American Festival Pops Orchestra

Press Releases


Released November 8, 2011

In the past three seasons, this immensely talented ensemble has thrilled audiences with its outstanding interpretations of pops music. This winter, the American Festival Pops Orchestra (AFPO) returns home to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, on Friday, Dec. 9, 2011 at 8 p.m. for a spirited holiday performance under the baton of its founder and conductor, Anthony Maiello. This performance is Family Friendly: 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.

Titled “Holiday Pops,” this concert features Christmas carols and holiday tunes that are sure to strike a nostalgic chord with young and old alike. The program features such timeless classics as Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas,” Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” “The Holly and the Ivy,” “The Christmas Song,” “O Holy Night” and a jubilant holiday sing-along led by Maiello.

Known for its lively programming and repertoire, the AFPO treats audiences to a festive pops experience that pays homage to the memorable American popular music that has been loved by generations. The orchestra presents Broadway hits, legendary film and television scores, light classics and patriotic anthems honoring our nation. A gathering of extraordinary musical talent brought together by Anthony Maiello, this impressive ensemble of 60 professional musicians from across the Washington, D.C. area includes members of George Mason University’s music faculty, United States military ensembles and regional symphonies. The orchestra is also proud to include a select group of talented young musicians 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 is an honorary conductor with the 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 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 are $23, $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 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.