Vol. 50: June/July 2017 Newsletter
Hylton Coast to Coast
Through an improbable but inevitable series of serendipities involving our former Executive Director, Jean Kellogg and our former Dean, Bill Reeder, your Hylton Center Veterans and the Arts Initiative team was introduced to the San Francisco-based Rick Harrell, founder of a highly successful program called Heroes’ Voices. Rick is an opera singer, teacher, and director (hence his connections to Bill and Jean) and a passionate advocate for the role of the arts in the lives of our nation’s veterans, which explains his interest in our three-year-old Veterans and the Arts Initiative.
Rick paid us a visit last fall and mentioned that he was working on a National Veterans Poetry Contest, with the winning poems to be read in San Francisco this summer. "How about a bi-coastal collaboration?" was our immediate response, and from that moment on we joined as co-sponsor, sharing ideas, resources, and responsibilities in a unique and ambitious venture. More than 200 poems were received from veterans across the country and across the decades.
(Photos from left to right: Frederick Foote, M.D. (Captain), Medical Corps, USN, Ret.; Rick Davis, Executive Director, Hylton Center; Rick Harrell, Executive Director, Heroes' Voices; Quartet from The Alexandria Harmonizers; Darden Purcell, Technical Sergeant, USAF (Veteran) and Shawn Purcell, Musician First Class, USN Band - Commodores)
I was privileged to serve as a judge for the final round, reading 42 poems from veterans from World War Two up to Iraq and Afghanistan, veterans who served on piracy interdiction patrols off the coast of Somalia, veterans who had lost friends and loved ones. It was a difficult, moving, and inspiring task to help pick the four "winning" poems, though the real victory belongs to all the poets who found a way to express the inexpressible through their words.
Both Heroes’ Voices and the Hylton Center created programs of classic and contemporary poetry of war and service, along with musical selections, to round out a performance of the finalist poems — June 4th in San Francisco, and (with Rick Harrell participating here as well) on June 7th at the Hylton Center. We recruited veterans from our community to read the winning poems, as well as some of the other classic texts. Veterans on our School of Music faculty, such as Denny Layendecker, Darden Purcell, and Shawn Purcell, added a welcome musical touch to the evening, along with a vet quartet from the renowned Alexandria Harmonizers. Delegate Rich Anderson, a retired Air Force colonel, gave us the finale with a stirring performance of "High Flight," one of the greatest poems written by a serviceman, the RCAF’s John Gillespie Magee Jr., just weeks before he lost his life in 1941.
All present in the Gregory Family Theater that night agreed that this event must become an annual tradition in partnership with our great new friends in San Francisco. It is indeed heartening to see that the kind of work we aspire to do is taking root across the country, and we have much to share with, and learn from, each other. For me, an artist and educator who is not a veteran, this is one of the most important, meaningful, and profoundly artistic things that we can do.
We will be publishing a "chapbook" edition of the winning poems plus several of the honorable mentions, all excellent examples of veterans transforming deep and sometimes harrowing experiences into carefully crafted, beautifully expressed words — the essence of the poet’s task. Be sure to look for an announcement of its publication later this summer.
Click here for a video clip of Delegate Richard Anderson (VA) reading "High Flight” at the June 7 Hylton Center Heroes’ Voices event.
– Executive Director and Dean
Dive into summer with Summer Performances for Young Audiences, featuring three lively performances designed for kids of all ages! The fun kicks off with Caryn Lin’s The Science of Sound (6/27), a captivating performance that uses technology to transform sound into a multisensory experience. Caryn Lin uses her five-string electric violin, loop recorder, oscilloscope, and other special effect tools to create incredible soundscapes!
The excitement continues in August with the Latin Ballet of Virginia’s Alma Latina (7/12), featuring lively dances including the Salsa, Merengue, and Bachata, along with Flamenco and Capoeira. Discover the origin of these popular dance styles in a celebration of Latin America’s rich cultural heritage that is steeped in tradition, rhythm, music, and, of course, dance. In September, Summer Performances for Young Audiences concludes with Cello Fury (8/2), a cello rock powerhouse of three cellists and a rock and roll drummer. The quartet brings movie themes to life in a dynamic performance designed for young audiences, fusing symphonic sounds with driving rock beats to create an unforgettable musical experience! There is something for everyone this summer at the Hylton Center! Learn More
Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes of a performing arts venue? From July 24-28, learn about the world of production through the Hylton’s Technical Theater Boot Camp, a one-week training program led by our own in-house production staff of experts and guest instructors. This popular program offers hands-on training in the essential skills of technical production, stage lighting, carpentry, rigging, sound equipment operation, and more. Participants who successfully complete the course not only earn a certificate of Technical Theater Training, but also qualifiy for consideration for future select crew assignments at the Hylton Performing Arts Center! The fee for this class is $300 and the class is open to learners ages 16 and up (ages 14-15 with recommendation). Reserve your spot today while there is still space! The registration deadline is July 14, 2017, and scholarships are available. Learn More | Register Now
Indulge your inner art aficiando this summer through free exhibitions showcasing the inspiring work of local visual artists. Stroll through the Buchanan Partners Art Gallery, enjoy two new exhibitions, and meet the artists in person at free gallery receptions. From June 6-July 15, explore the influence of women in art through Sacred Feminine: Works by Asha Elana Casey and Naomi Christianson, an extraordinary visual exploration of the aspects of love and creation as well as the sublime inner worlds and transcendent power of women. Join us for a gallery reception on June 15 to learn more about the background of the artists and enjoy wine selections by Fabbioli Cellars. Next, experience the art of Marti Patchell, winner of the 2016 Juried Show Exhibition, with her series Botanical Fusion from July 18-August 26. The gallery reception for this exhibition is August 3 and will feature wine by Stone Tower Winery. Through the exploration of the drawn line, this beautiful mixed-media series highlights the artist’s passion for gardening and the beauty of nature, illustrating the intricate layering of formal elements found in the natural world around us.
