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Hylton Performing Arts Center

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Vol. 67: March 2019 Newsletter

Rick Davis, CVPA Dean at Mason UniversityDirector's Corner

"This is awesome!"

Although a performing arts center really comes alive at night, some of my favorite moments at the Hylton Center happen by chance in the morning, as I stand in the Didlake Grand Foyer (the formal name of our beautiful lobby space) waiting for a meeting to start, a tour group to arrive, or just hanging out enjoying the sunshine. You see, morning at the Hylton Center often includes the happy sight of yellow school buses bringing kids to see a show. When I see that, I make it a habit to watch and listen to the students as they enter the building, most of them probably attending a professional concert or ballet or theatrical performance for the first time.

A couple of weeks ago it was a bus from Dale City Elementary that happened to be pulling up, and as its well-behaved line of (I think) third-graders came through the purple doors, I saw (as I so often do) their faces light up as they looked around. I sensed their excitement, their wonder, and their pride. And I heard one boy spontaneously burst out with that ultimate phrase of youthful approval: “this is awesome!”

And you know, it is. You’ve heard me repeatedly say that “the arts create community.” How awesome is it to consider that the community we’re creating is extending its beneficent embrace to the youngest students from all over this region? How wonderful to think that the foundations of a sense of place, a sense of civic pride, a sense of the joys of sharing an artistic experience with a group of your peers, are being built from the ground up. Of course we hope they become lifelong audience members, but even better is the idea that they may become more engaged members of their communities, happier in their work and their lives, stronger citizens of their localities and the larger world.

Plenty of empirical research supports this idea, but I need the occasional direct proof. And I found it in the eyes and face and voice of a kid from Dale City. Awesome.


Rick Davis — Dean and Executive Director

Save with a Spring Sampler

Gala celebrationOrder tickets for three or more events in the spring season of Hylton Presents and enjoy a host of benefits, including savings of up to 25%! Spring performances include The Julian Bliss Septet, Goitse, Russian National Ballet’s Swan Lake, and more. Subscriber benefits include:

  • Prime seats
  • Free ticket exchanges
  • Savings of up to 25%
  • Additional discounts throughout the season
  • Exclusive helpline for personal assistance

Order today! A full list of spring performances in a variety of genres from dance and theater to classical music and opera can be found at HyltonCenter.org or call 703-993-7759.

"The March Wind Sweeps and Sings..."

Gala celebrationWhile the March wind sweeps and sings its own sweet tune outside, offerings of world class music, dance, song, and theater beckon inside with an impressive line-up of performances this month. Hylton Presents series begins with virtuoso clarinetist Julian Bliss and his swingin’ jazz band, The Julian Bliss Septet (3/1). Take a “blissful” stroll down Tin Pan Alley as Bliss and company explore the nostalgic and treasured sounds of Gershwin and his contemporaries’ greatest hits. Next, just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, global sensation and award-winning Irish ensemble Goitse (3/16) performs Celtic music standards with expressive original compositions that are sure to inspire some enthusiastic foot-stomping and hand-clapping. The month of March concludes with the beloved children’s classic, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show (3/30). Part of our popular Hylton Center Family Series, this adaptation captures all of the charm of Eric Carle’s original tales while conveying simple, but powerful messages about value and creativity. Learn more.
(“Long Ago,” in Chambers’s Journal of Popular Literature, Science, and Art)

We're Raising the Roof with "Raising Voices"

PAK 2019 ornamentEach year, the Mason Arts at the Hylton Center series showcases the impressive talent of George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts students. Don’t miss these rising opera stars in the following rousing performances! Mason’s School of Dance presents its annual Mason Dance Company Gala (3/31), featuring stunning works by contemporary professional choreographers, including guest choreographers Nacho Duato, Andonis Foniadakis, and Lucinda Childs. In early April, Mason’s School of Music introduces an exciting new collaboration: Raising Voices: Showcasing Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists and Mason Opera (4/7). Join us for a thrilling program of opera, operetta, musical theater arias, ensembles, and scenes that showcase the breathtaking scope and talent of these young artists. This performance marks the beginning of an innovative partnership between The Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program and Mason’s Opera and Vocal Studies program, both dedicated to the growth of young vocalists in America. Learn more.

Spring Opportunities for Veterans

Spring workshops for Veterans are filling up fast, so be sure to register now to ensure a spot in these upcoming Veterans and the Arts Initiative offerings designed for the Veteran community. While the Hylton’s popular ten-week Dominion Energy Veterans Guitar Workshop Series just reached capacity (be on the lookout for fall 2019 classes!), registration is still open for our Papermaking Workshop (3/2, 3/9, 3/16, 3/23); and Exploring Identity with Women Veterans: Smart Phone Photography Workshop (3/17, 3/24, 3/31, and 4/7). All workshops and events are FREE to Veterans, Servicemembers, their families, and military caregivers.  Learn more about what local Veterans are saying about the Hylton’s Veterans and the Arts Initiative programs.  Register now.

Who Throws the Best Party in Town?

We do! Just as the 9th Anniversary Gala winds down, the After Party begins!  Don your festive party attire and join us at the Hylton Center on March 22 from 8:30 – 11:30 p.m. for an unforgettable evening! Guests will party for a cause as they eat and dance the night away while supporting the arts! Enjoy craft cocktails by MurLarkey distillery, late night snacks and sweet desserts, a Jazz lounge, and dancing with one of D.C.'s premier bands. Don’t miss the party of the year. Tickets are $75 per person and sell quickly so purchase your tickets now. All proceeds raised from the Gala and the After Party benefit the Hylton Center's many artistic performances and programs. Learn more.

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