WE THE PEOPLE: Memorial Day Festival Chorus & The U.S. Army Orchestra

For tickets: www.musiccelebrations.com/May27 or (800) 395-2036

On May 27, 2012 join us in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for the 5th Annual Memorial Day Choral Festival, featuring 250 singers and the remarkable U.S. Army Orchestra.  Returning for the second straight year as Artistic Director and Conductor is Craig Jessop.  The director of The U.S. Army Orchestra is MAJ Tod A. Addison.

This year’s concert commemorates the 225th anniversary of the adoption of the United States Constitution.  Each Memorial Day, America remembers the servicemen and women who, throughout the history of our great nation, have fallen in defense of our liberty, our freedom, and – as each one those heroes affirmed in their oath of enlistment – our Constitution.

“We the People” is a choral triptych arranged by long-time US Air Force Singing Sergeants arranger Michael Davis for the 1987 bicentennial celebration of the U.S. Constitution.  Craig Jessop premiered the piece, which is a stunning compilation of “America the Beuatiful,” “The House I Live In,” and “America, The Dream Goes On.”

Other highlights of the afternoon will include Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Three American Folk Songs and Hymns arranged by Mack Wilberg, John Williams’ “Hymn to the Fallen” from Saving Private Ryan, “The Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and much more.

The concert begins at 3:00pm and free tickets are required to enter.  To obtain your free tickets (max. 4), please visit www.musiccelebrations.com/May27 or call Music Celebrations at (800) 395-2036.  Act now, as the 2011 concert sold out quickly!

The Memorial Day Festival Chorus features singers from

Ames Childrens Choir from Ames, Iowa, directed by Gene LeVasseur
Arvada West High School Choir from Arvada, Colorado, directed by Chris Maunu
Common Ground Community Chorus from Boise, Idaho, directed by Randy Coryell
Jubilate Chorale of Southern New England from Brockton, Massachusetts, directed by Maxine Asselin
King of Glory Singers and Friends from Tempe, Arizona, directed by Cyndee Chaffee
Sounds Choir from Idaho Falls, Idaho, directed by Ronda Groberg
Terra Choral Society from Fremont, Ohio, directed by Michael Shirtz

Image Credit: U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

PRESIDENTS DAY Festival Chorus & Eastern Wind Symphony

For tickets: www.musiccelebrations.com/Feb20 or (800) 395-2036

The Presidents Day Choral Festival returns to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Concert Hall on Monday, February 20, 2012, with a 300-voice festival chorus under the direction of world-renowned conductor and composer André Thomas. Dr. Thomas will lead the festival chorus in a performance of Howard Hanson’s Song of Democracy and John Rutter’s Gloria, along with selections of his own compositions. Todd Nichols joins as guest conductor to perform Celebration Overture by Paul Creston and Elegy for a Young American by Ronald LoPresti with the highly acclaimed Eastern Wind Symphony of New Jersey.

The concert begins at 2:00pm and free tickets are required to enter.  To obtain your free tickets (max. 8), please visit www.musiccelebrations.com/May27 or call Music Celebrations at (800) 395-2036.


André Thomas, festival artistic director
Todd Nichols, director
William H. Silvester, conductor emeritus

RUTTER:         “Gloria”
THOMAS:       “I Dream A World”
THOMAS:       “Beautiful City”
THOMAS:       “Do Lord Remember Me”
CRESTON:      “Celebration Overture”
HANSON:       “Song of Democracy”
LOPRESTI:      “Elegy for a Young American”
THOMAS:       “I Hear America Singing”

The Presidents Day Festival Chorus features singers from

Athens Drive High School Vocal Ensemble from Raleigh, NC, directed by Joy Clayton
Dothan High School Choir from Dothan, Alabama, directed by Haley Capan
Freeport High School Select Chorale from Freeport, New York, directed by Monique Retzlaff
Garner Magnet High School Die Meistersingers from Garner, NC, directed by Meredith Clayton
Leesville Road High School Capital Pride from Raleigh, NC, directed by Diane Covington
Robert Hendrickson High School Hawk Chorale from Pflugerville, Texas, directed by Kay Payton

Celebrate the Cherry Blossom Centennial with Music Celebrations

For over 20 years, Music Celebrations International has presented the “National Festival of the States” concert series featuring choirs, orchestras, and bands specially selected by Mayors, Governors and other officials.

