Email signup
The upcoming Wolf Trap season will include a tribute to Studio Ghibli fillms by the National Symphony Orchestra, led by composer Joe Hisaishi (photo by Dan Aulsebrook)

A preview of summer at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts has arrived.

More than 50 artists have been scheduled for the upcoming season at the Filene Center (1551 Trap Road), the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts announced today (Tuesday).

“The shows we’re announcing today are quintessentially ‘Wolf Trap,’ with extraordinary artists spanning genres and generations,” Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO Arvind Manocha said. “Now is the perfect moment to call your friends and family, and make plans to hear your favorite artists live in one of the most beautiful settings in the country. We can’t wait to see you.”

Kicking off on May 25 with The Avett Brothers, a regular presence at the park, the season will be highlighted by pop singer John Legend, guitarist Kenny Loggins’s farewell tour, and a two-night tribute to Studio Ghibli movies, including “Spirited Away” and “My Neighbor Totoro.”

This summer will also feature Wolf Trap first-timer Jason Mraz, a two-day Out & About Festival dedicated to LGBTQ artists on June 24 and 25, and a variety of orchestral, opera and dance performances, including the Richmond Ballet’s debut for “Carmina Burana” on Aug. 30.

In addition to the Studio Ghibli tribute on July 14 and 15, which will be led by composer Joe Hisaishi, the National Symphony Orchestra’s schedule includes screenings of “Star Wars: The Return of the Jedi” and “Jurassic Park.” The group will also play Brahms and Tchaikovsky with violinist Hilary Hahn on Aug. 4 and Gustav Holst’s “The Planets” alongside NASA footage on July 7.

For musical theater fans, Arlington’s Signature Theater will return on June 16 for its third annual “Broadway in the Park” concert, this time featuring Lea Salonga, the Filipina actor who originated the role of Kim in “Miss Saigon” and provided the singing voices of Disney’s Mulan and Jasmine.

The full schedule of announced shows can be found on Wolf Trap’s website. Tickets will go on sale for the general public at 10 a.m. on Feb. 17, though presales began today for members who donate $80 or more to the foundation.

Additional performances, including artists at the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, will be announced in the coming months, according to the foundation.

0 Comments
Singer Brandi Carlile will headline Wolf Trap National Park’s first-ever Out & About Festival (courtesy of Wolf Trap)

A music festival celebrating LGBTQ artists is coming to Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts this summer.

In its first programming announcement for the upcoming season, the Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts said today (Monday) that it will host a family-friendly, two-day Out & About Festival headlined by folk-rock singer Brandi Carlile.

The festival will take place across three stages on June 24 and 25, coinciding with LGBT Pride Month.

“The Out & About Festival captures the spirit of Wolf Trap — we are a community where music and nature are for all to enjoy,” Wolf Trap Foundation President and CEO Arvind Manocha said in a statement. “Brandi is an inspiration to artists and audiences, both for her unmistakable sound and for standing proudly as an icon of the gay community. We are really grateful for the chance to collaborate with Brandi and all of the guest artists to realize a shared vision.”

Carlile has performed at Wolf Trap regularly over the past decade, starting as an opener for the Indigo Girls in 2008 and most recently during the park’s 50th anniversary season in August 2021.

A total of 11 artists are scheduled to perform at the inaugural festival, including singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright, British soul singer Yola, who appeared in the movie “Elvis,” electric indie pop band Lucius, and spoken-word artist Celisse.

Saturday, June 24

  • Brandi Carlile (Filene Center)
  • Yola (Filene Center)
  • Rufus Wainwright (Filene Center)
  • Jake Wesley Rogers (Meadow Stage)
  • Bad Moves (Meadow Stage)
  • Alphabet Rockers (Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods)

Sunday, June 25

  • Brandi Carlile (Filene Center)
  • Lucius (Filene Center)
  • Celisse (Filene Center)
  • Brandy Clark (Meadow Stage)
  • Oh He Dead (Meadow Stage)
  • Jazzy Ash & The Leaping Lizards (Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods)

The festival will mark the first time in decades that Wolf Trap’s three stages — the Filene Center, the Meadow Stage, and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods — will all be used on the same day, according to the press release.

Each day will open with the Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods performances, which will start at 10:30 a.m. and require separate $12 tickets.

Gates will open for the main festival at 3 p.m., with Meadow Stage performances running from 4-6 p.m. and Filene Center performances starting at 6:30 p.m.

Festival tickets will range in cost from $75 to $345, with VIP tickets for prime orchestra seats and added amenities going for $498. Tickets will go on sale to the public at 10 a.m. on Feb. 17, though a presale for Wolf Trap members and the VIP ticket sales will start tomorrow (Tuesday) at 10 a.m.

Additional Pride Month activities are expected to be announced in the future.

