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Woodbridge Music Club

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New Fall 2024 Concerts Scheduled

The Woodbridge Music Club recently confirmed two professional concerts for the fall of 2024: These concerts will take place, as usual, at St. Paul UMC (beginning at 7:00 PM, rather than at 7:30 PM, as in the past). Admission to our concerts is always free to the public.

Saturday, September 21: Amit Peled (cellist) and Daniel del Pino (pianist)

Saturday, October 19: Laura Gobayashi (violinist) and Susan Gray (pianist)

Location:
St. Paul United Methodist Church
1400 G Street, Woodbridge, VA 22191

Time: 7:00 PM

President’s Report on the Woodbridge Music Club’s 2023-2024 Events

During our 2023-2024 season, the Woodbridge Music Club  sponsored a number of extraordinarily successful events:

On September 10, twelve students taught by three of our Woodbridge Music Club teachers presented a wonderful student piano recital for the Arts Alive Festival, which is an annual event held at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts in Manassas. The students gave wonderful performances and the large audience applauded enthusiastically. We plan to participate in the Arts Alive Festival every year.

On September 30, the Woodbridge Music club sponsored two events featuring the music of Mark Hayes. Mark had presented a wonderful Christmas concert for us during COVID over Zoom, and even though that concert was performed by Mark on Zoom, it was a wonderful, uplifting performance! We were therefore especially delighted when Mark agreed give a live concert and a choir workshop for us.

At the choir workshop, the Saint Paul UMC Chancel Choir, the New Dominion  Choraliers, and the Franconia UMC Chancel Choir each performed works composed by or arranged by Mark Hayes. Mark commented and offered suggestions following each choir’s performance on interpretation, dynamics, diction, etc. It was an exciting and very educational experience.

A piano concert followed Mark’s choir workshop, on which  Mark performed several of his own arrangements and compositions. Three pieces on the program were for cello and piano, and local Woodbridge Virginia born virtuoso cellist Roman-Olivier Gray performed the cello parts beautifully.

The Woodbridge Music Club’s next event was a student recital on November 18. At our student recitals, because we normally have approximately one hundred students participating, we have three separate forty-five-minute recitals, with approximately one-third of  the student participants in each. At the November 18 recital(s), duet (and trio) performances were encouraged, but solo performances were also welcome. We plan to continue encouraging duet performances for our future November recital(s).

On Friday, December 8, our club met at the home of Paul and Elaine Brady for our annual Christmas potluck dinner and party, which was wonderful, as always . The food, the comradery, the conversations, and the performances by members were all wonderful.

The performances by members were fun and entertaining. June and Jane began with a duet rendition of Sleighbells. Soo Cho then performed a lovely Nocturne by Chopin. Next, Lana played two lovely and relaxing quiet piano pieces. Following Lana, I sang O Magnum Mysterium, accompanied by June. Next, Debra sang a lovely vocal solo, accompanied by Elaine. After Debra’s solo, Paul and Elaine played the same duet arrangement of Sleighbells that June and Jane had played earlier, and then played a lively duet arrangement of Jingle Bells. The evening’s performances concluded with June and Jane on one piano, and Paul and Elaine on another piano, playing the same Sleighbells duet they had played earlier, but this time, on two pianos, four hands. We all enjoyed performing and listening to our colleagues perform.

After a wonderful meal, all of us sat around the dinner table, and enjoyed an hour of wonderful and lively conversation. This was one of the highlights of the evening.

On January 27, our exceptionally talented Woodbridge Music Club member Faith Zuniga gave a solo piano concert. She performed brilliantly to a large appreciative audience.

On February 17, the Woodbridge Music Club sponsored another exciting student recital, with over one hundred students participating. There were three separate recitals, as before.

On March 2, our annual Kiki Thomnaidis  competition was held, and on March 3, the twelve winners presented an impressive recital consisting of their winning pieces.

On April 13, renowned Spanish pianist Antonio Galera presented a wonderful piano concert. We then arranged for Antonio to perform the following day at FUMC, and then, one day later, we arranged for Antonio to perform and give a masterclass at Colgan High School        

Our Senior Scholarship competition took place on May 6. This year, three graduating seniors participated.

From April 25-27 the annual VFMC Convention was held in Fredericksburg, Virginia. There was a great history-of -Fredericksburg trolly ride, delicious lunches and dinners, and several very educational lectures. In addition, several of our talented Woodbridge Music Club members presented a beautiful concert (the program for which is attached). We were pleased that, during the convention, the Woodbridge Music club was honored with a first-place award in the field of International Music Relations (the certificate is attached).

On June 20, members of the Woodbridge Music Club are invited to a luncheon at the Outback Steak House in Woodbridge,  beginning at 12:30 PM. This will be our final meeting before the start of our summer break.

