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MSO Joins with PWCS Student Choir for Season Finale on May 13, 2017

FOR GENERAL RELEASE
May 10, 2017 - The 2015 American Prize winning Manassas Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director James Villani, concludes its season on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 with Symphonic Exuberance. Joined by a chorus of select students from several Prince William County High Schools, the combined forces perform Dan Forrest's joyful masterpiece, Requiem for the Living. The concert includes Rossini's Overture to "The Barber of Seville" and Hindemith's Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.

The high school choir was assembled and prepared by Dominick Izzo, the Director of Choral Music and the Performing Arts Department Chair at Osbourn Park High School. The choir is made up of student singers from Osbourn Park, Brentsville, and Forest Park High Schools. The performance also features soprano Christine Laird. Ms. Laird is the Theater Arts teacher at Osbourn Park High School.

A Requiem, at its core, is a prayer for rest—traditionally, for the deceased. The five movements of Dan Forrest's Requiem for the Living (2013), however, form a narrative just as much for the living, and their own struggle with pain and sorrow, as for the dead. Critics have raved about this modern choral work. This performance should not be missed.

Join the Award-Winning MSO for its annual family concert on December 10, 2016

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November 25, 2016 - The American Prize-winning Manassas Symphony Orchestra, under the baton of Music Director James Villani, welcomes the holiday season with a frolicking look at winter at its annual family concert, Winter Carnival on Saturday, December 10, at 3:30 PM. The concert features Reagan Middle School seventh grade violinist Thomas Kim playing Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons. He is an amazing player for one so young.

For a special treat, Manassas City Councilman Ken Elston returns to the Hylton Stage narrating ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. The orchestra will also debut Four Winter Scenes, a playful new work about winter fun, by one of our favorite composers, Stonewall Jackson High School alumnus J. Scott McKenzie. The concert also features a piece by Colgan High School orchestra director Ben Bernstein, The Grey Winds of Winter. Concert-goers will be treated to our exclusive spectacular indoor light show finale.

Get your tickets early for this annually sold-out performance experience. This is a great way to introduce children to orchestral music in a fun and family friendly environment. All children and students can attend the concert free of charge. Come early for fun pre-concert music and activities for the whole family in the Didilake Foyer.

Award-Winning Manassas Symphony Orchestra kicks off 24th season

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UPDATED September 1, 2016 - The American Prize-winning Manassas Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Music Director James Villani, is excited to announce four superb concert experiences for its twenty-fourth season in 2016-17.

The symphony kicks off its subscription series in the beautiful Hylton Performing Arts Center on Saturday, October 29 at 7:30 PM with internationally-acclaimed violinist Emil Chudnovsky for Il Virtuosi, a celebration of virtuoso performers and composers. Following Franz Liszt’s Les Préludes, Chudnovsky plays Niccolò Paganini’s Violin Concerto No. 2 in B minor ("La campanella") and Piotr Tchaikovsky’s epic Symphony No. 4 in F minor brings the concert to a thrilling conclusion.

The MSO welcomes the holiday season with a frolicking look at winter at its annual family concert, Winter Carnival on Saturday, December 10, at 3:30 PM. The concert also features Reagan Middle School seventh grade violinist Thomas Kim playing Winter from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, and the debut of a playful new work about winter fun by one of our favorite composers, J. Scott McKenzie. The concert includes seasonal favorites and closes with our exclusive synchronized holiday music and light show!

Our very own horn player Avery Pettigrew is center stage on Saturday, March 4 at 7:30 PM as the symphony performs Musical Morsels — a smorgasbord of small works to delight your musical palate. Dr. Pettigrew is featured in James Beckel’s concerto for horn and orchestra titled The Glass Bead Game. This musical feast includes Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture and delicacies from Edvard Grieg, Jacques Offenbach, and Carl Nielsen.

The Manassas Symphony concludes its season on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 with Symphonic Exuberance. Joined by a large chorus of select students from several Prince William County High Schools under the direction of Dominick Izzo, the combined forces perform Dan Forrest’s joyful masterpiece, Requiem for the Living. The concert includes Gioachino Rossini’s Overture to “The Barber of Seville” and Paul Hindemith’s Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber.

Season subscriptions and individual concert tickets are available from the Hylton Center Box Office or by calling 888-945-2468. All children and student tickets (through college) are free.

The Manassas Symphony is the winner of the 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance, Community Division and a Resident Arts Partner of the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas. The all-volunteer ensemble plays five concerts a year and is involved with many educational and civic events throughout the community. For more information on the Manassas Symphony, visit its website at ManassasSymphony.org.

Manassas Symphony auditioning string players

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UPDATED June 22, 2015 - The Manassas Symphony Orchestra is holding auditions for ALL STRING SECTIONS for the 2016-17 season. The MSO is especially interested in qualified VIOLA and BASS players to add to our already strong sections.

Auditions will be by appointment on Thursday, July 21, 2016, from 7-9 PM at Grace United Methodist Church in Manassas. Other times may be available by appointment.

The audition materials are listed on the MSO website at manassassymphony.org/auditions.html. All of the orchestral excerpts are available on imslp.org, at manassassymphony.org/excerpts, or by emailing a request to personnel@manassassymphony.org.

A brief interview with the music director will also be held, highlighting the experience and commitment level of the musician.

Qualified candidates will have some experience playing in a symphony orchestra, some familiarity with standard orchestral repertoire, acceptable sight-reading skills, and the availability to attend scheduled rehearsals and concerts for the season.

