American Festival Pops Orchestra

Previews and Reviews

Ringing in the Holidays at GMU

December 19, 2012 - Entertainment by Keith Loria of The Fairfax Times

It was four years ago when Anthony Maiello, associate director of development and a professor of music with George Mason University’s School of Music, wanted to create an orchestra that played more than just the classical music that everyone was used to.

“I have played classical my whole life, but I also love pop and jazz, and I was looking for something that would allow me to work with more movie compositions,” he said. “Look at someone like John Williams (“Jaws,” “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark”); to me, he is like today’s Beethoven.”

Maiello gathered about 65 professional musicians from the greater Washington, D.C. area, consisting of those from United States military ensembles, regional symphonies, George Mason University music faculty and a select number of students from George Mason University’s School of Music.

Ever since, the American Festival Pops Orchestra has delighted audiences throughout Northern Virginia with its lively interpretations of classic pops music.

“I’m really fortunate. The people in the orchestra are phenomenal musicians and great people, and we all have a lot of fun,” he said. “I want them to enjoy themselves, because when they enjoy it, the audience enjoys it.”

On Saturday, the AFPO will bring an orchestra-size helping of Christmas cheer to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts with its fourth annual “Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season” concert.

“It’s going to be a really fun concert,” Maiello said. “I’m very excited about this year’s event because it’s going to be...”

Read more at The Fairfax Times by clicking here.