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.
"Learning to play music should be fun" states Bach to Rock's philosophy. "It's called play for a reason." This warm, inviting spirit permeates everywhere students work individually or in groups with seasoned players to improve their skills in guitar, voice, drums, piano, keyboard, and even in turntables. They then put their musicianship to practical use in extended jam sessions, learning how to be expressive and glue their instrument back together after smashing it. Once pupils have progressed to a professional level, they can check out Bach to Rock's professional recording studio, which are open to artists who want to lay down tracks for an album or fine-tune their already-existing songs.
Since 1973, skaters have been sailing effortlessly across Fairfax Ice Arena’s spacious, icy surface during public skate sessions, figure skating–lessons, and hockey leagues for all ages. At the family-owned arena, a staff of dedicated skating coaches guides students while calling upon experience from the St. Petersburg State Ballet on Ice, Disney on Ice, and the lesser-known On Golden Pond on Ice. The arena is open throughout the year, hosting a full hockey and figure skating–pro shop in addition to its Arena Café.