massive round of applause.
The NOVA Community Chorus began the night with The Music of Living by Dan Forrest, followed by Selections from Old American Songs, Bring Me Little Water, Silvy, by Huddie Ledbetter, Cape Cod Girls, a traditional Sea Shanty and Ain’-a That Good News! by William Dawson.
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble picked up a jazzy set, with Maiden Voyage, by Herbie Hancock, Whisper Not by Benny Golson, Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane and Senor Mouse by Chick Corea.
Lisa Eckstein treated the audience by opening the band set with Mark Camphouse’s Air Mobility Command March.
Then the band provided a stunning performance of Nathan Pereda’s Starless Night.
Nathan’s piece offered a wonderful set of antiphonal trumpets that brought such beauty to the hall. The piece was extraordinary!
The band finished the evening with Xerxes by John Mackey and African Symphony by Van McCoy.
Everyone LOVED it all
Another great season coming to the close, but we’ll be back in the fall with more music!
The Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, hosted this year’s JAZZ for JUSTICE event, featuring the NOVA Nighthawks with our very special guest Warren Wolf and TC Williams Jazz Ensemble!
The evening began with some music from one of NOVA’s Jazz student ensembles providing some wonderful sounds for the start of a great evening.
We had some artists from the Torpedo Factory take part in the evening as well. Pat Sargent (Studio 325), printed up some postcards for the evening that were beautifully done.
Rosemary Feit-Covey spent the evening doing demos on her card making on the second floor, in (Studio 224)
Lisa Schumaier was also there on the first floor in (Studio 16).
Patrons gathered and enjoyed an evening of music, art and silent auctions
The MainStage music portion started off with an introduction of The T.C. Williams Jazz Ensemble by Brett Johnson from The Torpedo Factory.
They had people dancing in no time.
There were proud parents friend and family everywhere.
And of course we had some of own NOVA support, come to check out the band!
There was a great crowd with a lot to enjoy between catching up and checking out the art!
Everyone looked like they had a great time enjoying conversation, the music the art and the reason for being there, JAZZ 4 JUSTICE!
The evening included a raffle some amazing prizes!
The later half of the evening featured the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble featuring our very special guest, Warren Wolf! Warren is a world class performer and we were so lucky to have him. He’s traveled the world and played or recorded with the best: “Wynton Marsalis and The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Jeremy Pelt and “Creation”, Nicholas Payton, Tim Warfield, Adonis Rose, Donal Fox, Anthony Wonsey, Aaron Goldberg, Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash, Willie Jones, Eric Reed, Mulgrew Miller, Terri Lyne Carrington, Yoron Israel, Larry Willis, David “Fathead” Newman, Stefon Harris, Reuben Rogers, Kevin Eubanks, Curtis Lundy, Steve Davis, Duane Eubanks, Ron Carter, Wycliffe Gordon, Robert Glasper, Esperanza Spaulding and many others.”
The Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble performed:
Flying Home by Benny Goodman and Lionel Hampton, arr. Dave Barduhn
Satin Doll by Billy Strayhorn, Duke Ellington, and Johnny Mercer, arr. Jerry Nowak “
Whisper Not by Benny Golson, arr.
Marty Paich “Maiden Voyage” by Herbie Hancock, arr. Mike Tomaro
Stardust by Hoagy Carmichael, arr. Bill Holman“
Moment’s Notice by John Coltrane, arr. Mark Taylor
Señor Mouse by Chick Corea, arr. Mike Tomaro “
Bag’s Groove by Milt Jackson, arr. John Clayton
Is That You? by Bryan Kidd
Oye Como Vaby by Tito Puente arr B Minzter
No Scuffle Shuffle by Dominic Spera
Not your Momma’s Samba by Paul Baker
La Malanga by Eddie Palmieri arr A Caceda
Nice ‘n’ Easy by Lew Spence, arr. S Nestico
Two Seconds to Midnight by AlanBaylock
Such Sweet Thunder by Duke Ellington & Billy Strayhorn arr. M Kamuf
Flow Chart – Paul Baker
The evening was a hit and all for a GREAT cause! JAZZ4JUSTICE
The concert for this event benefits the charitable endeavors of the Alexandria Bar Foundation, Legal Services of Northern Virginia and the music scholarship fund at NOVA.
