March 9, 2014 – Capital Orchestra Festival in Washington, D.C.

Music Celebrations International Presents:

Capital Orchestra Festival-banner

March 9, 2014
1:00 pm
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Concert Hall
2700 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20566

Featuring three outstanding youth orchestras from throughout the United States performing works in succession by Brahms, Bloch, Bernstein, Holst, Mendelssohn, Hanson, Williams, Bartók, and Gould!

Featured Performers:

Vero Beach High School Philharmonic Orchestra
Vero Beach, Florida
Matthew Stott, Conductor

Traverse City Central High School Orchestra
Traverse City, Michigan
Ellen Boyer, Conductor

Mesquite High Symphonic Strings
Gilbert, Arizona
Amber Dudley, Conductor

Featured works include:

Morton Gould | American Salute
Samuel Barber | Adagio for Strings
John Williams | Theme from the J.F.K. Suite
Howard Hanson | Symphony No. 2 “Romantic” Adagio / Allegro Molto
Felix Mendelssohn | Sinfonia No. 5
Béla Bartók | Rumanian Dances
Ernset Bloch | Concerto Grosso No. 1
Felix Mendelssohn | Sinfonia No. 7
Sir Edward Elgar | Sospiri
James Horner | Music from Apollo 13

Free Concert
Tickets Required – Order Tickets

Download Concert Poster

About the Artists…


Vero Beach High School is located in Indian River County, on Florida’s Treasure Coast. The principal of Vero Beach High School is Mr. Shawn O’Keefe, and the superintendent of the School District of Indian River County is Dr. Fran Adams.

The Vero Beach High School Philharmonic Orchestra is composed of auditioned students in grades nine through twelve. The philharmonic orchestra presents more than a dozen performances each school year in Vero Beach and surrounding communities. In addition, all members of the philharmonic orchestra perform in the Vero Beach High School Symphony Orchestra, which combines with outstanding wind, brass and percussion players from the Vero Beach High School Band program. In 2011, the symphony orchestra received first place, full orchestra, at the National Orchestra Festival, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Vero Beach High School orchestra program also consists of the concert orchestra, freshmen orchestra, and the sinfonia. VBHS orchestras have been consistently rated ‘superior’ by the Florida Orchestra Association at both the district and state level. Students in the orchestras also perform in chamber ensembles and as soloists, presenting hundreds of separate performances each year.

The performing arts department at Vero Beach High School also consists of the band program, directed by James Sammons and Page Howell, the chorus program, directed by Gregory Harris, and the drama department, directed by Dee Rose.

Under the leadership of Commander Tom Fritz, orchestra was added to the curriculum of Indian River County Public Schools in 1999, with a single class at Oslo Middle School. An orchestra class was added to the curriculum at Vero Beach High School in 2001. There are now over four hundred students at four secondary schools.

Matt Stott is an orchestra director for the School District of Indian River County, where he teaches at Vero Beach High School and Gifford Middle School. Matt previously taught at Oslo Middle School, where he was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2007. He also instructed several elementary violin classes. Dozens of young musicians from these programs have been named to the All-State orchestra, and many continue their orchestral studies at the collegiate and conservatory level.

A native of Yorkville, Illinois, Matt learned the violin from Patti Austin and Susan Starrett. He then attended Baylor University, where he earned his Bachelors of Music Education. He studied violin with Dr. Bruce Berg and conducting with Stephen Heyde and Michael Haithcock. In 2010, Matt was named Alumni Music Educator of the Year. As a violinist at Baylor, he performed in the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Baylor Chamber Orchestra, and the Waco Symphony Orchestra. While at Baylor, he also taught violin lessons through the Central Texas String Academy. In 2011, Matt received the Laurel Award for Cultural Leadership by the Cultural Council of Indian River County. In the summer of 2012, Matt was a fellow at the Juilliard School where he studied conducting. Matt is a member of the American String Teacher’s Association, the Florida Orchestra Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association.

An avid athlete, Matt also spent eight years as an assistant basketball coach for Vero Beach High School. Matt and his wife, Katie, are proud parents of a four-year old daughter, Hannah, and a one-year old son, Luke.


Located at the southern end of West Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is the hub of a variety of educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. The Traverse City area is known for its spectacular natural beauty, the deep waters of Lake Michigan, and the rolling, wooded terrain interrupted by acres of orchards. Central High School is located at the base of the Old Mission Peninsula and has approximately 1200 students in grades 9-12. The school offers orchestra, band, and choir; each ensemble meets daily during the school day. The full orchestra you see today is a combination of five different classes. The groups meets on Monday nights throughout the year to make this group a possibility.

