This biweekly column is sponsored by The Mather in Tysons, Virginia, a forward-thinking Life Plan Community for those 62 and better.
People who love their work are more likely to be happy, healthy, and optimistic. That’s good news for Helen Fall of Annandale, whose passion for music and teaching has translated into a fulfilling career.
If you’ve attended local symphony performances, you’ve likely heard Helen. She’s played viola in the Fairfax Symphony for 30 years, the Alexandria Symphony for nearly 32 years, and the Arlington Symphony (where she served as principal viola for 20 years). “The two symphonies (Fairfax and Alexandria) occasionally have conflicting dates for performances, so I have to choose between them,” Helen says. She has also performed in numerous chamber ensembles, including Argonne String Quartet and Fairfax Chamber Ensemble, and has been engaged as a soloist. But her passion is teaching young violin and viola students.
“I know so many people who are excited about retirement, but I don’t see myself stopping,” Helen says. “I’m so excited by what I do.” In fact, she and her husband Bob are preparing for a move next spring to The Mather, a Life Plan Community for those 62 and better that is opening in 2024 in Tysons. After the move, Helen will continue to work: “We’re moving into a large two-bedroom apartment, and one bedroom will be my music studio so I can continue teaching,” she says.
Moving to The Mather “was an easy decision,” according to Helen. “We thought it looked perfect — we’re moving in younger than we had planned, but we can’t pass this up — the opportunity to live in a new building, in a community like this. We’d talked about moving to D.C. to be close to everything.” She hopes to get together with other musicians living at The Mather. “Some of us have been in contact already, and are talking about playing together.”
In the meantime, Helen has a full schedule. Her summers are busy, as she works with high school students to get them ready for regional auditions at the beginning of the school year.
As of spring 2023, she has 14 students, though she tries to cap the number at 12. “I’m really proud of my students — they’re amazing kids. I get to see each of them every week for years; it’s almost like being a parent. One student who just graduated high school has been with me for nine years!”
Helen also does a lot of freelance coaching in high schools. All area schools have to perform in district assessments each year — their orchestra, band, and choir — where they are rated. “I’m hired by individual teachers to coach their sectionals,” she explains. “I do quite a bit of this type of coaching. Like a lot of musicians, I juggle a little of this and a little of that — there’s a wonderful energy to it.”
Her passion for teaching, coaching, and playing music prove that in building her life’s work, Helen is hitting all the right notes.
The Mather in Tysons, VA, for those 62 and better, is a forward-thinking Life Plan Community that defies expectations of what senior living is supposed to be. It opens in 2024.
Laura Schwartz is a licensed Realtor in VA and D.C. with McEnearney Associates in Vienna. You can follow Laura on Instagram at @LauraSchwartzRealtor or her Facebook page. Laura can be reached at 703-283-6120 or Laura@GuidingYourMove.com. I…
Electric buses have at last joined Northern Virginia’s largest local bus fleet. Fairfax Connector launched the eight battery-powered vehicles out of its West Ox Operations and Maintenance Center (4970 Alliance…
Reston Association’s Board of Directors has a new vacancy. Mike Collins — who represents apartment owners within RA’s membership — resigned Friday (Sept. 29). Collins, who also served as the…
Prepare for competing “interactive experiences” at Tysons Corner Center this winter, when the year of Mattel will continue with the worldwide debut of its Hot Wheels Champion Experience. After making…
Explore your creative side this fall at Art House 7 with our Fall 2 Session of art classes beginning October 30th. Whether you’re a budding artist or looking to unleash your artistic potential with something new, there’s a class for everyone!
Short and Drop-In Classes:
Dive into creativity with our short-term offerings, including a 3-week still-life painting course, a 3-week knitting class, a 5-week Painting the Portrait and Figure workshop led by acclaimed local artist Danni Dawson, and a mesmerizing 4-week exploration of Japanese Suminagashi and modern paper marbling. Plus, we have a drop-in class specially designed for parents and toddlers (2-4 years old) to introduce them to the world of art.
Public invited: “Fur-th Birthday” brunch celebration for Woofie’s of South Riding-Aldie, Sunday, October 8 at The Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar
Woofie’s of South Riding-Aldie, providing premium mobile pet services throughout Aldie, Middleburg, South Riding is celebrating its fourth anniversary with expansion to Centreville and Chantilly and its fourth Woofie’s pet grooming van. The franchise, owned and operated by Loudoun County residents, husband/wife team Sebaot Gebre and Teferi Dejene, has grown by 900% since its first full year in business.
• Mobile pet spa grooming
• Dog walking
• Pet sitting
• In-home or overnight pet sitting
• Customizable services
We invite you to join us at STEAMOLOGY’s annual FREE STEM Fest for elementary and middle school students, taking place on Saturday, October 14th at South County High School, 8501 Silverbrook Rd, Lorton, VA 22079.
STEM Fest is an exciting