The Virginia Bedell Back Music Cultural Exchange Series presented a talk with Negin Khpalwak to a live audience on the Annandale Campus on November 9th 2023. She shared her story of overcoming adversity in her study of music on her way to becoming Afghanistan’s first female conductor and leading Zorha, Afghanistan’s first all female music ensemble on several international tours including a performance at Davos International Forum in Switzerland. We were thrilled to have her in our first event in this series, please enjoy the recording of the event here: https://youtu.be/3IjsUpCMLn8
A Winter Potpourri of Wind Quintets with The Morpheus Chamber Players featuring Gwyn Jones, flute, Jeff Kahan, oboe, Alisha Coleman, clarinet, Wendy Chinn, Horn and Lisa Eckstein Basson. The concert included works by Carl Nielsen, Valerie Coleman and Thad Jones!
This spring’s Faculty Recital was wonderful! On Tuesday, February 26th, 2019 we all gathered at 2:00pm in the Music Department Recital Hall and were taught by our very own masters. The recital began with Trombonist Harry Watters and Guitartist Kenneth Hall performing All The Things You Are by Jerome Kern.
Pianist Christine Hagan followed with the lovely piece of Fantasia by Giles Farnaby.
John Kocur joined her for Romance by William Grant-Still. A wonderful rendition!
Our Violin teacher, Rami Kanaan and accompanist Bettye Cooley performed Meditation from Thais by Jules Massenet and Czardas by Vittorio Monti.
Jonathan Caudill, on of our very talented voice teachers performed Liszt’s Die Lorelei, and Monti’s ‘A Vucchella.
Our piano teacher Ja-Hye Koo played the ever amazing Ondine by Maurice Ravel.
The recital ended with Jonathan Kolm joining Ja-Hye to perform Jonathans three movement composition “Four Hand Suite”
Jonathan was kind enough to put this together and we owe him our gratitude! Jonathan is also having a world premier of his piece Arboreal Dreams by The United States Air Force Band Woodwind Quintet, this Saturday in room 118 of Northern Virginia Community College – Alexandria Campus, Center for Design Media and the Arts at 7:00PM Parking is FREE!!!! Flyer is at the bottom of this page : )
Hope to see you Saturday!!!
Chorus had an exciting time putting on a great evening of Broadway Tunes. It all began with “There’s No Business Like Show Business!” Seriously… It’s true. Our host?, Director of the NOVA Community Chorus, Chad Steffey.
The evening featured some incredible works, mainly showing off some of our individual Chorus members. This was their night. These volunteer soloists picked their own songs and sang their hearts out! David Shilton sings C’est Moi from Camelot.
They took turns for a well over an hours worth of Broadway Tunes! Mary Shilton sang What I did for Love, from A Chorus Line.
Bernie Cohen’s “If I Were a Rich Man” from Fiddler on the Roof, was wonderful.
Our Guest Artist, Soloist, Emi Eiting, sang multiple songs, including What More Do I need? from Saturday Night, Times Are Hard For Dreamers, Vanilla Ice Cream, from She Loves Me and Meadowlark from The Baker’s Wife! Emi is a freelance performer, choral conductor, pianist, director choral adjudicator and vocal coach working in Northern Virginia. Her voice just fills the hall beautifully.
There were so many phenomenal Tunes! The Ensemble Women sang, “And All That Jazz” from Chicago, followed by the Ensemble Men adding “Gee, Officer Krupke from West Side Story.
With a trip down memory lane we embarked on a great 60’s feel, What a Piece of Work is Man/How Dare They Try from Hair. The work featured Margot Hanclich, followed by Alison Sheahan singing On a Clear Day.
Tom Munger and Bernie Cohen had us, “Brush Up on Your Shakespeare” from Kiss Me Kate!
Dylan Nohilly, asked, “Try to Remember” from The Fantasticks.
After a lovely round of soloists, the Chorus came in with a stunning rendition of Singing in the Rain! You can hear a part of it on Instagram! instagram.com/musicatnova Follow us and if you take pictures of our concerts feel free to hashtag #musicatnova, so that we can all enjoy them : )
This was followed by a beautiful and soulful, Send in the Clowns from A Little Night Music. The final piece of the evening was Do You Hear the People Sing from Les Misérables!
