Internationally known vibraphonist, three time Grammy nominee, author and winner of the National Endowment for the Arts, JON METZGER, visited NOVA Alexandria on November 2nd for a master class in music. The students were absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to learn from him.
He performed with our jazz faculty before the harder work of the master class. “All the Things You Are” was beautifully improvised by Jon, Kevin Pace and John Kocur.
He also performed with the faculty again, including Wade Beach, at the end of the class. I have never heard “Stella by Starlight” performed so conversationally before. Honestly, it was class in and of itself.
The students learned so much about how to up their abilities and perform at an even higher level.
Yon worked through collaborative jazz performance concepts with Rodney Avery on piano and Mary Himel on saxophone.
His innovative ideas on piano technique, collaborating through octave ranges during improvisation, where a lesson for all of us.
He coaxed Andrew Grabowski into the nuances of a whole new level of soloing. It was amazing to see how quickly he could change each students approach.
One of the great joys for everyone was jamming with Jon. The students were thrilled! What an incredible opportunity, this was.
Jon was able to funnel years of professional knowledge toward each students specific needs. It was a joy to hear the differences one master class could make.
After working with everyone, he answered question from all of us in the audience as well as the musicians he had just been coaching.
Truly, a great time was had by all! They are still talking about it!
A special thanks to Musser for helping sponsor Yon and to everyone who participated and the audience who came to learn!
On Friday, May 11th, Music at messiah presented “Evening Prayer” Music of Praise and Petition by Messiah Community Chorus and Friends, St. Peter’s in the Woods Choir and the NOVA Community Chorus.
Both Jessica Irish and Chad Steffey conducted the evening.
The wonderful mission of the Music at Messiah Concert Series brings community members into the Cathedral and allows donations to help the local community.
The evening’s performance donations benefited The Weekend Backpack Program which helps food-insecure children in Springfield, VA,
Our own John Kocur, who heads our Jazz Studies program mesmerized everyone with his solos on Evening Prayer”
It’s not often anyone gets a chance to play such an beautiful room and one that holds such ambiance and meaning. Everyone had a lovely time.
To everyone who came to the concert, THANK YOU! We so appreciate your support. Please keep an eye on the blog and on our Facebook Page for up to date concert announcements and news! www.Facebook.com/MusicAtNova
Blog post by Britt Conley: Music Department Assistant
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.
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
October 24th, marked the premier of The Nova Community Chorus under the new direction of Director Chad Steffey.
The concert began with “Full Fathom Five”by Charles Wood, continuing with “Sing Joyfully” by William Byrd, In Windsor Forest: A cantata adapted from the opera, “Sir John in Love” by Ralph Vaughan Williams, “Songs and Sonnets”from Shakespeare by George Shearing, “If Music be the Food of Love” by David Dickau and finally, “Dance a Cachuca” from the Gondoliers by Sir Arthur Sullivan.
The chorus was glad to be back at The Schlesinger Center for the Arts.
Chad enlightened us on the stories and backgrounds of the music, in between works.
The chorus was accompanied by Anita Ferguson, who also joined The NOVA Community Chorus, this year.
Anita, has been working in the Fairfax County Public School system, for the past six years, as both an accompanist and substitute teacher. She played wonderfully.
Chad comes to us from a impressive background. He served for 20 years on active duty int he United States Air Force, retiring in the rank of Major in July 2013. His career spanned several assignments as a percussionist and conductor in the Air Force Band career field. Since 2015 Chad has been the Director of Choirs at J.E.B Stuart High School and serves as the Director of Music at St. Peter’s in the Woods Episcopal Church in Fairfax Station, Virginia. He is also currently completing his doctoral studies in choral directing at George Mason University.
It was a great night overall and wonderful kickoff to our 2017-18 NOVA musical season. Our next concert is this evening, October 26th. Lisa Eckstein will conducting the NOVA Community Band with her annual Halloween concert, Spooctacular Sounds in the Haunted Hall, also featuring the Wakefield High School Band! Music from Bach, Holst and Mussorgsky to Andrew Weber, Sousa and more! It will be great to see this year’s halloween costume contest!
We have finally left the old Tyler Building and moved up into our brand new Center for Design, Media and the Arts Building, just up the hill at the Alexandria Campus. It’s right across from the Bisdorf Building.
The inside is just as nice the exterior. It houses the Music, Art, Photo, Graphic Design, Theater, Communications, Physical Education and Early Childhood Development Departments.
Our new Music Department resides on the left side of the building’s first two floors! You can get to the second floor by simply walking up the entry staircase. There are also elevators and handicap parking is right outside the building. All in all it’s really been wonderfuly designed.
The Music Department is now conviently close the new Barns&Noble Bookstore, which houses its own Starbucks! They offer all the regular drink and food options that used to be a car ride away. They also offer numerous healthy food options as well as snacks.
Long gone are the old, drab, Tyler hallways. Our new building walkways, offer TV screens and bulletin boards to grab information on the go. They also offer seating and easy access to great views and even a soda machine right there in the department on the second floor. Want to relax in between classes? There are plenty of places to grab a seat and plug right into any of the tables or walls nearby.
And of course there are our new rooms! One of the most important aspects to the new rooms is that nearly all of them, have piano and not just any piano: Steinways!
The main piano teaching studio has two Steinways and is perfect for duets.
Even our instrumental teaching rooms have pianos. We are pretty thrilled.
There are also numerous student practice rooms that have Ipad entry gates. We are setting them up in the coming weeks so that everyone can reserve their practice time. Each of the practice rooms offer our new Boston Steinway uprights. They sound great!
We even have a new percussion room that is so spacious that our entire Jazz Band can easily jam. Plenty of room for marimbas and the sort!
Room 130 is not only our percussion teaching studio, it also doubles as the practice room for our drum students.
We also have stunning new classrooms! The Theory room and Mac Lab are open all week for classes and Lab Hours.
And just when you think, you’ve seen it all… we now have Instrument Lockers!!! Yep, no need to walk all the way to your car with your instrument in between your day’s classes. See our teaching assistant, Jacob Gardner in the Mac Lap to reserve your locker.
The other great room we have now, is the new Recital/Choral Hall in room 118. It’s absolutely lovely. We’ve even broken it in with our first Concert!
A great program enjoyed by all. So if you haven’t gone for a full tour of the entire building, It’s all just as impressive. There is a workhout center on the second floor that is free to current students.
And if you are really adventurous, stop by the third floor to see the visual Arts departments! The classrooms are just as nice!
We have a lot of upcoming events, so stay tuned, here on the blog and on our Facebook page Facebook/MusicatNova to find out what is happening next!
Blog Post by Britt Conley – Assistant to the Music Department
Since 1967, helping people of all ages grow in the joy of making music.