On March 21, the NOVA Community Chorus (Dr. Mark Whitmire, Director) presented A World Water Day Concert in the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the Alexandria Campus. The event was co-sponsored by the Federal Water Quality Association, Water For People and the Alice Ferguson Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that focuses on cleaning up the Potomac River. In attendance were NOVA President Scott Ralls, NOVA Director of Sustainability Rob Johnson, and Michael Deane, the former associate assistant administrator for water in the Environmental Protection Agency.
The event featured water-themed music by NOVA Community Chorus, music students Margaret Bisulca and Riley Baisch, and music faculty member Christine Hagan. There was also a dance performance by the Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble. Original poems on the theme of water were read by poetry contest winners Martha Evans, Bernie Cohen, Conrado Muluc and Shannon Nelson. Winners were selected by a faculty panel from among more than 30 submissions by NOVA students.
On April 8, 30 members of the chorus, friends and family, and other NOVA students participated in the 29th Annual Potomac River Watershed Cleanup. They gathered to pick up trash and marine debris along the shoreline of the Potomac River at Hard Bargain Farm, located on the Maryland side of the Potomac, across from Mt. Vernon. Last year the Alice Ferguson Foundation, organizer of the cleanup, picked up over 950,000 pounds of trash from the river. NOVA students picked up approximately 20 thirty-gallon bags of trash.
Both events highlighted the important issues surrounding access to clean water, water conservation and quality, and reducing pollutants.