A keeper of culture in the capitol city since 1966, the Metropolitan Chorus celebrates the beauty of the human voice without limiting itself to a certain genre. Apart from symphony-assisted classical concerts and annual productions of Handel's Messiah, the chorus also shows the jazz roots of artistic director Barry Hemphill. After all, Hemphill is the son of frequent Satchmo-collaborator Shelton "Scad" Hemphill and was babysat by none other than Billy Holliday growing up. Yet even though the ensemble's influences are so varied, a common thread ties its concerts together: a strong emphasis on American composers old and new.
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.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
For almost 50 years, Virginia Ballet Company and School has borrowed from the rich, centuries-old traditions of Russian ballet to mold fledgling tip-toers into strong, agile, and graceful dancers. Following the expertly adapted choreography of the studio's late co-founding artistic director, Tania Rousseau, a cast of professional dancers prepares students ages three and up to participate in school-run classical productions, granting them the opportunity to twirl into important roles such as The Nutcracker or The Helicopter Propeller. The company hosts classes of varying difficulties in a studio with raised, spring-loaded floors that reduce injury, fixed and portable handrails, and wall-length mirrors for checking and correcting posture.
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.
Saphira, the matriarch and founder of Saffron Dance, didn?t even exist 20 years ago, much like ?I survived Y2K? bumper stickers. Saphira was known as Rachael Galoob-Ortega, a lawyer who practiced in DC and Florida for a decade. But her high-power career and hefty paycheck couldn?t extinguish her passion for dance. And so she became Saphira, an international belly-dance artist and instructor with numerous accolades, including being featured in American Belly Dancer, a documentary about belly dance in the United States.
Saphira opened Saffron Dance six years ago, and along with 18 fellow instructors, channels her years of expertise into dance courses that get progressively more challenging from week to week. Welcoming all levels, her classes teach both Egyptian-inspired belly dance and community-focused tribal belly dance. Regardless of the class type, Saphira and her teachers encourage pupils to express their unique voices through dance, all while keeping proper alignment, mastering precision, and having fun.