In 2001, Fairfax attorney Ed Weiner attended a student recital at George Mason University. He was impressed by the music, but distressed by the small audience. As the President of the Fairfax Law Foundation (FLF), he saw an opportunity for a new part- nership — the GMU School of Music would provide the musical
talent and the local Bar Association would provide the audience and sponsors. Thegoal would be to raise funds to support local Legal Aid, as well as the university’sjazz program. With the support of George Mason and FLF leadership, Jazz 4Jus-ticeTM was born.
Today, through partnerships with 7 universities and numerous local Bar Associa- tions, 48 Jazz4Justice concerts have been held across the Commonwealth: George Mason University, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth Universi- ty, Christopher Newport University, Northern Virginia Community College, the University of Virginia, and the University of Mary Washington. These concerts have raised over $450,000 for jazz programs and an array of educational and chari- table legal services benefiting Virginia’s local communities.
Jazz4Justice has received awards from the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. J4J is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization. Visit us atwww.jazz4justice.com.
Alexandria Bar Foundation
The Foundation of the Alexandria Bar Association is an integral part of theBar’s structure. The Foundation works with local organizations to providescholarships to high school seniors and provides grants to local organiza-tions to help them serve the community more effectively. The Foundation’s “Beat the Odds” program has been singled out for awards for their contribu-tions to the City of Alexandria and its citizens. The Alexandria Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
It was 2:00pm and those who knew just how great this concert was going to be were all ready in their seats and grateful they didn’t have to miss it, for a class.
Our amazing Jazz faculty warmed up and began performing one another’s works! The set list included:
Motor City by Kevin Pace
Key West Waltz by Harry Watters
Floating on AIR by John Kocur
Forgiven by John Kocur
Route 90 East by Ken Hall
Tune for Ralph by Ken Hall
The Grind by Kevin Pace
We have a stunning line up of musicians here at NOVA! Our latest faculty addition, Harry Watters, took us to a whole new world. Harry, has graced the stage with, “Doc Severinsen, Al Hirt, Pete Fountain, Erich Kunzel, Kevin Mahogany, Wycliffe Gordon, Lou Rawls, Maureen McGovern, Bill Watrous, Carl Fontana, Jiggs Whiggam, James Moody, Peter Erskine, Conrad Herwig, John Fedchock and the Boston Brass. In addition, Harry has appeared as a featured soloist with the Syracuse Symphony, the Baton Rouge Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Tulsa Pops, the West Virginia Symphony, the University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band, the Janacek Philharmonic, the Moldovan Festival Orchestra and the U.S. Army Orchestra, to name a few…
Andrew Hare is an exceptional drummer! Andrew Hare grew up in a musical family, but didn’t find the drums until high school. He quickly fell in love with jazz through the music of Miles Davis and began to grow rapidly as a musician. His pursuit of jazz led to a music degree from Michigan State University, where he played in the schools award-winning Big Band, as well as an array of small groups. In addition to touring Japan and the United States with the MSU Big Band, he was also selected to participate in the prestigious Jazz Aspen Academy under the guidance of Christian McBride. He has also had the opportunity to perform with some legendary musicians including Rodney Whitaker, Jon Faddis, Frank Morgan, and Hank Jones. Since moving to DC in 2009, Andrew has become the chair of the percussion department at the Levine School of Music, earned a masters of music from the University of Maryland , and created the popular jazz drumming blog “The Melodic Drummer”, all while playing and recording with some of the area’s top jazz musicians. He looks forward to an exciting career of sharing his passion for music with audiences in DC and around the country.
