Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Vol. 45: December 2016 Newsletter

Director's Corner

"Oh we get letters!"—the sights and sounds of an engaged community

David Letterman used to have a "CBS Mailbag" segment introduced by a catchy tune and not-so-catchy lyrics: "Letters! Oh we get letters! Oh we get stacks and stacks of letters! Letters!"

The "Hylton Mailbag" is filled with emails, Facebook posts and reviews, and the occasional tweet (we are not as prolific in that latter medium as we would like to be, but it might be time to ramp that up—follow us on Twitter (@Hylton_PAC). We do get the occasional handwritten card or letter too, and, when they’re nice (as they usually are) we post them on the wall right outside my office. I want to thank all of our correspondents—and you should know that in whatever form, expressing whatever opinion, we read every note and try to respond in a helpful way if we can.

For the record, not every note we get is a valentine, and I’m always eager to hear from patrons who are bothered, confused, even offended by a work of art on stage or in the gallery. Some of my best and deepest conversations, in person or over email, have been with patrons who object to an aspect of something they’ve seen. Each instance of that kind represents an opportunity for learning that flows both ways. If that didn’t happen from time to time, frankly, I’d be disappointed.

We often talk about the Hylton Center’s role in creating a sense of community—something we see and feel at every performance or gallery talk or lecture or celebration. But it jumps to another level when the members of the community enter into a dialogue with us about the work they’ve witnessed or participated in. That transforms attendance into engagement—the gold standard of accomplishment in the world of the arts (and, one might suggest without too much of a stretch, of society itself).

And then there’s the kind of note that came in recently, following the beautiful Winter Solstice performance by Windham Hill on Nov. 27th, which I’ll share here:

Good Morning Rick,

My wife and I have been Friends of the Hylton for a number of years and enjoyed many performances. Windham Hill last night was over the top! Two hours of sheer musical joy. We know you and your staff have been working to expand and improve the slate of performances. The results have been amazing. We’re in for the next 25 years. If you have the chance to bring Windham Hill back, please do. We’ll be attending and bringing our neighborhood, well, as many as we can. Bravo!

Tom and Carol Boland

Bravo right back at you, Tom and Carol. We look forward to meeting your neighborhood!

And I look forward to hearing from all of you as you become more and more engaged with the life of your community through the Hylton Performing Arts Center. Happy Holidays and see you at the theater!

Rick Davis
- Executive Director
and Dean


The Gift That Keeps on Giving

Struggling to find that perfect holiday gift for the person who has everything? Consider purchasing a Hylton Center gift certificate so that they may enjoy one or more of the exciting performances this winter and spring including Hylton Presents, Matinee Idylls, and Hylton Family Series. 2017 promises an entertaining line up of everything from theatre (Aquila Theatre: Murder on the Nile) to music (The Five Irish Tenors: Salute to Ireland; The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine; and New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players: H.M.S. Pinafore, to name a few) to dance (Russian National Ballet Theater: Giselle ) and comedy (The Jason Bishop Show). Be sure to also explore the virtuosic Matinee Idylls spring season featuring Virginia Opera: A Taste of Opera and Linda Apple Monson and Friends: The Art of the Piano. Plan a quality family outing with the Hylton Family Series, which continues into 2017 with Keyboard Conversations® with Jeffrey Siegel: Music for the Young and the Young at Heart; Popovich Comedy Pet Theater; and Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live. There's truly something for everyone at the Hylton Center, so give the gift of world-class entertainment this holiday season!


A Merry Month of Music

Restless Heart bandFrom opera to pops to country, the month of December makes spirits bright starting with Amahl and the Night Visitors (12/2-12/3), the celebrated operetta and classic story of the Magi’s journey to Bethlehem, presented by Mason’s School of Music. Next, the American Festival Pops Orchestra invites you to come in from out of the cold for a cozy evening of beloved holiday classics in Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season (12/9), featuring a captivating narration of ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas, by the Hylton Center’s own Dean and Executive Director, Rick Davis. Or, if a country Christmas is more your style, let the Restless Heart band’s A Restless Heart Christmas (12/11) put a special country spin on your holidays with fun classics including Tennessee Christmas and Jingle Bell Rock. Celebrate YOUR holidays at the Hylton! Learn more about December performances.

Envision the Future

Hylton Center

Image above: Rendering of Future Hylton Performing Arts Center Education and Rehearsal Wing

The Hylton Performing Arts Center’s Capital and Endowment Campaign allows us to envision a future with endless possibilities. Imagine an ever-more-distinguished roster of world-class performances on the Merchant Hall stage. Envision an Innovation and Creativity Lab engaging the local arts, academic, and business communities in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics) where the focus is creative problem-solving and teambuilding activities. Visualize a state-of-the art rehearsal hall that can accommodate anything from rehearsals of large-scale productions to intimate recitals. The exciting part—it's all part of the future of the Hylton Performing Arts Center!

The Hylton Center, which started as an innovative collaboration between Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and George Mason University has quickly grown into one of Northern Virginia’s crown jewels among performing arts centers. Now, seven exciting years later, the time has come to complete the original vision for the Hylton Performing Arts Center with the addition of a much-anticipated Education and Rehearsal Wing. But we can’t do it alone. Please consider supporting the next exciting phase in the Hylton Center’s development. Learn more about the Hylton Center Capital and Endowment Campaign.

2016 Annual Ornament

There is still time to purchase your 2016 Hylton Center annual ornament while supplies last! Available for purchase at the Hylton Center Ticket Office (Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.) and in the lobby prior to select Hylton Presents performances, this elegant, miniature likeness of Merchant Hall makes a great holiday gift and supports the fundraising efforts of the community organization Performing Arts for Kids (PAK). Proceeds from this ornament directly support PAK's mission to foster and expand arts experiences for thousands of school children throughout Greater Prince William County. For more information call the Hylton Center Ticket Office at 703-993-7759. Learn more about PAK.


Keeping Our Community Warm

Winter Drive logoThe Hylton Center is having a winter accessory drive to benefit SERVE in Manassas. Members of our community (infants, children, and adults) are in need of the following winter items:

  • HATS

Please make sure donated items are clean and in good condition or brand new. Donations will be accepted November 25 through December 23 in the Didlake Grand Foyer of the Hylton Center; open Tues.- Sat., 10 a.m. - 6 p.m and 2 hours before performances.

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