The Traverse City Central Orchestra regularly participates in the MSBOA (Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association) Festivals where they consistently receive superior ratings. They have done children’s programs in the community, performed at a memorial service for JFK, commissioned new compositions, accompanied silent movies and played at area churches and nursing homes.

Ellen Boyer grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and recieved her Bachelor of Music Education from Northern Michigan University. Her master’s degree is in Violin Performance from Southern Illinois University, where she studied with John Kendall; an educator whose influence continues today. Mrs. Boyer has taught at the St. Louis Conservatory and School for the Arts and in the Preparatory Division of the University of Southern California. Mrs. Boyer currently teaches at Traverse City Central High School and East Middle School, both located in Traverse City, Michigan. Her groups have played at numerous Michigan Music Conferences, at the 2010 ASTA Conference in San Francisco, and participated in trips to Europe and the Czech Republic. Currently she serves on an educator panel for the Yamaha Corporation. She and her husband Joe have 2 wonderful daughters, a great son-in-law, one soon to be son-in-law, and new to the scene, a grand daughter that is the delight of their lives.


The Mesquite Symphonic Strings from Gilbert, Arizona are one of four string orchestras in the Mesquite High School Orchestra program, which also consists of a harp ensemble and full symphony orchestra. The Symphonic Strings have participated in festivals receiving superior ratings since their inception in 1998, and many students in the group are members of the AMEA all-region and all-state orchestras. They have been selected twice to perform as honored guests at the Arizona Music Educators Association State Convention both in 2009 and 2012, and have been under the direction of Amber Dudley since 1999. Students in this group have performed in state and national festivals and competitions which include performances in California, Florida, Boston MA, New York City in Carnegie Hall, and are elated to now perform in the Capital Music Festival in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center.

Amber Dudley has been the Director of Orchestras at Mesquite High School since 1999. Groups under her direction include four string orchestras, a harp ensemble, and a full symphony orchestra. Mrs. Dudley holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance, and a Master of Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Dudley has also completed the Suzuki training program on both viola and violin. She has performed in the Flagstaff, Chandler, and Mesa Symphony Orchestras, and currently performs on viola with the Ash String Quartet.

Mrs. Dudley enjoys serving as a guest conductor and clinician for various youth and honor orchestras in Arizona. In addition to classroom teaching, she has been a faculty member of the NAU Summer Music Camp, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Music Academy, and the Scottsdale Summer Music Camp, serving as both a teacher and conductor. She has taught Suzuki group classes through the Valley of the Sun Suzuki Association, and serves on the advisory board for the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. She has been a faculty member with the University of Phoenix since 2009, and enjoys teaching in their college of Education and college of Humanities to bring awareness on the importance of arts education. She is a member of the American String Teacher’s Association, American Music Educator’s Association, Suzuki Association of America, and the National Education Association. Mrs. Dudley resides in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and three daughters.


Traverse Central (1)

vbhs philharmonic


June 29-July 1, 2013 – Metropolitan Detroit Chorale performs in Washington, D.C.

Metropolitan Detroit Chorale
Pasquale A. Pascaretti, director
Detroit, Michigan

Saturday, June 29, 2013
Ingleside at Rock Creek – Gallery Auditorium
3050 Military Road, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 2015 (map)

Sunday, June 30, 2013
National Basilica and Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton
339 S. Seton Ave.
Emmitsburg, MD 20727 (map)


McGregor, Ungar, arr. Stephens | Ashokan Farewell
Graham, Joseph, arr. Emerson | O’ America
Leavitt, Dvorak | Steal Away
Arr. Gilpin | A Civil War Medley
Murphy, Wildhorn, arr. Emerson | The Glory
Rutter | Distant Land
Rutter | Feel the Spirit
Howe, Steffe, arr. Wilhousky | Battle Hymn of the Republic


About the Artists…

Metropolitan Detroit Chorale
For over 40 years, the Metropolitan Detroit Chorale (MDC) has contributed to the musical enrichment of its area citizens. Under the direction of Howard C. Richards, the group was established in 1970 as the Fraser Civic Chorus and was comprised of Fraser residents. It was then, and continues to be, dedicated to providing beautiful vocal music for the community. In 1989, the group was incorporated as a non-profit organization and became Fraser Chorale, Inc. Finally, in 1995, the group became Metropolitan Detroit Chorale, Inc.

