American Festival Pops Orchestra

Press Releases


Released October 17, 2011

Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra (AFPO) returns to the Merchant Hall stage at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas this fall with a delightful program that pays homage to our nation’s veterans. Under the baton of founder and Artistic Director Anthony Maiello, this talented 60-member orchestra performs a “Salute to Our Veterans” on Saturday, Nov. 19, 2011 at 8 p.m. This performance is family friendly and tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion will be held one hour prior to the performance in the Hylton Center’s Buchanan Partners Art Gallery. Novant Health is the Grand Opening Season Sponsor of Hylton Presents at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

In honor of Veterans Day, this program includes an evening of patriotic music honoring those who have served our nation in every generation. This evening of inspiring music celebrates the immense talent of such great American composers as George M. Cohan, John Williams, Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, John Philip Sousa and many others. The program will include such favorites as the NBC documentary film score “Victory at Sea,” American staples such as “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Yankee Doodle Dandy” and anthems for each branch of the armed forces.

The orchestra will be joined by Angela Knight, a classically trained lyric coloratura soprano who has frequently performed with the Washington National Opera, and Scott Shelsta, former solo trombone with the United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and Brass Quintet. Also joining the AFPO will be decorated military veteran Major General James A. Marks, who will guest narrate the poignant “Ashokan Farewell” by Jay Ungar, the title theme from the PBS television miniseries, “The Civil War.”

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. Maiello has brought together this impressive ensemble of gifted 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.

The associate director of development of George Mason University’s School of Music, Maiello makes professional appearances across the nation and abroad, conducting music festivals, adjudicating ensembles and presenting clinics, lectures and workshops. He has had the honor of conducting musical activities for the Gold Medal Ceremonies at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, N.Y. Maiello has also served as musical director for Music Festivals International and was selected as president of the International Association of Jazz Educators. He also is a guest clinician for Yamaha Corporation and Warner Bros. Publications. In addition, Maiello has conducted the McLean Orchestra and United States Navy Band. He was also a participant in the National Conducting Institute with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, D.C. to which he has lent his services as a cover conductor.

PLEASE NOTE: The American Festival Pops Orchestra will also appear at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on the Fairfax Campus on Dec. 9, 2011 at 8 p.m. with a concert titled “Holiday Pops,” and again on April 21, 2012 at 8 p.m. with acclaimed soprano Lisa Vroman. Please visit for more details about these two performances. Please visit for more information about the American Festival Pops Orchestra.

The Hylton Performing Arts Center is pleased to recognize Novant Health as the Season Sponsor of the 2011-12 Hylton Presents season.

Tickets for AMERICAN FESTIVAL POPS ORCHESTRA’S “SALUTE TO OUR VETERANS” are $30, $38, $46. Family Friendly! Youth through grade 12 half price when accompanied by an adult. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit or visit The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit