American Festival Pops Orchestra

Press Releases


Released Aug. 9, 2010


Saturday, Oct. 9, 2010 at 8 p.m.

FAIRFAX, Va., Aug. 9, 2010 – Last season, this remarkable new orchestra made its debut at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, where it was received with unbridled enthusiasm and an immediate standing ovation. On Saturday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m., American Festival Pops Orchestra (AFPO) returns to the Center for the Arts, to perform a delightful program called “Salutes!” featuring well-known pieces by such composers as John Williams, George Gershwin, Duke Ellington and Marvin Hamlisch. The AFPO salutes Broadway, film, television and the extraordinary composers who create for these media. This performance is family friendly and tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

“The American Festival Pops Orchestra celebrates our country’s rich and diverse cultural heritage through the popular tunes we all know and love,” said Anthony Maiello, the orchestra’s artistic director and conductor. “From Broadway to Hollywood, from homespun to chorus line, this is America’s music played by some of Washington’s most talented artists.”

Known for its lively programming and repertoire, the AFPO treats audiences to a festive pops experience that pays homage to the treasured music genre that is American pop culture. The orchestra presents beloved Broadway hits, legendary film and television scores and light classics, and strikes a nostalgic chord with fans both young and old. Maiello, who is also the AFPO’s founder, brought together this fantastic ensemble of 60 talented musicians from across the Washington, D.C. area, including George Mason University faculty, musicians from across the United States military ensembles and regional orchestras. The AFPO is also proud to include a select group of talented young artists from George Mason University’s School of Music.

Presently director of instrumental studies and a professor of music at George Mason University, Maiello teaches graduate and undergraduate conducting, jazz theory and arranging and advanced sight-singing. From 1996 to 2009, he conducted the George Mason University Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra. Maiello makes professional appearances both nationally and abroad conducting music festivals; adjudicating ensembles; and presenting clinics, lectures and workshops. He conducted musical activities for the Gold Medal Ceremonies at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y.; served as musical director for Music Festivals International; was selected as President of International Association of Jazz Educators – N.Y. State Chapter; and is a guest clinician for Yamaha Corporation and Warner Bros. Publications. Maiello has served as associate conductor of the McLean Orchestra, McLean, Va.; has been appointed an honorary conductor of the United States Navy Band, Washington, D.C.; and was a participant in the National Conducting Institute with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C., to which he lends his services as a cover conductor.

Tickets for AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA are $46, $38, $23. Family Friendly! Youth through grade 12, half price when accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K. Visit