Kevin, is known for his solid, earthy style of bass playing that you can hear live on over 30 recordings. A founding member of the DC Jazz Composers Collective, Pace has composed numerous award-winning compositions for jazz ensembles, orchestras, film, and artist collaborations. He has performed throughout the world at venues such as the Kennedy Center, Strathmore, and the Smithsonian, as well as jazz clubs all over the East Coast. Pace has performed with jazz greats including Gretchen Parlato, Freddie Redd, and David “Fathead” Newman. He teaches here at NOVA as well as Shepherd University.
Our Jazz piano teacher, Wade Beach, (As George Mason’s website proudly states, ” is widely respected for his harmonic sophistication and superb technique, which knows no stylistic limitations.” vWade teaches at George Mason University, as well as here with our students. Wade is everywhere, He’s honestly just a joy to listen to. He’s collaborated, ” with jazz artists including: Eddie Harris, Billy Harper, Gary Bartz, Richie Cole, Grady Tate, Keeter Betts, and Andrew White. Also pop artists including The Jackson Five, Barry White, and The Dells. Performed sols piano at the Kool Jazz Festival in the Kennedy Center – also performed at the Wolftrap Jazz Festival. He Joined The Air Force Band in 1979,” as well as working with The Airmen of Note. Wade, ” has performed for three presidents, and with great artists such as: Peter Erskin, Bob Berg, Tommy Newsom, Joe Williams, Ernie Watts, Arturo Sandoval, and Dave Liebman.Twice performed Duke Ellington’s piano concerto “A New World A’ Comin” with The Air Force Orchestra at Constitution Hall. Traveled throughout the world performing at notable locations including Carnegie Hall in NewYork. Also created many recordings with The Air Force Band. Played on the Norway’s Jazz Cruise, at the East Coast Jazz Festival with Andrew White, and at Blues Alley with Vaughn Nark, Andrew White, and Tim Eyerman. Most recently Wade is playing in a group with Jeff Antoniuk, Tom Baldwin, and Tony Martucci called “The Jazz Update.”
Ken Hall received a bachelors from Westfield State University in Mass. and his masters from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1986. He’s studied classical guitar with Tim Olbrych and William Feasley and jazz guitar with Mick Goodrick, Barry Galbraith and Ted Dunbar.
Aside from teaching for us, Ken is an in-demand freelance guitarist playing engagements with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, at the Kennedy Center’s Opera House, Signature and Olney Theatres, Blues Alley and the Smithsonian. He toured the former Soviet Union with a 16-piece big band as a guest of the Soviet State Department and has performed with jazz greats Max Roach, Dave Weckl, Slide Hampton, Keter Betts, Don Braden, Hilary Jones, Chris Vadala, country rocker Charlie Daniels, gospel great Andrae Crouch, comedienne Joan Rivers, and Italian crooner Al Martino to name a few.
Aside from his time here at NOVA, he has also taught classical and jazz guitar at Amherst College, Westfield State University, University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Va.
John Kocur is the head of our Jazz Studies Program. At the Washington Post puts it, “Kocur, a saxophonist so admired in the D.C. area that he’s nicknamed “The Smoker,” dominated the bandstand with his passionate playing.” – The Washington Post
When John isn’t teaching around town, he’s working with his quartet or freelancing. Recent performances by the John Kocur Quartet have included venues such as Bohemian Caverns, Blues Alley, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, the DC Jazz Festival, Twins Jazz, and the Phillips Collection.
