Vol. 64: November 2018 Newsletter
Making Spirits Bright
I've been writing these Director's Corner notes for a few years now (you can review the last dozen or so on our website under Archived Newsletters), sharing thoughts about the Hylton Center, about the arts and community, about the Green Bay Packers, or even more random subjects. I hear from you, gentle readers, from time to time, so I feel we've established a bit of a bond through this channel. And we share a love for the arts, and for this beautiful place we call our artistic home.
So today I am going to take a risk and turn a little more serious for a moment. As Americans, we’ve just gone through a very rough week together, as we lament the campaign of targeted explosives sent through the mail, and mourn the victims of lethal hate in Kentucky and Pittsburgh. I know I have been profoundly affected by these things, and find myself pausing to reflect — or just pausing, not knowing what else to do — many times a day. Maybe you have too.
But then I come into the Hylton Center on a beautiful day, past the ever-growing Education and Rehearsal Wing, and engage with a fantastic and eager group of Life Long Learners around the subject of Shakespeare and the magical world of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I walk through the Scene Shop backstage and see the huge, beautiful, trailer-size cut-out of a guitar with “Veterans and the Arts Initiative” emblazoned on it, destined for the Northern Virginia Veterans Day Parade, symbolizing the amazing impact that this program is having on our community through performances, exhibitions, workshops, and our signature event, the fourth annual “Celebrating Veterans and the Arts at the Hylton Center” on Nov. 10. I look ahead to “Jazz 4 Justice™ Live 2018!" on Nov. 16th, which combines great music and a great cause, providing legal aid to those who can’t afford it, and supporting scholarships for our jazz students — always one of the most upbeat (and meaningful) nights of the year. Pretty soon the glorious sounds of holiday music take the stage. And it’s almost Nutcracker season!So if you’re like me, caught unawares sometimes by the weight of the world, please remember that we’re here, making spirits bright, playing and dancing and acting as if our lives depended on it. I’ve written in this space before, a million times it seems, that the arts create community. We need each other, need to be close together in common contemplation of beautiful things, need to be a true community now more than ever. Come on over and be a part of it.
Rick Davis — Dean and Executive Director
As the temperature drops outside, we’re turning up the heat in the month of November with performances ranging from lovable canines and opera to comedic Shakespeare, vocal music, and jazz. Prepare to be bow-wowed with the next Hylton Family Series performance, Mutts Gone Nuts (11/11). From Frisbee tricks to dance routines, this talented troupe of rescue dogs delivers thrills and laughs for the entire family. Afterward, take a picture onstage with one of the adorable (canine) cast members to support the Prince William Humane Society. Matinee Idylls continues with A Taste of Opera (11/13), featuring repertoire from Virginia Opera’s 2018/19 season performed by the company’s talented young professionals of the Herndon Foundation Emerging Artists Program.
For theater-lovers, Aquila Theatre returns to the Merchant Hall with Shakespeare’s beloved tale, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (11/17), a Hylton Presents performance and one of The Bard’s most popular comedies. Then, check out the next American Roots Series performance by The White House Band (11/30). Led by national trumpet sensation, Dave Detwiler, and featuring Darden Purcell and Glenn Scimonelli, this smokin’ band will rock the house with a set list of everything from jazz and rock to pop and swing. Learn More.
Let the Hylton Center make your holidays festive with Hylton Presents performances by the American Festival of Pops Orchestra, Vienna Boys Choir: Christmas in Vienna, and the Canadian Brass: Canadian Brass Christmas. Now is the perfect time to purchase your tickets to season favorites like the American Festival Pops Orchestra (12/7) as it celebrates “Songs of the Season” with uplifting classics including “Sleigh Ride,” an audience sing-along, and a few other fun surprises. The Hylton Center also welcomes back “the world’s reigning male chorus” (The New Yorker), the Vienna Boys Choir in Christmas in Vienna (12/9), an exquisite program of classical masterpieces and contemporary favorites from Gregorian chant and Romantic art songs to spirituals and jazz. The ever-popular Canadian Brass returns to Merchant Hall with Canadian Brass Christmas(12/16), an afternoon of sparkling brass standards, top holiday picks, and clever banter. Looking for a unique holiday gift for colleagues, friends, and family? Treat the special people in your life to a Hylton Presents performance, or a Hylton Center gift certificate. Learn More.