If you want to catch the Chorus soon, we are having our Spring Concert, here at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on May 3rd at 8:00pm! Please bring family and friends to help support all the efforts of our students and community with this, our Combined, Chorus, Band and Jazz Ensemble Concert.
For more information contact Lisa Eckstein at Leckstein@nvcc.edu
See you Soon!
The evening NOVA Holiday Concert began with Chad Steffey directing the NOVA Community Choir in Magnificat in C Major, D. 486 by Franz Schubert. Soprano – Shelby Young, Altos – Halina Banas-Jones & Jackie Cohen, Tenor – Dave Shepherd and Bass singer Dylan Nohilly performed beautifully.
This was followed by, “In the Bleak of Winter” by Harold Darke, featuring Tenor Marcos Sonnenber-Nieves and Soprano, Barbara Shepherd.
It was so wonderful to hear a variety of holiday works. “Ocho Kandelikas” Landino Song for Channukah, by Flory Jagoda was lovely and the final choral work was simple and beautiful, “A Merry Christmas” West Country traditional Song, arranged by Arthur Warrell.
The Jazz Ensemble was on it! Their holiday program included, “Mary Did you Know?” by Mark Lowry and Buddy Green.
They did a great rendition of Gordin Goodwind’s jazz arrangement for Hark! The Herald Angels Sing/
Jay Livingston and Ray Evans’ Silver Bells was a huge hit.
Of course the biggest surprise was a jazzy Joy to the World. We were all so excited during the applause, I accidentally got of this fun image : )
The NOVA Alexandria Band was at the ready, for the next section. We began with A Chanukah Celebration, arranged by David Bobrowitz.
I love it when the band don a great cap!
Minor Alterations: Christmas Through the Looking Glass by David Lovrien, followed, just before Greensleeves.
The students have been working hard all semester and this was a perfect night to shine! They all did an amazing job!
The Christmas March was really fun!
For the finale, Lisa turned to the audience to conduct the Singalong, Christmas Finale! The lyrics were on the back of the program : )
The audience really enjoyed it!
We were luckily joined by our NOVA leadership! President Ralls, our Alexandria Provost, Annette Haggray and The Dean of the Arts, David Epstein were all in attendance.
The concert was huge hit and the round of applause was rewarding for all.
The students work so hard in all our Music Programs, between the Band, Choir and Jazz Band and this is their big opportunity to perform for family and friends. We really appreciate your support.
Please Join us for our next, wonderful evening Concert at The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center! The Band will be putting on the Annual Children’s Concert! Thursday, March 7th, 2019 at 7:30 pm. The Concert will feature special guest soloists: Trumpeter Dennis Edelbrock, Trombonist Harry Watters, and clarinetists Brian Jones and Charles West! We will also provide the world premier of a piece by composer Robert Thurston! Joining us will be The George Mason Elementary School Jazz Band, The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, The Alexandria City Public Schools Student Finalists in the National PTA Reflections Program and the band will be joined by area School Band and Orchestra Students!!! It’s going to be quite the night!!!!
For more information, please contact Lisa Eckstein firstname.lastname@example.org
NOVA Alexandria Jazz Ensembles performed at the Carlyle Club on Monday night! The evening began with “The Generation Gap” One of the great Jazz combos in the Jazz Studies Program, featuring:
John Butler, alto saxophone and flute; Christopher Kaplan, guitar; Burvin Jenkins, guitar (group leader); Jacqueline Rodriguez, piano; Cristhian Arango, bass and Fernando Galleas, drums.
Our second Ensemble, The Jazz Standards, features: Michael Barr, alto saxophone; Marie Himel, tenor saxophone and flute; Andrew Grabowski, guitar; Bryan Dicks, guitar; Rodney Avery, piano; Marcus Levitan, bass; Kurt Steinbacher, drums; Steven Melnick, voice
he Director of our Jazz Studies program, John Kocur, set the story for the NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble’s evening theme “The Sounds of Hollywood.”