Under the direction of Pasquale Pascaretti, the Chorale has performed such master works as Vivaldi’s “Gloria”, Bach’s “Magnificat”, Mendelssohn’s “Elijah”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, and Rutter’s “Requiem”, “Gloria” and “Mass of the Children”. Its members have traveled on three occasions to New York to sing in Carnegie Hall under the direction of John Rutter, most recently to perform Handel’s “Messiah” (November 2007). In May 2006, the Chorale presented the Michigan premiere of “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” by Karl Jenkins. This was followed by the Midwest premiere of Mr. Jenkins’ “Requiem” which the Chorale presented in June 2007 and his “Stabat Mater” presented in May 2009.

In addition to presenting its seasonal concerts and the contemporary cabaret performances, the Chorale makes a commitment to serve the community from which it draws its support.

Following its mission of Bringing Music To Life and Lives To Music, MDC aspires to entertain and enrich the community, develop a broad audience, and encourage area citizens to appreciate fine vocal performance.

Pasquale A. Pascaretti, director
Pasquale A. Pascaretti has both Bachelor of Science in Education and Master of Music degree from Wayne State University. He has been Director of the MDC since 1975. He is the Vocal Music Teacher at Fraser High School as well as Vocal Music Department Chair for Fraser Public Schools.

He has been Choir Master and Cantor at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church, and prior to that, at St. Edmund’s Catholic Church. He was instructor of Keyboard Harmony for Macomb Community College in 1991.

He has done summer studies with Robert Shaw, Westminster Choir College and with Margaret Hillis, Berkshire Chorale Institute.

Fraser High School Teacher of the Year – sponsored by Michigan Education Assoc, Post & Newsweek — 1994

Nationally Registered Music Educator – Music Educators National Conference (MENC) — 1993-1997

Fraser High School Show Choir – 1st Place – Orlando Festival of Music National Competition – 1996 and often 1st Place annually at many other locations through 2007.

Fraser High School Chamber Choir – 2nd Place – Orlando Festival of Music National Competition — 1996

Honored with membership in the Heritage Music Festivals Hall of Fame for the consistently high quality performances by Fraser Singers in festival competitions throughout the United States


June 21-23, 2013 – City Singers Children’s Choirs perform in Washington, D.C. and Gettysburg

City Singers Children’s Choirs
Leslie Moruza Dripps, director
Mara Smith, accompanist

Friday, June 21, 2013
African American Civil War Museum
1925 Vermont Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20001 (map)

Saturday, June 22, 2013
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
901 G Street Northwest
Washington, D.C. 20001 (map)

Sunday, June 23, 2013
National Gettysburg Battlefield Museum and Visitor Center
1195 Baltimore Pike
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325 (map)


Howe, Steffe, arr. Wilhousk | Battle Hymn of the Republic
Dillworth | Mornin’ Glory
Foster | Beautiful Dreamer.
Finch, Purifoy  | The Blue and The Gray
Stroope, Johnson  | Legacy
Root | Battle Cry of Freedom
Chatman | In Flanders Field
African American Spiritual | Sheep, Sheep, Don’t You Know the Road
Arr. Althouse | My God is a Rock
Arr. Thomas | Keep Your Lamps
Arr. Berteaux | Wondrous Love
Arr. Spevacek | Deep River
Arr. Gilpin | Plenty Good Room
Arr. Harlan | Mansions of the Lord


About the Artists…

City Singers Children’s Choirs
Based in Richmond, Virginia, City Singers Children’s Choirs perform the highest caliber of distinguished youth choral music from the body of classical, traditional, and modern compositions from around the world. Our mission is to inspire the highest level of artistic choral performance while bringing together youth of the greater Richmond area in a joyful appreciation of their ethnic, religious, and cultural diversity. We are committed to making our choral education experience available to qualified singers regardless of their economic situations.  City Singers Children’s Choirs believes in the power of song to give a voice to every child, build bridges in our communities and inspire music and life skills mastery.

Leslie Moruza Dripps, director
Leslie Moruza Dripps has been teaching with City Singers Children’s Choirs since 2007 and assumed the roles of artistic director in 2009 and executive director in 2011. She received her bachelor’s degree in music education from James Madison University and Orff I certification at VCU and has taught choral and vocal music at the elementary, middle and high school levels, from public school to church settings. Leslie currently teaches private voice and pre-school music lessons and frequently directs all-area choral ensembles in Virginia. She also is a published composer and performer with commercial and film credits with her band “Moruza.”

