Vol. 49: May 2017 Newsletter
Let me just take a second to brag a bit on all of our behalfs. If you were in the audience on April 23rd for the Hylton Center EXTRA! performance by Richard Thompson, O.B.E., you’ll know why the Queen of England made him an Officer of the Order of the British Empire a few years back for his service to music. Mr. Thompson offered us ninety non-stop minutes of the most sublime guitar artistry I have ever heard—and took full advantage of the Hylton Center’s extraordinary acoustics and excellent sound system to raise his playing to a level that even devoted fans remarked on.
I talked to many patrons who had seen him multiple times in other venues and they universally said this was his best performance. That’s one of the glories of our Center—it draws the best out of artists and audiences—a feeling shared by so many of our visiting professionals and our resident companies alike. And I’m particularly pleased that Thompson’s appearance further underscores the value of our Hylton Center EXTRA! program, which allows us to add amazing artists to the calendar after our wonderful (but planned well in advance) Hylton Presents series goes to press. For this concert (as with Art Garfunkel) we drew audience members from several states; my last conversation in the after-show glow was with a young couple from Harper’s Ferry, WVA, who fell in love with the Hylton Center and promised they’d be back soon. Extra, special.
An engaging Gala
Speaking of falling in love with (or at?) the Hylton Center... we love that our seventh annual Gala was a resounding success, raising much needed funding for our artistic programming and the Veterans and the Arts Initiative. But the Gala was perhaps even more special, more successful, more, well, engaging for Ryan Hendricks and Nicole Chapman. You see, at the end of the dinner program we noticed a bit of commotion at one of the tables. Someone’s birthday perhaps? But no—Mr. Hendricks (the distiller with KO Distilling, sponsor of our lively AfterParty) was proposing to Ms. Chapman, with all the trimmings. No doubt under the spell of the Hylton Center’s magic, she said yes, and here’s the (forgive the distillery pun) Proof.
A bi-coastal celebration of Veterans’ poetryAs you know, we are in the third year of our Veterans and the Arts Initiative, and we are poised to take another major step next month. Along with the highly-regarded Heroes’ Voices program based in San Francisco, we are sponsoring a national poetry contest for veterans. The winning poems will be read in both San Francisco and at the Hylton Center, along with other works of veteran-themed literature and musical selections. Our part of this bi-coastal program is offered on Wednesday, June 7th at 7:30 pm in the Gregory Family Theater. Mark your calendars now; more information will be forthcoming as soon as the winners are confirmed. We’re excited—and proud—and grateful to be part of launching this beautiful program.
– Executive Director and Dean
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. Choose your performances and your seats today at HyltonCenter.org. Explore the new season. Subscribe now.
As our 2016/17 Hylton Presents and Hylton Family Series seasons come to a brief close for the summer months, there is still much to see and hear in the merry month of May at the Hylton Center. Whether you choose to sail the shining waters of the H.M.S. Pinafore with the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players (5/5); celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Mariachi Los Camperos (5/6), or journey back to prehistoric times as dinosaurs invade the Hylton Center in Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live (5/14), you will not find yourself at a loss for lively, world-class entertainment! As the weather heats up outdoors, join us indoors for even hotter performances at terrific prices! Learn More.
The Hylton Center's 2017 Summer Performances for Young Audiences is ready to help you kick off your carefree summer days with three delightful, family-friendly performances designed for kids of all ages! With lively entertainment from Caryn Lin's The Science of Sound (6/27) and Latin Ballet of Virginia's Alma Latina (7/12) to Cello Fury (8/2), there is something for everyone this summer at the Hylton Center. The series opens on June 27 with Caryn Lin's The Science of Sound, an exciting performance that uses technology to transform sound into a multisensory experience. Caryn Lin uses her five-string electric violin, loop recorder, oscilloscope (a device that displays electronic signals and waveforms), and other special effect tools to create amazing soundscapes. Come hear and "see" what sound is all about! Learn More.
As part of the Hylton Center's Veterans and the Arts Workshop Series, there is one guitar workshop left this spring where you and a friend can experiment with playing the guitar (for free!) in a fun, casual setting under the professional instruction of guitar teacher, Glen McCarthy of Potomac Arts Academy. Join us on May 24th (7 p.m. and 8 p.m.) in the Gregory Family Theater to learn both beginner and advanced techniques. Musicians of all skill levels are welcome. Bring your guitar or try one of ours! This workshop is open to the public, but an RSVP is requested. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn More.
Did you know that past participants who have successfully completed the Hylton Center Technical Theater "Boot Camp" not only earned a certificate of Technical Theater Training, but also qualified for consideration for future select crew assignments at the Hylton Performing Arts Center? This year, Technical Theater Boot Camp returns with a one-week training program, led by our own in-house production staff of experts and guest instructors that offers hands-on training in the essential skills of technical production, stage lighting, carpentry, rigging, and sound equipment operation. 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. Learn More. Register.
As referenced above in the Director’s Corner, the Hylton Center hosted its 7th Anniversary Gala on April 1st where over 370 guests enjoyed an elegant dinner on the Merchant Hall stage while being serenaded by a small ensemble from the Youth Orchestras of Prince William. This year's Gala program honored Mary and Hans Postma for their dedicated support of the arts, as well as featured a lively live auction for two vacation packages with an auctioneer leading guests to "Raise Your Paddle" to raise funds for the Hylton's Veterans and the Arts Initiative, which raised over $22,000. After the auction, guests joined an After Party, sponsored by KO Distilling, which included craft cocktails, sweet and savory bites, music and dancing with local band Keynote, a live DJ, a photo station, a Giving Wall, and prizes.
The Gala raised more than $165,000, which will support the performances and programs at the Hylton Center, including our educational programs and Veterans and the Arts Initiative. A portion of the proceeds will also support the Hylton Center's Endowment, ensuring artistic excellence now and in the years to come. Learn more about how YOU can support the Hylton Center. View all levels of membership.
Rick Davis, Dean, College of Visual and Performing Arts and Executive Director
Hylton Performing Arts Center and Mary Postma, honoree. Melisa Pasero Photography