0 Comments
Dingwall Fleary Jr. conducting the McLean Symphony orchestra (courtesy McLean Symphony)

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.

0 Comments

A local recording studio owner is putting money where his music is to help the industry thrive in the area.

Dave Mallen opened Annandale’s Innovation Station Music about six years ago in his house near Little River Turnpike. Now, he’s launching an annual grant to help locals record and promote their new music.

He says there are plenty of great musicians here in the D.C. area, but many need more resources to thrive.

“We have a ton of talent right that is homegrown,” Mallen told FFXnow. “[Innovation Station] is an incubator for local talent. I’m trying to get people to reach further and push the envelope with their music.”

The “Pay It Forward Grant” is for $2,000 and will be awarded annually to one applicant who demonstrates a vision and a need for assistance. The money can be used to record at Innovation Station. The deadline to send an application and work samples is Jan. 31.

“I’m trying through my…business to do the things that I think the local government, local arts councils, and other institutions should be doing, which is directing a whole more money to the local independent music scene,” Mallen said.

There are grants available through several local public-private organizations, but those are often aimed at venues, theaters, and established institutions with “name recognition,” said Mallen.

He also hopes that by supporting local artists, independent music venues will also come back.

“There’s quite a lot of talent and folks are not necessarily…well known because there aren’t a ton of outlets for people to play anymore,” he said.

He cites Vienna’s Jammin Java as the only venue now catering to the scene, particularly after Epicure Cafe suddenly closed earlier this year. With the advent of streaming music and consumers not really paying for music anymore, the need for venues where artists get paid to perform live is even more essential, he said.

This isn’t the first time he’s awarded grants to local musicians. Previously, after a break-in at his studio, Mallen provided grants to two Maryland-based musicians who now both have albums coming out in early 2023.

He also co-founded the DMV Music Alliance, a nonprofit aimed at bringing together musicians from across the region to better develop and promote the local music scene. Read More

0 Comments
Lake Anne Plaza’s concert commemorating jazz musician Mykle Lyons is back for a second year (courtesy Alec Berry/Roxplosion)

The Mykle Lyons Commemorative Concert will return to Reston this weekend with a new charitable component.

The Lake Anne & Washington Plaza Merchant Association (LAWPA) introduced the now-annual music festival last year to celebrate the life of Mykle Lyons, a jazz musician and longtime Reston resident who died in May 2021.

Initially set for last Saturday (Oct. 1), the concert was postponed to Oct. 8 due to the threat of inclement weather from Hurricane Ian.

Organized by LAWPA in conjunction with Kalypso’s Sports Tavern and Roxplosion, the free concert will be held from noon to 6 p.m. at Lake Anne Plaza (1609 Washington Plaza).

“This free, family-friendly event celebrates the accomplishments, generosity, and compassion demonstrated by a well-loved member of our community — featuring acclaimed artists, exquisite food, and lots of fun,” LAWPA said in a press release.

New for this year, the organizers announced that they are establishing a memorial scholarship fund in Lyons’s name. Donations will go to the Friends of Music at Mason to help a music student attend George Mason University.

LAWPA says checks can be made out to the George Mason Foundation and mailed to GMU-CVPA Development Office, Friends of Music, 4400 University Drive, MS 4C1, Fairfax, VA 22030. The association says to write “in memory of Mykle Lyons” on the check’s memo line.

The second annual Mykle Lyons Commemorative Concert line-up will feature the Dan Lamaestra Trio, the Peter Fraize Quartet, the Chris Timbers Band, and a trio from GMU’s jazz ensemble.

In addition to playing at music venues around the world and frequently performing for former vice president Al Gore, Lyons was a regular at Reston Town Center’s now-closed Market Street Bar and Grill. He founded the Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival, which returned to the plaza for a 15th year on Sept. 3.

0 Comments
The inaugural JeanFest22 in Vienna will celebrate the life of Jean Buttecali, a resident, business owner and volunteer who died in 2020 (photo by Pete Buttecali)

This weekend, Vienna will celebrate a longtime resident the way she would’ve wanted: with a party for a good cause.

The Rotary Club of Vienna will stage its inaugural JeanFest22 Charity Benefit Concert at the Town Green and Jammin’ Java on Saturday (Sept. 10) in honor of Jean Buttecali, a local business owner and frequent volunteer who died suddenly from an unknown heart issue in summer 2020.

Conceived by Buttecali’s husband of over 30 years, Pete, the concert will supplement the ViVa Vienna festival that the rotary club organizes every Memorial Day weekend as a fundraiser. All proceeds will be added to those funds for donation to community groups and charitable causes.

“She had a huge heart, big smile, and also really did a lot of stuff behind the scenes philanthropically with different organizations,” JeanFest22 Chair A.J. Oskuie said “…When we lost her, we wanted to celebrate her in some way, and this was the best way to sort of commemorate her memory and also have a good time. She would want to do the same thing.”