I will conclude by mentioning that our club meets monthly on Zoom. We started holding monthly Zoom meetings during COVID. They became quite popular, and we have continued to hold these on the third Thursday of each month. The meetings have proven to be very productive, fun, and popular with our members. They provide a less formal and more convenient way to conduct and discuss the business of our club and to catch up with our members.

Submitted by Dr. Robert Vernon Shuffett

President, Woodbridge Music Club

December 2023 News Update

Dec. 21, 2023

Dear Members of the Woodbridge Music Club,

The Christmas party at Paul and Elaine Brady’s home was a great success, as always . The food, the comradery, the conversations, and the performances by members were all wonderful. Thanks to all for preparing your delicious home-made delicacies for the party and for performing.

The performances by members were both fun and entertaining. June and Jane began with a duet rendition of Sleighbells. Soo Cho then performed a lovely Nocturne by Chopin. Next, Lana played two lovely and relaxing piano pieces. Following Lana, I sang O Magnum Mysterium, accompanied by June. Next, Debora sang a lovely vocal solo, accompanied by Elaine. Following Debora’s solo, Paul and Elaine played the same duet arrangement of Sleighbells that June and Jane had played earlier, and then played a lively duet arrangement of Jingle Bells. The evening’s performances concluded with June and Jane on one piano, and Paul and Elaine on another piano, playing the same Sleighbells duet they had played earlier, but this time, on two pianos, four hands. We all enjoyed performing and listening to our colleagues perform.

After a wonderful meal, all of us sat around the dinner table, and enjoyed more than an hour of wonderful and lively conversation. This was a great chance to catch up and to get to know one another better.

In other news, there will be no Zoom meeting in December, as several of us are a bit under the weather and since there is no pressing new news (and besides, we are all terribly busy around this time, and several of us will be out of town.)

I hope you can all attend Faith Zuniga’s piano concert, which will be on January 27 (2024). A flyer containing details is attached. Thank you, Faith, for what I know will be a wonderful recital!

Wishing all of you Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,

Dr. Robert Vernon Shuffett
President, Woodbridge Music Club

2023 Kiki Thomaidis Piano Competition

The 2023 Kiki Thomaidis Piano Competition was held on March 4, and was a great success, as usual. The “Kiki Winners Recital” took place on March 5, and featured impressive performances by all fifteen of the winners. Many thanks, as always, go to Irene Roberts, the daughter of Tiki Thomaidis, for her continued generosity in funding this competition (Irene was unable to be present, due to a schedule conflict). Congratulations go to the fifteen winning contestants, along with our appreciation for all participants. The program of the Kiki Winners’ Recital, photos of the student winners and their teachers are attached. As always, special thanks go to Rudene and her sister Tanya for all of the hard work they do for our student recitals. View the program (PDF)

WMC Hosts Successful December Benefit Concert

Natalia and Oksana’s benefit concert yesterday (Saturday, December 10) was both fun and exciting. Everything on the program (including the world-premiere my very difficult piece, “Journey into Destiny: Homage to Ukraine in Time of War”) was performed exceptionally well. It was an outstanding concert. (We are fortunate to have these two fine Ukrainian pianists in our club.)

The generosity of those in attendance was very impressive: a total of $1,831.00 (!!!) was donated. Our sincere thanks go out to all who gave so generously. One-hundred percent of these donations will be used to aid Ukrainians suffering as a result of Vladimir Putin’s illegal and immoral invasion of Ukraine; food, shelter, medicine, water, heating, transportation, etc. will be provided to those in need because of the war. Parenthetically, our club has now sponsored three benefit recitals for Ukraine, in which a total of nearly $3,600.00 (!!!) have been donated. If the war continues (as we fear it will), God willing, our club will be sponsoring additional benefit concerts in the future.

Woodbridge Music Club’s Class Piano Student Participation Vote

Woodbridge Music Club voted strongly in favor of allowing group piano and class piano students, taught (or led) by a member of the Club, to participate in our competitions and other events, whether or not they take private piano lessons.


Dear Woodbridge Music Club Members,

Our club’s vote was strongly in favor of allowing group piano and class piano students, taught (or led) by a member of the Woodbridge Music Club, to participate in our competitions and other events, whether or not they take private piano lessons.

Please note that this now matches our policy for vocalists and instrumentals, which was already in place, and marks a change in our former policy of requiring piano students to study privately with a member of the Woodbridge Music Club, in order to be eligible to participate in our competitions and events.

The final vote tally was:

11 YES votes
1 NO vote

(Eight others chose not to cast a vote.)

Dr. Robert Shuffett
President, Woodbridge Music Club