In 2012, Music Celebrations is proud to be an Official Partner of the National Cherry Blossom Festival Centennial.  As an Official Partner, Music Celebrations will bring more than 20 ensembles to the Washington, D.C. area on performance tours during the festival dates of March 20 – April 27.

Performances both casual and formal will take place daily throughout the Metro D.C. area in honor of cultural heritage and relationships through music. Please join us in supporting some of our country’s finest musical ensembles.

Performance locations include: the Lincoln, Jefferson and World War II Memorials; Sylvan Theater Stage; the U.S. Navy Memorial; Hylton Performing Arts Center; the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center; the National Museum of the Marine Corps Heritage Center; The Fairfax;  the Rosborough Theater at Asbury Methodist Village; St. Patrick’s Church; St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church; the National Building Museum; The Hermitage; and many more.

To learn more about the individual performances presented by the National Festival of the States in conjunction with the National Cherry Blossom Festival, please click on the links below.  As additional performances are added, the list will be updated.  You can read about all of Music Celebrations’ events in and around Washington, D.C. by clicking on the “Washington D.C.” text to the right of this post, in the “Categories” section.  To sign up to receive updates on D.C.-area performances – almost all are free! – please use our webform found here.

Hylton Performing Arts Center Merchant Hall – Squalicum High Performing Arts
Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center – Samohi Symphony

Triple Header Concert!!! Featuring “The President’s Own” US Marine String Quartet

Free concert, no tickets required

“The President’s Own” United States Marine String Quartet

Squalicum High School Performing Arts Department (WA)
“BORCH”: Band, Orchestra, and Choir

Thurman White Performing Arts Department (NV)
Jazz Ensemble, Symphonic Winds, Concert Choir, and String Orchestra

Bellingham, Washington is about as far from Washington, D.C. as one can travel in the Continental United States.   So it is a rare treat indeed to have the entire music department of Sqaulicum High School present an afternoon of music at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas, Virginia.

The Squalicum “BORCH” (Band, ORchestra, and CHoir, pronounced “Bork”) is led by Chip Bergeron, Andrew Marshall, and Kay Reilly.  Squalicum’s music curriculum boasts four choirs, three bands, one percussion ensemble, three orchestras, two guitar ensembles, and an AP Music Theory Class.  At the Hylton, the directors promise not to give an AP exam from the stage , but you will hear 112 members of the choir, orchestra, and concert band perform a variety of music ranging in style from American folk and patriotic tunes to light classics and jazz.  An exciting grand finale featuring BORCH performing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” will culminate this inspirational afternoon.

Sunday April 1, 2012 at 3:00pm
Free Concert, General Admission
Hylton Performing Arts Center
Merchant Hall (map & directions)

This free community concert presented by the National Festival of the States is in honor and celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Samohi Symphony and “The President’s Own” US Marine String Quartet

Free concert, no tickets required

The Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra, fondly known as the “Samohi Symphony” and directed by Joni Swenson, is one of America’s finest high school orchestras.  Founded in 1903, it is a partner high school of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and was the first public high school ever to perform as part of the LA Phil’s “Sounds About Town” series at the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

As part of their 2012 tour of Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, the Samohi Symphony will present a concert at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on the Alexandria Campus of Northern Virginia Community College:

Thursday April 12, 2012 at 7:30pm
Free Concert, General Admission  

“Jupiter” from The Planets by Gustav Holst
Capriccio Espagnole by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Introduction and Allegro by Edward Elgar, featuring “The President’s Own” US Marine String Quartet
Mozart String Quartet TBA, featuring “The President’s Own” US Marine String Quartet
Symphony No. 1 in c minor, Op. 68 by Johannes Brahms

Santa Monica High School Symphony Orchestra
Joni Swenson, Music Director and Conductor
Jason Aiello, Assistant Conductor

“The President’s Own” United States Marine String Quartet

Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center
Northern VA Community College, Alexandria Campus
On-campus parking is only $6.00 (directions & parking)