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Woodbridge Music Club

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