Overall, City Paper said it best, Alto saxophonist John Kocur isn’t called “The Smoker” for nothing. He’s simply one of the finest soloists the D.C. jazz scene has to offer—and, it turns out, one of its most promising composers and bandleaders, too.” -Michael J. West, Washington City Paper
In addition to leading his own group, John has performed as a sideman with the international touring acts such as Jamie Cullum and Joe Piscipo. In the Washington, D.C. area he has particiapted in the Bohemian Caverns Jazz Orchestra, Thad Wilson Jazz Orchestra, Capital Focus Jazz Band, and the Too Damn Big Orchestra. In addition, he frequently collaborates with musicians in other genres, playing with progressive hip-hop artist Christylez Bacon and bluegrass duo Herb and Hanson. John has proudly performed overseas at the Jazz Ascona Festival in Switzerland and the first annual Nagano Jazz Festival in Japan. Throughout his career, he has shared the stage with legendary jazz artists such as Benny Golson, Fred Wesley, Jimmie Owens, Freddie Redd, and Buck Hill.
And Jacob Garbus is our next up and coming saxaphonist! He’s placed all around the world and with our own John Kocur, The Pharcyde, De La Soul and Talib Kweli, to name a few! His bio will blossom before you know it because his playing is right up there! My advice is, learn what you can from him now, because he’ll be off creating an amazing career before we know it!
It’s not easy to move a massive band around town, but Band Director Lisa Eckstein is always undaunted! Saturday she procured a truck and packed everything up and met the students in Del Ray, in Alexandria, for a wonderful community concert! It was phenomenal!!!
Concert Band performed…
Overture for Winds by Charles Carter
Red Rock Mountain by Rossano Galante
Roses of Galante by NOVA alumnus Matthew Bandman
Carnival of Venice by Herbert Clarke featuring NOVA band euphonium player, Michael Brooke
Perseverance by NOVA student, Nathan Pereda
Shepherd’s Hey by Percy Grainger
Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa
Playing outdoors is a whole other experience. Sound often travels away toward the audience and doesn’t bounce back well. You’d never know by how in step everyone was.
The pieces were fun, energized and filled the festival!
The band was not the only NOVA group to play! Our Jazz Band followed Lisa’s amazing performance. Our director of Jazz Studies, John Kocur was quick to set the space and add some chairs for a whole new audience!
The ensemble performed a variety of works…
“Zip-Ah-Dee-Doo-Dah” by Ray Gilbert and Allie Wrubel
“Flirtibird” by Duke Ellington (from Anatomy of A Murder)
“Call Me Irresponsible” by Sammy Cahn and James Van Heusen
“Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones
“Every Day” by Memphis Slim
“You’re Welcome” by Lin-Manuel Miranda
The Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble is a community Jazz Band. It brings students together, with community musicians, for a wealth of knowledge and learning for everyone. If you’d like to consider joining the ensemble, contract John Kocur at Jkocur@nvcc.edu
The band mainly performs at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center and various community concerts. The Next Nighthawks Jazz performance will be at the Carlyle Club!
Monday, November 5, 2018
7:30 – 9:30pm
The Carlyle Club
2050 Ballenger Ave, Alexandria, VA 22314
Come on down for a GREAT night of Jazz in an amazing club, right here in Alexandria!
Our NOVA Knighthawks Jazz Ensemble rocked the house with Afro Blue, Tico Tico and Manteca.
They knocked our socks off!!!!!!!
Jazz Director, John Kocur, has been working with the ensemble all semester and boy did they shine!
The NOVA Community Chorus followed with Ride on, King Jesus. Choral Director Chad Steffey and our accompanist Anita Ferguson have supported the Choir all year. The Chorus was lovely; every piece.
Ralph Vaughan Williams, O’ Clap Your Hands was conducted by Lisa Eckstein.
John Kocur accompanied the Chorus’ Evening Prayer on his soprano Saxophone. It was truly a stunningly beautiful piece.
The NOVA Alexandria Band did four works:
Puszta: Four Gipsy Dances, Danzon No. 2, Viva Italia! and Berstein’s Mambo.
One of the best moments of the night were the student awards. The Billy Award, named after Bill Bovender was awarded to Judy Bendig. The Betty Award was awarded to Elizabeth Todd.
But that wasn’t the only great moment. We also had Anthony Maiello, The Artistic Director and Conductor of the American Festival Pops Orchestra and Artistic Director of the School of Music at George Mason.