Mara Smith, accompanist
Mara Smith  is  the CSCC tour accompanist and director of Neighborhood Singers Training Choir for 2012-2013, after serving as Assistant Director last season.  Ms. Smith holds a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a Bachelor of Arts in French both from the College of William and Mary.  She is currently pursuing an additional Bachelor of Music Education at Virginia Commonwealth University, specializing in PreK – grade 12 vocal music.  Mara also teaches private piano and voice students at Key Signatures in Richmond, Virginia.  Ms. Smith began working with City Singers Children’s Choirs in 2010.


May 22, 2013 – “Songs, Dances, and Marches” – Emporia State University Choir and Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra in Manassas, Virginia



Emporia State University Choir
Carol Kruger, Conductor

Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra
Sara Edgerton, Conductor

Songs, Dances, and Marches

Wednesday, May 22, 2013
7:00 PM
Hylton Performing Arts Center
10960 George Mason Circle
Manassas, VA 20110 (map)



Emporia State University Choir:

McCullough | Holocaust Cantata (movements)
Billing | Make Every Breath
arr. Wilberg | Saints Bound For Heaven
J. S. Bach, arr. Sandberg | Bach (Again), Come Sweet Death
Traditional Spiritual, arr. Brown | The Battle of Jericho
Traditional Melody, arr. Hatfield | Amazing Grace
Stuart Stotts, arr. Moore | Music In My Mother’s House
Clausen | Quicksand Years
Hebrew Folk Song, arr. Ginsberg | Hine Ma Tov
Dan Davison | Ritmo

Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra:

Mozart | Impresario Overture
Khachaturian | Masquerade Suite
Delius | On Hearing of the First Cuckoo of Spring
Delius | Summer Evening
Delius | Marche Caprice
Sousa | The Stars and Stripes Forever (full orchestra version)

Vaughan Williams | Five Mystical Songs, featuring combined symphony orchestra and choir


About the Artists…

The Emporia State University Choir and the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra will present a free concert of “Songs, Dances and Marches” at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 22, at the Hylton Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature baritone soloist Dr. Timothy Schmidt performing Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Five Mystical Dances” along with other choral and orchestral works including selections from Donald McCullough’s “Holocaust Cantata” and Aram Khachaturian’s “Masquerade Suite”.

Emporia State University Choir

The Emporia State University Choir, of Emporia, Kansas, is the school’s premiere choral ensemble. While the singers pursue a wide variety of majors, they all share the same love for music. The group has been recognized for its innovative and versatile programming and the singers pride themselves on singing challenging and diverse choral repertoire. In May 2010, the choir toured England and performed at many notable venues including St. Paul Cathedral and St. James Piccadilly Church in London. In recent years they have also toured Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.

The choir is led by Director of Choral Activities, Carol Krueger. At Emporia State University, Kreuger  conducts the A Cappella Choir, Community Choir, Chamber Singers, and Emporia Camerata. She is an active clinician, adjudicator and guest conductor across the country and is widely recognized for her work on music literacy. She is the author of the book “Progressive Sight Singing” published by Oxford University Press. Kreuger received her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami.

Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra

The Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra, in residence at Southeast Missouri State University, is in the twelfth year of its highly successful subscription series. The orchestra has collaborated with nationally and internationally acclaimed guest artists, such as Grammy Award winning violinist Mark O’Connor, trumpet virtuoso Allen Vizzutti, and concertmaster of the St. Louis Symphony, David Halen. In 2009, the group toured China, performing at the Central Conservatory in Beijing, Shanghai Normal University, and the prestigious Zhejiang University in Hangzhou.

The group is led by Artistic Director Dr. Sara Edgerton, professor of cello and string bass at Southeast Missouri State University. Under her direction, the orchestra has commissioned and presented a number of world premieres, including most recently “River” by Robert Fruehwald and “Two Brothers” by Jim Stephenson. Edgerton maintains an active performing career as a cellist and has collaborated with such composers as Aaron Copland, Karel Husa, Claude Baker and Morton Subotnick in performances of their works. She received her undergraduate degree in cello performance from the Eastman School of Music and her Master of Arts and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from Cornell University.