At Lopez Studios, students can hone musical and acting abilities in a supportive environment that focuses on developing character, integrity, discipline, and service. Baby hams who've given stirring performances in school nurses’ offices and soccer games can learn to tame and temper their thespianship with a few one-on-one acting lessons, while the piano and voice programs will expose students to a wide range of musical styles, such as classical, jazz, pop, R & B, gospel, and post-chillwave woodcore bossa-nova. Lopez Studios' expertly trained staff follow set achievement guidelines and prepare students for higher achievement goals with attentive one-on-one instruction that can't be replicated with lessons via choppy web video conferencing or 19th-century telegraph. Additionally, voice and piano lessons use an effective Round the World Rotation Sequence teaching method that allows students to discover their individual interest through an eclectic musical curriculum.
The first running of the Potomac Hunt Races took place in 1952, and the event has been an annual tradition in Montgomery County ever since. The event celebrates steeplechase racing—a form of competition that originated in 18th-century Ireland, when riders would dash across uneven terrain and use towering church steeples as their beacons. Today, regular two- to four-mile tracks have become the battlegrounds for steeplechase events, and horses equipped with on-board GPS systems have made church steeples obsolete. Potomac Hunt Races carries on the tradition of this modern-day version of steeplechase racing, while implementing a tradition of its own: donating a portion of the proceeds from each year's event to charity.
Maestro Barry Hemphill guides the 100-voice Metropolitan Chorus through stirring vocal performances, opening the chorus’s 45th season with "Music to Move the Soul." The century of trained crooners will join forces with skilled musicians to take on Will Todd’s Mass in Blue, a 2003 composition that layers a Latin mass over jazzy melodies in the style of Virgil’s early beat poetry. Soprano Linda Maguire’s high notes soar as saxophonist Irvin Peterson bends bluesy notes and pianists’ fingers fly across keyboards against harmonies ringing through the church’s towering ceilings. The conductor’s waving hands cue musicians through rousing crescendos, hushed diminuendos, and commands to steal second, and audiences relax in comfortable pews on the ground floor or lean forward to catch the action from tiered seats in the mezzanines.
Celebrating its 40th anniversary season, Wolf Trap regales lovers of the arts with masterful performances, innovative education, and swinging social events at the Filene Center and The Barns. Wolf Trap's young-professional organization, Club 66, gathers emerging leaders and former infants, primarily aged 21–39, for networking, socializing, and special events united by the leitmotif of furthering arts enrichment. Members clear their calendars and cleanse their opera glasses before partaking in benefits that include opportunities to buy tickets for Filene Center events before they are released to the general public, a new group of friends to discuss conspiracy theories about Les Misérables, and a subscription to the member newsletter, "The Wolf Trap Experience." Club members enjoy discounts on pre- and post-performance events, gift-shop discounts, a special rate for the Annual Bash, and invitations to interludes, networking parties, and other members-only events.
Since its origins as a converted parking garage, Alamo Drafthouse Cinema has ushered film-lovers of all breeds into its auditoriums, even gaining a following among Hollywood legends; Quentin Tarantino has been known to host five-day movie marathons at Alamo. The theater has earned that reputation by making moviegoing a personal experience, from the menu of handcrafted snacks and locally brewed beer to the completely ad-free presentations before shows. Alamo?s ninja servers pick up written food and drink orders throughout the movie and serve moviegoers directly at their seat. The staff enforces a strict no-talking, no-texting policy by kicking out any offenders, falling just short of yanking them from their seats with a giant's shepherd's crook.
Both first-run blockbusters and classics are projected onto Alamo's silver screens in crisp 35-millimeter or digital format. Meanwhile, surround speakers immerse audiences in the cinematic soundscape, whether they're seated in one of the expansive theaters afforded to blockbuster reels or the more intimate spaces reserved for indie films wound around tiny bobbins. Despite Alamo's vow of silence, fan-centric Quote-Along and Sing-Along nights encourage guests to shout their favorite lines, and actors, directors, and other celebrities often attend special screenings to lead in-depth discussions. These exclusive events have led to acclaim for Alamo from publications such as Entertainment Weekly, which called it ?one of America's most fanatically unique moviegoing experiences,? and Wired, which opined that it "might just be the coolest movie theater in the world."
The larger-than-life inflatables at Sport Bounce of Loudoun aren’t just manufactured in the United States—they’re also crafted from commercial-grade, lead-free vinyl. The staff here takes just as much responsibility for visitors’ safety as they do for their entertainment, and oversee cleanliness throughout the 10,000-square-foot space. The bright, open arena fills with children aged 18 months and older who glide down two giant inflatable slides, bound through bounce houses and obstacle courses, dunk on inflatable basketball hoops, and fend off inflatable train-robbers in a kid-powered train. Though some areas only accommodate children, adults are welcome to slide and bounce as they supervise their kids at play.
Fun events, such as pajama and birthday parties, are a staff specialty. During each birthday celebration, they perform all setup and cleanup and provide utensils, birthday candles, and a crown or tiara for the birthday child. Each guest leaves with a complimentary photo of all the partygoers gathered on Sport Bounce's signature oversized red inflatable chair.