The McLean Symphony’s founder Dingwall Fleary Jr., a conductor described by friends and colleagues as “larger than life,” has died.
Fleary, 82, had been the conductor of The McLean Symphony since 1972 and the Reston Community Orchestra since 1996. He died after experiencing a heart attack on Friday, Dec. 30, according to a message from the Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Bethesda, where he served as a music director.
“He was absolutely larger than life,” said Mary Bramley, a member of the McLean Symphony’s Board of Directors. “We thought he’d be here forever with the amount of energy and passion he had for music and the community and music education.”
On the McLean Symphony’s Facebook page, tributes to Fleary poured in from current and former orchestra members remembering his kindness and encouragement, with many noting his energetic personality and patience with the musicians in the symphony.
“It’s very interesting. A lot of times when you have a conductor with that much showiness, they take away from the orchestra, but it was never like that,” said Bramley. “He kept it in. When you watched him conduct, that wasn’t the show, it was all about the orchestra. He knew where that limit was. He was passionate, but also patient.”
Several commenters credited Dingwall with instilling a love for music in themselves or their family.
Bramley said Dingwall’s passion was for music education. During concerts, Dingwall would deliberately choose at least one more obscure piece or composer.
“At least one piece was probably a piece you’d never heard of before,” Bramley said. “There would be one composer, someone you’ve never heard of, then it becomes your favorite…You always hear about Bach and Beethoven, but we were playing pieces you’d never heard before.”
A celebration of Fleary’s life is scheduled for 3 p.m. at the McLean High School auditorium (1633 Davidson Road) on Sunday, Jan. 8.
The McLean Symphony, which celebrated its 50th season last year, is expected to begin searching for a new conductor in the coming weeks. Its next concert isn’t until March, giving the group some time for the search, Bramley noted.
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Camps are just the beginning of what’s in store at Art House 7 this summer. We’re thrilled to offer an array of exciting classes for both kids and adults!Rediscover your creativity with some of our AH7 favorites, such as drawing, hand-sewing, modern embroidery, and our popular 3-week Jump into Crochet classes. But that’s not all! We’ve added some fresh and exciting options to our summer class selection, guaranteed to spark your imagination.
To enhance your artistic journey, we have intensified some of our Ceramics: The Wheel classes to a full 3-hour duration. This extended time allows for more creativity and skill development in each class session. If you’re eager for a captivating twist, give Contemporary Still-Life Drawing & Painting a go. Or why not try an immersive outdoor painting adventure? We have a unique opportunity for you to bring your painting skills to life while learning and creating in the great outdoors with our Landscape Painting: Studio and Plein Air class!
We invite you to visit our website and explore our full Summer Session schedule, brimming with a diverse range of classes and camps. Classes and camps begin June 20th. Unleash your inner artist, broaden your horizons, and embark on a summer adventure like no other. Let’s make this a summer to remember at Art House 7!
Potomac Harmony Chorus has a new director! We’re ready
to kick off the season with new music, a new approach, and YOU!
Potomac Harmony is one of 500 choruses in Sweet
Adelines International. We’re a vibrant,
contemporary, inclusive, welcoming, and open community of women singers who
perform four-part harmony, barbershop style, committed to a high level of
achievement through teaching, mentoring, personal growth, and performance. Our vision is to entertain, educate, and
enrich lives through musical expression while promoting the barbershop art
Potomac Harmony recently had our first performance
with our new director, receiving rave reviews! We invite you to stop by any Wednesday
evening and be part of the fun and harmony!
Army Birthday Festival – Free and Fun
Make Saturday, June 10, 2023 a great day!
Come celebrate the Army Birthday Festival at the National Museum of the U.S. Army from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Rain or Shine!
• Experience outdoor and indoor fun activities, for all
Unveiling of West Ford historical highway marker
Gum Springs will be celebrating 190 years of its founding by freedman West Ford on Saturday, June 17, 2023. To kick-off the celebration, there will be an unveiling of a Virginia historical highway marker for West Ford on Fordson Road