In a video about JeanFest, Pete Buttecali calls his wife’s death a “devastating” tragedy in a year already made challenging by the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to their marriage and two children, the couple shared ownership of Woodpile Studios, a design firm noted for creating the logo for the 2005 Grammy Awards.

Yet, Jean “was an optimist” who wouldn’t “tolerate a collapse into grief,” he says. They had promised each other that “if one of us passed away, don’t put on a funeral, throw a party.”

In that spirit, JeanFest will kick off at 11:30 a.m. on the Vienna Town Green with food, retail vendors, and family-friendly entertainment:

Admission to the outdoor concert is free, but there will be buckets and QR codes that attendees can use to make donations.

The festivities will move to Jammin’ Java (227 Maple Avenue East) from 7-10 p.m. for live music from the Arlington-based FBI Band, whose frontman was one of Jean’s best friends, according to Oskuie.

Tickets to the indoor, more adult-oriented “JeanFest Night Jam” start at $22 and can be purchased through Jammin’ Java. Ticket, merchandise, food and drink proceeds will go to charity.

Oskuie says the 2022 ViVa Vienna alone brought in about $240,000. Over the next year, the rotary club will support over 70 different organizations nominated by its members this fall, with distributions starting in November.

Among the beneficiaries will be So Others Might Eat, a D.C. nonprofit that helps people experiencing poverty and homelessness. Jean Buttecali was a supporter, and her family set up a GoFundMe page after her death that raised over $16,000 for the group.

Oskuie estimates JeanFest could draw a total of 4,000 to 5,000 people, making it smaller than ViVa Vienna, but the organizers hope it can have as outsized an impact on others’ lives as its namesake had on theirs.

“It’s a lot of folks who were in awe of Jean and knew her quite well that are running behind the scenes and doing different things,” Oskuie said. “So, it’s a celebration of her life and the proceeds…will benefit local charities that we’ve been giving to through Viva Vienna for years.”

0 Comments
The Virginia Chamber Orchestra started performing at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens during the pandemic (courtesy Virginia Chamber Orchestra)

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra is tuning up for a fall concert series at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Wolf Trap.

The “Music in the Gardens” series will kick off at 3 p.m. this Sunday (Sept. 4) with “Viva Violas!,” a showcase of that oft-overlooked member of the string family.

A quintet of performers from the professional, Northern Virginia-based orchestra will play for an hour at Meadowlark’s Korean Bell Pavilion. The advertised program features pieces by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Dvorak, and more:

  • Viola Duets from the Renaissance
  • Charles De Beriot: Two Duets
  • Telemann: Concerto for Two Violas
  • Dvorak: Allegro from Quartet in F Major, Op. 96, “American”
  • Mozart: Andante and Allegro from Viola Quintet in C Major

The series will continue throughout the month with a guitar quintet on Sept. 11, a viola duo with double bass on Sept. 18, and a clarinet quintet on Sept. 25.

All concerts take place from 3-4 p.m. and are free to attend, though Meadowlark’s $6 admission fees are in effect. The park has a $3 discount for people aged 6-17 and 55 and older, with kids under 5 getting in for free.

The Virginia Chamber Orchestra first teamed up with Meadowlark for the “Music in the Gardens” series in fall 2020, when concert venues remained closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Audiences were so large and enthusiastic that the Virginia Chamber Orchestra is continuing them with both a Spring and a Fall series in 2022, even though traditional concert venues have reopened,” the VCO previously said in a press release.

The series’ spring iteration started May 15 and concluded on June 26.

Long based at Northern Virginia Community College’s Ernest Center in Annandale, the VCO relocated to Capital One Hall in Tysons last year as it celebrated its 50th anniversary season.

0 Comments
A new jazz series is coming soon to Reston Town Center (via RTCA)

A new jazz series is kicking off next month in Reston Town Square Park next month.

The Reston Town Center Association is launching a jazz series on Sept. 8. Called Sip & Stroll, visitors can purchase alcohol at some establishments on site and stroll to designated areas at select events.

The series kicks off with Darden and Friends on Thursday evenings from Sept. 8 through Oct. 27. Darden Purcell, a national recording artist and director of jazz studies at George Mason University, will close and curate the series.

The event is free and presented by RTCA and Reston Community Center.

RTCA Executive Director Robert Goudie says the series was launching to further expand the town center experience.

“What a way to launch it, with world-class jazz from Darden and her friends, presented in partnership with our longtime cultural partner, Reston Community Center, and with the generous support of Boston Properties and the Avant (our green room sponsor),” Goudie said. “We think that this will hit all the right notes.”

In a statement, RCC’s executive director Leila Gordon said the center was supportive of the idea when it was pitched it to the center by RTCA.