His Accordion performance on Viva Italia was a show stopper!
We were incredibly lucky to have him.
A phenomenal concert! We look forward to seeing you all next Fall, for our 2018/19 season! Until then, our students have recitals, juries and exams to contend with, and thanks to those who donated at our concerts this year, they have incredible opportunities ahead!
Please like out Facebook Page at www.facebook/MusicAtNova
Blog Post by Brit Conley: Assistant to the Music Department.
Each year The Alexandria Bar Association and The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble collaborate for an evening of JAZZ4JUSTICE!
Today, through partnerships with 9 universities and numerous local Bar Associations, 44 Jazz4Justice concerts have been held across the Commonwealth: George Mason, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University, Christopher Newport University, Northern Virginia Community College, Shenandoah University and the University of Mary Washington.
These Concerts have raised over $400,000. for jazz programs and an array of education and charitable legal services benefiting Virginia’s local communities.
The evening began with a wonderful opportunity to enjoy our NoVA ensemble, grab some food and drinks and listen to the pre-concert concert.
The concert’s have raised over $400,000. for jazz programs and an array of educational and charitable legal services benefiting Virginia’s local communities.
This year the T.C. William s High School Jazz Ensemble joined us.
They were fantastic as always!!!
We also had wonderful raffle offerings for the events which featured restaurants around the area, classes, spa treatments, wine baskets and more…
Everyone came together to play the evening out….
John Kocur gave us one of his renowned solos…
The night included works by Cole Porter, Lionel Ritchie, Jimmy Van Jeusen, Mack Gordon & Harry Warren, Paul Baker, Jelly Roll Morton, Duke Ellington , Bill Potts, Antonio Jobin, Norman Whirfield, Barrett String and Billy Page.
It was another GREAT night, had by all!
Don’t miss next years! Come on over and help bring Jazz4Justice!
Blog post by Britt Conley, Assistant to the Music Department.
What a great night!!! The NOVA Alexandria Music Department presented it’s annual Holiday Concert on December 7th, 2017.
The evening began with the NOVA Community Chorus performing, For Unto Us a Child is Born from “Messiah” G.F. Handel. Based on Isaiah 9:6.
Sure on This Shining Night from “Nocturnes” by Morten Lauridsen was also a hit. The work was based on a poem by James Agee.
The Choir ended it’s first half of the concert with a very merry rendition of Jingle Bells by James Pierpont, arranged by Gordon Langford.
Next up were our NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble beginning their set with God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen arranged by Gordon Goodwin. The group also performed Blue Christmas by Billy Hayes and Jay Johnson. The work was arranged by Austin Windorski and The Little Drummer Boy by Katherine Kennicott Davis, arranged by Bob Washut.
The minute they began, the phones begin popping up to catch the moment.
John Kocur conducted phenomenally this evening! As always…
Even before the concert, everyone was rehearsing…
A great time to grab a few, behind the scenes photos…
The Nighthawks performed wonderfully
Holiday Jazz is really wonderful!
In the end the ensemble slowly walked off, leaving Christopher Gardner to end our first half of the concert with a rousing drum solo, and the stage to himself…
The audience returned to a wonderful surprise to many, but not our students. Our music students are not only enjoying our new Center for Design, Media and the Arts, they are also enjoying all the brand new Steinway’s that fill each room!
Tonight our Dean, Jim McClellan and Jonathan Kolm, our Assistant Dean and Director of the Music Program here at NOVA, were presented our new, official Steinway School plaque! We are all so excited for what this means for our college.
After our exciting Steinway presentation, the NOVA Alexandria Band hit the stage with, “And the Mountains Echoed: Gloria! by Robert Longfield, followed by Gesu Bambino (Pastorale for Christmas by Pietro Yon, arranged by Mark Rogers and the Dreidel Dance by Robert Thurston.
There was even a secondary Brass rendition of Jingle Bells!