The program included:
Call Me Irresponsible
Soul Bossa Nova
I Wanna Be Like You
Everyday I Have The Blues
The Jazz Band did a wonderful job. The music was fun, energized and soulful! Especially Soul Bossa Nova!
The NOVA Nighthawks Jazz Ensemble (Big Band) features:
Saxophones: Kevin Bennett, John Butler, Caryl Greenfield, Marie Himel and Susan Shapiro
Trumpet: Larry Craven, Ludwig Goon, Grason Stewart, Jacob Shapiro and Ronald Umbeck
Trombone: Thomas Fonda, Adam Kissel and Jason Smith
Rhythm Section: Roger Wood, guitar; Andrew Grabowski, guitar; Brian Kang, guitar; Rodney M Avery, piano; Owen Squire, piano; John Kang, bass; Luke Neyland, drums and Joseph Dirsa, drums.
Aside from having such a great ambiance, at the Carlye Club, we also enjoyed the amazing menu. A night of dinner and jazz is always fun. Some got up and danced the night away!
NOVA Alexandria Jazz students performing Monday, November 5th, 2018 at the Carlyle Club in Alexandria, Virginia. Photo by Britt ConleyWe’d like to thank The Carlyle Club for this phenomenal opportunity for our students to perform in an amazing venue.
To see the NOVA Jazz Ensembles again, they will be marching in the the Alexandria, Saint Patricks Day Parade on March 2nd! If you can them there, post a photo on Instagram! #Musicatnova
The Jazz Ensembles will be performing at The Torpedo Factory on April 30th from 6:30-10:00pm for JAZZ for JUSTICE.
They will also be at The NOVA, Spring Concert on May 3rd in the Schlesinger Arts Center at 8pm!
For more information about our events, please visit www.facebook.com/MusicAtNOVA
And what a great night it was!
The 2018 Children’s Concert with the NOVA Alexandria Band, with special guest trumpeter Dennis Edelbrock, The George Mason Elementary School Jazz Band, The George Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, The Alexadria City Public Schools Student Finalists in the National PTA Reflections Program and the Area School Band and Orchestra Students!
Nathan Evaristo was kind enough to do the concert notes!
According the Nathan, the first performance of the night, ““Esprit de Corp”. It was written by an illustrious, modern composer named Robert Jager who has written pieces for the greatest and most esteemed bands around the entire world. This piece was written for the President’s Own Marine Corps Band, a group consisting of some of the world’s finest musicians who perform and record regularly right here on this very stage. The definition of “Esprit de Corps” is a spirit of pride, fellowship, and common loyalty…that the US Marine Corps embodies.
In this piece, you will hear layers of sound. For example, in the beginning, after the PUNCH of an entrance, you’ll hear a fast, fluttery flute and xylophone melody, and then enters a dancing saxophone part. After that, a fanfare in the trumpets is added. This is all within the first few measures of the piece. The piece is like legos of musical sounds building a beautiful skyscraper! If you listen closely, you may even catch a short quote from the Marines’ Hymn.”
In case you didn’t know, the DC Metro area is an excellent place to be if you’re into the music scene. There are a great deal of professional ensembles and renowned orchestras, bands, and virtuosos. There are even brilliant, accomplished composers that live in the area. Well, we’ve had the pleasure and honor of working with one of these composers for this very concert! Retired Chief-Arranger and Composer of the United States Air Force Bands, his name is Robert Thurston, and what he has written here is a delightfully innocent, soaring song called Across the Clouds. It features a solo trumpet part that’s… well, let’s just say that “it isn’t for the faint of heart.” That would be putting it lightly!
And on trumpet tonight, we have trumpet phenomenon Dr. Dennis Edelbrock! Dr. Edelbrock teaches trumpet at the George Mason University and has an extensive expanse of musical accomplishments and involvements!
“I have found that if I close my eyes, and try to focus only on my sense of hearing, this piece really does evoke the feelings of flying, soaring above the landscape, through the clouds. Fitting for a retired Air-Force Composer! So with great pleasure… Across the Clouds!”
Denny is a master at his instrument and knows how to bring the house down!
