American Festival Pops Orchestra

Previews and Reviews

American Festival Pops Orchestra performs Friday in Manassas

December 18, 2012 - Entertainment by Emily Cary of Special to The Washington Examiner

Concerts by the American Festival Pops Orchestra are eagerly awaited, none more popular than the Holiday Pops program, always a highlight of the season. The ensemble of 65 top professional musicians from the D.C. area is conducted by Anthony Maiello, professor of music at George Mason University's School of Music. He first brought them together to perform local concerts of popular music. Now they assemble at least four times each year to promote the Big Band sound and jazz at various venues. Their holiday schedule features jazz-infused programs at both George Mason University's Center for the Arts in Fairfax and the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas.

"We can't wait to play for the audiences because the program we've planned is so much fun," Maiello said. "A trio of vocalists from the U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, who sound just like the Andrews Sisters, will sing 'Boogie Woogie Christmas.' Our Holiday Brass Quintet will perform 'Christmas Sketches,' a medley of holiday tunes, and Rick Lillard, the jazz trombone chair of the Airmen of Note for 15 years, will feature the brass quintet in 'Santa Claus is Coming to Town.' "

"One highlight will be a special guest narration of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas' followed by Leroy Anderson's 'Sleigh Ride' and the Stan Kenton arrangement of 'The Twelve Days of Christmas.' Vocalist Kate Herndon, a professor of voice at GMU, will sing...

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