Celebrating Black History Month through music

Mason’s Potomac Arts Academy will honor black history and culture with “A Celebration of Black History Month: A Musical Journey of Hope and Fear” this weekend.

The event will take place Saturday at the Hylton Performing Arts Center on Mason’s Prince William Campus. The concert will begin at 11 a.m. and Admission is $10 for general admission.

The event will “bring together several different ensembles from Mason's School of Music, as well as numerous community choirs and ensembles from the Northern Virginia and D.C. area,” according to Jill Graziano Laiacona, the public and media relations coordinator for the Center for Performing Arts and the Hylton Performing Arts center.

The concert will feature various musical acts including the George Mason University Wind Symphony and Opera Ensemble, the “Duke Ellington” show choir, and members of “Voices of Tomorrow Today” and “Voices of Zion” youth choirs, jazz musicians, and African drumming spirituals. There will also be a special tribute to Civil Rights activist Rosa Parks called, “A Movement for Rosa” written by composer and conductor Mark Camphouse who is a professor at the School of Music.

The concert will be preceded by an art showcase featuring the work of various students from the Prince William County School along with an interactive art experience. The showcase will begin at 10 a.m. followed by the concert.

The Potomac Art Academy is a program that aims to bring quality arts education to the larger community. It started out as a series of summer courses and developed into a full program. By the end of the summer of 2010 about 1500 members participated in academy program. They now offer classes year-round in a variety of artistic fields. For more information about the Potomac Art Academy visit their website.

The Hylton Performing Arts Center is the newest addition to the Prince William Campus. It is the product of a partnership between the Commonwealth of Virginia, Prince William County, the City of Manassas, and George Mason University and local businesses. It boasts 85,000 square feet of state of the art venues complete with a 1,121 seat hall, a 270 seat theater, a grand foyer, dressing rooms, a scene shop, and a catering kitchen. The Buchanan Partners Gallery serves to showcase artwork by local and regional-based artists on a rotational schedule.



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