“Combining the beautiful early evenings of fall in the ambience of the park and offering audiences the added treat of sipping their beverage of choice from one of the participating restaurants, is a perfect match. We think people will thoroughly enjoy themselves,” Gordon said.

Alcohol can only be bought from establishments within the event perimeter — which is town square park and surrounding streets.

The concert will run on Thursday from 5-6:15 p.m. and the park will be open for the event at 4 p.m. All alcohol must be cleared from the park by 7 p.m.

0 Comments
The Furia Flamenca Dance Company will serve as the artist-in-residence for The Alden’s 2022-2023 season (courtesy McLean Community Center)

A D.C.-based flamenco dance company will entertain McLean audiences for a full year as The Alden’s new artist-in-residence.

The McLean Community Center announced last week that its in-house theater will host public events and serve as an “incubator” for the Furia Flamenca Dance Company, which has performed in the center at 1234 Ingleside Avenue in the past.

“Alden audiences absolutely adore flamenco and pack the house at Furia Flamenca’s performances here,” MCC Performing Arts Director Sarah Schallern Treff said, noting that Furia founder and artistic director Estela Vélez de Paredez’s lectures on flamenco history and styles “have been especially popular.”

“I can’t wait to share even more of the company’s great work with the community,” she added in the news release.

Since it was founded in 2004, Furia Flamenca has performed throughout the D.C. area, including at the Kennedy Center, Lincoln Theatre, National Theatre, and Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, according to its website.

The group will put on the first public show of its 2022-2023 residency at The Alden on Oct. 8 with “A Trip to Spain,” an interactive, family-friendly introduction to flamenco music and dance. Tickets for the show, which is being tied to Hispanic Heritage Month, will cost $10 for MCC tax district residents or $15 for non-residents.

Throughout its residency, Furia Flamenca will host open rehearsals, workshops and lectures for the public, concluding on June 3 with the show “Recordando La Alhambra” that it debuted in 2014.

“The production combines choreography with musical arrangements to highlight the common roots of flamenco, Middle Eastern and North African music and dance,” MCC says. “Furia Flamenca will be accompanied by live music.”

Expressing excitement about the upcoming residency, Vélez de Paredez noted in the news release that The Alden was home to the company’s first-ever theatrical production in 2009.

“We are therefore excited to come back to the venue where we made our first big visions a reality, this time as a resident company,” Vélez de Paredez said. “We look forward to continuing to educate our audiences on all aspects of flamenco and to returning to the Alden stage! We want to thank Sarah Schallern Treff for this amazing opportunity and for embracing us once again.”

Furia Flamenca will join an eclectic 2022-2023 season for The Alden that will kick off with rhythm and blues musician Lil’ Maceo on Sept. 11. MCC also shared today (Friday) that Sons of Mystro, a duo of reggae/pop violinists, will give a free concert at 5 p.m. on Sept. 17 in McLean Central Park.

0 Comments
The 2022 Fairfax County karaoke competition will conclude at The PARC’s Tysons Block Party on Aug. 19 (courtesy of Celebrate Fairfax/AE Lands Photography)

Celebrate Fairfax Inc. will close out the summer tomorrow (Friday) with an outdoor bash and some tunes.

The nonprofit organization best known for staging the annual Celebrate Fairfax! Festival will kick off the third and final Tysons Block Party of the season at 4 p.m. outside The PARC (8508 Leesburg Pike), the events venue it established at a former Container Store.

In addition to food trucks, drinks, games and a free workout, the party will feature the championships of the Fairfax County karaoke competition, a longtime festival staple. The contest kicked off with an initial wildcard round on June 17 and had semifinals on July 15.

Traditionally held at the Fairfax County Government Center in June, the Celebrate Fairfax Festival had what appears to be its last hurrah in 2019. After cancellations in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19, the fair was split up this year into an ongoing series of smaller events in different parts of the county.

While the news disappointed some fans of the festival, Celebrate Fairfax says it has been working to “really try to involve the community” with its new approach, and finding a new home for the karaoke competition in particular has “been a really rewarding process.”

“We love community feedback and we are constantly looking for new and excited ways to create events that are fun for the whole community,” spokesperson Katie Rorer said by email. “…Celebrate Fairfax has begun working on transitioning from planning and producing the Celebrate Fairfax Festival, to creating events and spaces throughout Fairfax County that foster a sense of community, fun, and belonging through placemaking opportunities!”

Upcoming events include a Shop Local Market at The PARC on Sept. 10, a grand opening celebration for the new Sully Community Center (13800 Wall Road, Herndon) on Sept. 17, and a 5K fun run at Kingstowne Towne Center on Sept. 24 to support the ConnerStrong Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to mental health awareness and suicide prevention.

Rorer says a full calendar of events for this fall will be released soon.

0 Comments
×

Subscribe to our mailing list