A phenomenal night for the Band!
For the last works, our new chorus director, Chad Steffey, came out to conduct, “The Many Moods of Christmas, Suite III…
A fun-filled set of holiday styled songs…
A grand time was had by all! The audience was kind enough to give everyone a standing ovation!
Thanks to everyone who performed, helped organize and those who came to hear what we have to offer! We hope you have a wonderful holiday!
We look forward to seeing you at our next Spring concerts:
The NOVA Alexandria Band’s Children’s Concert on March 1st at 7:30pm.
The NOVA Community Chorus Concert, March 20th at 7:30
The Jazz4Justice Concert featuring the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble, March 22nd
and finally, The NOVA Spring Concert featuring
The NOVA Community Chorus, The NOVA Alexandria Band and The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble, Friday April 27th from 7:30-9:30pm.
See you there!
Blog post by Britt Conley: Assistant to the Music Department
What a GREAT gig! The NOVA ensembles performed at the famed, Carlyle Club in Old Town Alexandria on October 30th, 2017.
Our Jazz studies director, John Kocur, kicked off the evening events, directed and informed the audience about the club, songs and upcoming events.
The Nighthawks Jazz Band worked it! Playing out at the club is really a wonderful opportunity for our students.
While everyone performed, dancers spun about the floor…
There were even dance classes for those who wanted to learn some new swing moves! NOVA’s ballroom dance instructor Alan Golombek took the time to teach anyone who was interested. It turned out there were a lot of interested people!
Kyle Wright joined the band for several songs. He really has a phenomenal voice!
Everyone played well and we all had a great time!
Look for the date for next year’s club date! It’s every fall.
The music from all the ensembles was fantastic!
Looking forward to hearing them again at Jazz4Justice on March 22nd at the Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center in Alexandria!
See you there!
Blog post by Britt Conley: Assistant to the Music Department
This Monday! October 30th! Come join us for the 7th Annual NOVA Jazz Night at The Carlyle Club, featuring our very own, NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble and the NOVA Jazz Combos! FREE!No tickets are required but free-will donations will be collected to benefit the NOVA jazz program’s public concerts and scholarship program. All are welcome to attend.”
According to John Kocur, “In bygone days, a night on the town could mean dressing to the nines and dancing the night away to a live band at a club where you could eat a good meal and sip finely crafted beverages. There are few locations remaining in America where live music can be experienced with this simultaneous sense of intimacy and sophistication. One of them is the Carlyle Club in Old Town Alexandria. With its spacious dance floor, ample stage, cozy booths, and tucked away bar, there are many options for enjoying the music and your company. Much of the décor is a throwback to the Art Deco style of the 1920’s, recalling New York’s Cotton Club, Savoy Ballroom, and Chicago’s Lincoln Gardens.
Our incredible jazz musicians have been diligently practicing and gearing up for a great night!
NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble will perform Duke Ellington’s “Echoes of Harlem” and other works written for the orchestras of Count Basie, Stan Kenton, and Cab Calloway.
Come to dance to the music in an authentic setting. Don’t know how to swing dance? NOVA’s ballroom dance instructor Alan Golombek will teach you with a mini swing dance lesson during intermission.
Everyone can’t wait to hit the stage!
It’s been pretty nice, practicing in our new percussion room in the Center for Design, Media and the Arts on the Alexandria Campus.
Which, unlike our old rooms at Tyler are far more spacious.
If you were thinking about something to do on Monday night, October 30th, this is it!!! The Nighthawks Jazz Band will be working it all night!
Practice has been going really well.
If you haven’t been to the Carlye, It’s a Alexandria gem!
This Monday, October 30th The NOVA Jazz Combos will present an opening set of listening music for your dining pleasure.
“If you’re looking for old-fashioned romance and entertainment, try the new Carlyle Club in Alexandria, where the sounds of the swing era play in an atmosphere unlike anything else on the night-life scene.” – The Washington Post