The Buchanan Partners Art Gallery is open to the public free of charge Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and two hours before each performance. Through community partnerships, the Gallery provides an exciting and stimulating arts experience that expands cultural awareness and integrates the arts into the region’s social, economic, and community fabric. Learn More | Upcoming Exhibitions
Plan now and choose any three or more performances from the Hylton Presents series to save money and ensure you don’t miss exciting and unique music, dance, and theater performances. Order your subscription for the upcoming season right away and get big savings, great seats, and free ticket exchanges to Hylton Presents, Hylton Family Series, and the daytime chamber music series, Matinee Idylls. Single tickets go on sale August 1.
Explore the new season | Subscribe now
The Hylton Center thrives because of the dedication of many volunteers from the community. We are thrilled to recognize Sherman and Caroline Mills as the 2016-2017 Friends of the Hylton Center's Volunteers of the Year. Meet these two extraordinary supporters who have translated their love of the arts into meaningful volunteer roles at the Hylton.
Sherman and Caroline have always enjoyed the theater. When they first met in the fall of 1958, they would go on dates to shows at the National Theater, parking on 14th Street without a worry. After marrying in May 1959, they continued to see shows when possible. Over the years they have attended the theater in London, Vienna, New York, and the Shaw Festival at Niagara-on-the-Lake. In their free time, they have also enjoyed doing walks in England, Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, and Italy with an English Group called The Wayfarers.
Sherman and Caroline Mills have been members of the Hylton Performing Arts Center since 2012. They first heard about the Hylton Center from friends who attended the first year it opened. It took another year or two before they searched it out, and upon entering the building were amazed by its beauty. Right then and there they fell in love with the Hylton Center and started attending performances. They soon learned about the Friends of the Hylton Center, became members, increased their support annually, and are now Copper Circle members.
Three years ago the Mills were encouraged by their friends and neighbors, Barbara and Bill Lidell (also Hylton Center Friends!) to join the Membership Committee, and have been active members ever since. Next time you’re in the vicinity, take a moment to stop by the Friends membership table to say hello, where you are likely to find Sherman and Caroline during Hylton Family Series performances sharing their enthusiasm for the performing arts with patrons and Friends, alike. Volunteer at the Hylton
For amazing benefits and up to 20% off ticket prices, bring a group of just 10 or more to any Hylton Presents performance! Groups get lower ticket prices, no ticket fees, materials to promote your visit (upon request), access to pre-performance discussions 45 minutes prior to the show, and personal assistance with planning your group's experience. Register your group before August 1 and receive exclusive access to the best seats before individual performances go on sale. Learn More
Looking ahead to fall, the Hylton Performing Arts Center is proud to present the 2017/2018 Season, another spectacular year of breathtaking performances for all ages! The season opens with Under the Streetlamp (9/16), a lively celebration of classic hits from the 1950s-1970s. Under the Streetlamp transports audiences back to an era of sharkskin suits and flashy cars through tight harmonies, slick dance moves, and rollicking rock ‘n’ roll favorites. Tickets are going fast for this show-stopping performance, so subscribe now to secure your tickets before individual ticket go on sale August 1!
Other season highlights include the internationally acclaimed a capella quintet Nobuntu (11/17), a group of five women from Zimbabwe on their first world tour. Celebrate the magic of the holidays in December with the American Festival Pops Orchestra’s Holiday Pops: Sounds of the Season (12/8). In the spring, enjoy a hilarious romp about everyone’s favorite detective with Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery, presented by Walnut Street Theatre (2/11). There’s something for everyone this coming season! Subscriptions are on sale now and individual tickets go on sale August 1. Learn more about all of the exciting performances happening in 2017/18. View 2017/2018 Brochure | Subscribe Now