Interested musicians should contact the orchestra to schedule an audition time. This should be done by registering at  manassassymphony.org/register. Any questions should be emailed to personnel@manassassymphony.org.

The MSO is a high-quality, full-size, all-volunteer community-service orchestra. The symphony is the winner of the 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance, Community Division. All members donate their time and considerable talent, so these are non-paying positions. Further information on the orchestra can be found at www.manassassymphony.org. The symphony performs its subscription series in the beautiful Merchant Hall at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

These positions are open to all interested adults, college students, and exceptionally well-qualified high school students Grade 10 and above. College credit is available through NVCC. Tuition costs are provided as a scholarship from the Orchestra's Board of Directors. This appointment may continue into future seasons upon agreement of the music director and player.

The 2016-17 concert schedule is as follows:

  • Sunday, August 21, 2016 - 3:00 (Harris Pavilion)
  • Saturday, October 29, 2016 - 7:30
  • Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 3:30
  • Saturday, March 4, 2017 - 7:30
  • Saturday, May 13, 2017 - 7:30

The orchestra rehearses Wednesday evenings 7:30-9:30 at Metz Middle School in Manassas.

Manassas Symphony Orchestra Wins National Award:
The 2015 American Prize for Orchestral Performance
First Orchestra from Virginia to Win

FOR GENERAL RELEASE
January 5, 2016The Manassas Symphony Orchestra (MSO), under the direction of Music Director James Villani, has been named the winner of the 2015 American Prize in Orchestral Performance by a Community Orchestra. The American Prize is a series of non-profit national competitions in the performing arts. It provides cash awards, professional adjudication and regional, national and international recognition for the best recorded performances by ensembles and individuals each year in the United States. It includes professional, college/university, church, community and secondary school levels. The prize was first awarded in 2009, and is now awarded annually. Michael Murtha, President of the MSO Board of Directors, said, "We were thrilled to learn that the MSO was awarded the prestigious 2015 American Prize for being the best community orchestra in the country. This is an incredible achievement for our all-volunteer orchestra. We are proud of our conductor, Jim Villani, and each of our talented musicians for their commitment to excellence."

This award honors the MSO for its live performance of Howard Hanson's Symphony No. 1 at its October 2014 concert at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Competition judges praised the orchestra for meeting "the demands of Hanson's symphony with a very confident sound quality…well above just getting the notes. [A] fine presentation…done with commitment and skill."

The MSO was previously a semi-finalist for this same award in 2010, and a finalist in 2013. The MSO is the first orchestra in Virginia to win this prestigious prize!

The MSO is a Resident Arts Partner of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Rick Davis, Executive Director of the center, said, "This national recognition of the artistic excellence of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra is another testament to the strength of the Hylton Center's Resident Arts Partners and the vitality of the region's arts community. We couldn't be more proud to play a supporting role."

For two decades, the Manassas Symphony Orchestra has brought the excitement of live orchestral performances to the Manassas and Prince William County area for a unique, lively, and entertaining concert experience. The orchestra serves as the educational and performance medium for its all-volunteer community members. Maestro Villani said, "I am very proud of the orchestra members for their accomplishment in earning this prize. It honors the continued hard work and effort of our volunteer musicians and recognizes the commitment that they have all made to make the MSO a fun and rewarding music-making organization."

Composer's daughter to attend opening concert of the season: The Americans

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October 14, 2015Pam Kelly, daughter of the late composer Claude T. Smith, will attend the season opening concert of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at 7:30 pm in Merchant Hall of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The ensemble will perform Smith's work, Eternal Father, Strong to Save, which is based on the Navy Hymn. The performance commemorates the 40th anniversary of the piece's publication and debut by the Navy Band at the Kennedy Center, and is orchestrated by MSO Music Director, James Villani. Smith composed extensively in the areas of instrumental and choral music and his compositions have been performed by leading musical organizations throughout the world. Having over 110 band works, 12 orchestra works and 15 choral works, he composed solos for such artists as "Doc" Severinsen, Dale Underwood, and many others. Mrs. Kelly will give a short presentation on her father's work at the concert after intermission.

The MSO's season opening concert also features American Prize-winning pianist Anthony Michael Cornet who will join the orchestra for George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue. In addition, the All-American concert program includes Aaron Copland's Rodeo, and Serenades, a piece for strings composed by Stonewall Jackson HS alum and U.S. Army Major J. Scott McKenzie.

All seats for the Manassas Symphony Orchestra concerts in Merchant Hall of the Hylton Performing Arts Center (HPAC) are reserved and everyone needs a ticket. Individual concert tickets are available from the HPAC Ticket Office Wednesday through Saturday from 12 to 6 pm and two hours before the performance begins. Tickets may also be purchased through tickets.com by calling 888-945-2468, or by visiting the HPAC event calendar and click on the "Buy Tickets" button. Processing fees will apply for these methods of purchase. Tickets are also available for sale at the Center for the Arts Box Office on George Mason University's Fairfax Campus. Individual concert tickets are priced as follows: Adults $20, Senior Citizens 62+ $16, Educators w/ID only at Ticket Office $16, Children/Students, Free - must obtain ticket at the Ticket Office College Students must show ID to obtain free concert ticket.

If you have questions or need more information, please e-mail tickets@manassassymphony.org or phone 703-853-0749.