Join us on Saturday, November 10 from 4 – 7 p.m. for a free, interactive afternoon of celebration and arts experiences for Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, military caregivers, and the community. Participate in music and visual art workshops; take in Veteran artwork; a World War I documentary preview; and songs written and performed by military children. Also be sure to bring your appetite and enjoy food trucks throughout the day. These activities will be followed by a family-friendly, ticketed 8 p.m. performance by country music artist William Michael Morgan, with an opening performance by artists from the Center for American Military Music Opportunities (C*A*M*M*O). This performance is free to Veterans, Service members, their families, and military caregivers and $20 for the general public. Learn More.
Did you know that the Hylton Center has a Mason Arts at the Hylton Center series that showcases the extraordinary talents of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts students? November 16 is your next chance to witness these gifted young performers with Mason’s Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jim Carroll, in Jazz4Justice™ Live 2018! Don’t miss this opportunity to be part of a live concert recording, featuring special guest saxophonist Charlie Young. George Mason University’s School of Music is proud to partner with the Prince William County Bar for this concert to raise funds to support vital legal services, as well as Mason Jazz Studies. Learn More.
Donate new or gently used winter hats, gloves, and scarves to benefit SERVE, a local family shelter in Prince William County. From 11/23 to 12/23, the Hylton Center is accepting items for infants, children, and adults at a table next to the Ticket Office window. SERVE is Northern Virginia’s largest family homeless shelter and is a branch of Northern Virginia Family Services (NVFS). The organization offers a holistic approach to wellness, including food assistance, youth services, health access, and housing location services.The SERVE campus boasts a variety of distinct programs, including a Family Shelter with almost 100 beds; an 8,000-square-foot Hunger Resource Center (HRC); youth services programs: Healthy Families and Early Head Start; and health care access connections that help all ages to obtain free or low-cost prescription medication or medical/dental care. “The Hylton Center is grateful for the opportunity to support SERVE’s efforts to meet the needs of the local community,” shares Marit Majeske, Front of House & Community Inclusion Manager. Please consider donating winter accessories to our Holiday Drive. Starting November 23, donations can be dropped off during regular business hours, Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., or during scheduled performances.
Join us in supporting the Hylton Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative. For one Veteran, it’s poetry that articulates service, conflict, and reflection. For another, it’s the holistic process of creating visual art from old uniforms. And for others, music – learning to play the guitar, in particular – that provides a vehicle through which to express feelings and connect with the community. At the Hylton Center, the Veterans and the Arts Initiative is grateful for the opportunity to provide community arts programs for Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and military caregivers where they can share experiences and come together as a community. Throughout history, communities have used art to reflect, celebrate, educate, and reaffirm shared values. #GivingTuesday on November 27 is your opportunity to support this important Hylton Center Initiative. Make a contribution today!
For more information about the Hylton Center’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative, visit HyltonCenter.org/veterans.
Purchase a Hylton Center 2018 commemorative ornament ($20) from Performing Arts for Kids (PAK) and help support PAK’s mission to foster and expand arts experiences for thousands of school children throughout Prince William County. The 2018 ornament, as well as ornaments from previous years are available for purchase from PAK in the Didlake Grand Foyer one and a half hours prior to Hylton Presents performances through December. Ornaments can also be purchased at the Hylton Center Ticket Office during regular business hours (Tues.-Sat., 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) During this festive season, don’t miss your chance to make Hylton holiday memories, while bringing the arts into the lives of local schoolchildren. Learn More