“we–along with many musicians around the world–are participating in a movement to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Leonard Bernstein’s birth in 1918. Leonard Bernstein was a true Renaissance man. He was a leading activist and humanist, a brilliant musician and pianist, conductor, composer, and perhaps most importantly, a world-class teacher. And I mean WORLD CLASS. This man went through nearly the entire history of music, at a piano, in 5 minutes, on live TV…. Yeah! Exactly! It’s still on YouTube!
So, Bernstein… He started and popularized the Young People’s Concerts series. Now, as you can imagine, Bernstein was incredibly passionate about what he did. And I have always believed that the best teachers inspire students with positive displays of their own passion. And this man was absolutely no exception. In fact, his very first year directing the Young People’s Concert in 1958, it became the first series of concerts ever nationally televised from the Lincoln Performing Arts center where it was hosted, and those concerts have inspired people in every single generation ever since! I could go on and on all night about Bernstein, but I would risk turning this into the droning speeches in between pieces that most people can’t stand so I won’t do that… but seriously… Bernstein was a brilliant man!
That brings us to these next two program selections for the “Bernstein at 100” celebration. The first is a simple and beautiful, relaxing piece from his Mass called “A Simple Song,” and the second is the rousing “Gee, Officer Krupke” from West Side Story.”
We’d like to finish the NOVA Band portion of this concert with one final piece! Have you all ever heard of the March King? The American born King of March–John Phillip Sousa!! Oooffff course you have! Well, this next piece is titled The Fairest of the Fair, which he wrote for the Boston Food Fair in 1908. As the story goes, one day, Mr. Sousa was at one of the many fairs he attended, and he saw a beautiful woman. And not just any beautiful woman. Apparently, she was absurdly, crazy gorgeous. SO much so that he was inspired to write an entire march for this fair lady. This march in fact. And this was the only piece he wrote that entire year. And considering we’re talking about somebody who wrote 137 marches in his lifetime… that’s saying something!
Before we knew it, it was time for The George Mason Elemtary School Jazz Band to take the stage! The band director, Heather Rosner is just incredible. She had them up and ready to go in no time.
What is not to love about these kids! They began their set with Duke Ellington’s C-Jam Blues, with was arranged by Rick Stitzel.
Their final piece was Ellington again! Satin Doll, arranged by Michael Sweeney.
Next up were the Student Winners from the Alexandria City Public Schools in the Visual and Performing Arts Categories of the National PTA Reflections Program.
They even announced the winner that made it to the State round!!!
After a huge round of applause for these incredibly talented kids, we welcomed the George Washington Middle Schoo Jazz Ensemble, directed by Richard Seracino.
They began the set with Sugar by Stanley Turrentine, which was arranged by Mark Taylor.
They went on to play Sonny Henry’s “Evil Ways” and Shakey Ground by Alphonso Boyd, Eddie Hazel and Jeffrey Bowen.
After a great set, it was time for the big Grand Finale which combines our performing school children from area elementary and middle schools with the NOVA Alexandria Band!
They began to get ready to perform “Chester by William Billings and arranged by Brad Pfeil.
Lisa prepared the piece.
Soon enough, It was time to tune! I believe that’s concert C…
And then the music began… what a great piece!
The students ended the night with “Sword Dance” and the crowd loved it!!!
We also want to personally thank the Oaktones Jazz Quartet for providing the pre-concert music in the lobby!!! I will try to track down a photo. They included:
Carly Gabriel, violin
Sebastian Villa, alto Sax
Kieran O’Shaughnessy, tenor sax
Alexander Gabriel, piano
and Robert Gabriel, director.
Also check out Bob Thurston’s website at http://www.bobthurston.com
Please come to our next concert! Tuesday, March 20th from 7:30-9:00pm. Please join the NOVA Community Chorus for ‘ALL BROADWAY MUSIC!”
and consider joining our Jazz Ensembles for JAZZ FOR JUSTICE! Thursday, March 22nd with a pre-concert jam in the lobby begining at 6:00pm. Concert begins at 7:30.
Our final concert of the season… The NOVA Alexandria Spring Concert: “Music from Around the Word!”
Please consider liking our Facebook Page www.facebook.com/MusicAtNova
…and as always, we’d love to have you join our mailing list out in the lobby to get more information!
Post by Britt Conley, Administrative Admin for the music Department.