Recent Concert Articles

Ciao Bello

Joe Bello prepares his swan ''dance'' as band leader of DC Different Drummers

For his swansong to the DC Different Drummers -- and to D.C. -- Joe Bello has put together a concert focused on dance. ''No, I won't be dancing,'' laughs Bello, director of DCDD's main ensemble the Capital Pride Symphonic Band. But Bello has hired five dancers to perform at the concert band's spring concert Saturday, March 29. ''The whole theme is centered around dance and several different forms of dance, including the tango and the polka,'' says Bello, who will ... [Read]

The Passion of the Chorus

Gay Men's Chorus offers a stirring romantic program this weekend

''There's no art form that stirs up passion in your heart like music,'' says Jeff Buhrman of the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington. ''You can hear just a few notes and be swept away, have such intense feelings.'' {GMCW Passion (Photo by Michael Key)} When putting together a Valentine's Day-themed program, one of his last as the chorus's artistic director, Buhrman was drawn to the idea of stirring passion among patrons. ''Passion for love, for music, for family, for religion, ... [Read]

Marvin's Room

Marissa McGowan joins the BSO in tribute to late composer and pops conductor Marvin Hamlisch

''It was very heartbreaking for our whole company.'' Marissa McGowan is recalling the 2012 death of storied American composer Marvin Hamlisch. ''He meant so much to everyone.'' At the time, McGowan was the lead actress in The Nutty Professor, a musical adaptation of the original 1963 movie that now registers as Hamlisch's last musical. Hamlisch died a mere week into the show's world premiere run in Nashville. {Marissa McGowan (Photo courtesy BSO)} Next weekend McGowan will perform as lead soloist ... [Read]

Gay Garlands

GMCW offers its annual gay ode to the holidays this weekend

The Gay Men's Chorus of Washington will sing an ode to garland this weekend -- and we're not just talking about gay icon Judy. Yes, indeed, it's that time of year again, time for the chorus's annual holiday concert, including the song ''It Wouldn't Be Christmas Without Garland.'' {GMCW Christmas (Photo by Michael Patrick Key)} ''You can definitely expect to get that feeling that you always get around the holidays,'' says Chase Maggiano, the chorus's new executive director. This year's ... [Read]

Lasting Legacy

The Choral Arts Society pays tribute to JFK with Verdi's ''Requiem''

Already this fall there have been several local performances of Verdi's Requiem. The beloved masterwork, as Scott Tucker puts it, ''is often presented kind of as a museum piece.'' But not so with Tucker's Choral Arts Society of Washington. ''We're trying to present it in a way that is relevant to our context right now,'' Tucker says about the piece, which factors into a season-opening program, Legacy and Life, commemorating the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Verdi wrote ... [Read]

Organ Transplant

Kennedy Center unveils its new world-class Concert Hall Organ

''An organ in a concert hall has to have balls,'' says organ consultant Jeff Weiler. ''And the old organ was just whistling Dixie.'' The Kennedy Center's original Concert Hall organ was, according to Weiler, ''the dying gasp of a once-very prominent organ builder.'' Aeolian-Skinner built the organ as quickly and cheaply as possible – using what Weiler refers to as ''shop sweepings'' – before going out of business immediately after installation in 1972. ''It did not work musically, and it ... [Read]

Strike a Pose, Not a Chord

Madonna's latest road show is visually stunning but suffers in sound

Nobody wants to see a 54-year-old stripper. You might think Madonna didn't get that memo based on her performance in her latest road show, ''The MDNA Tour.'' But if the pop idol's 30-year, controversy-attracting career is any indication, chances are, she got that memo and pissed all over it. You could see the deviance on her face as Madonna disrobed in front of an enthused Philadelphia audience at the U.S. opening of her MDNA Tour Tuesday, Aug. 28. She literally ... [Read]

Uking it Up

Strathmore welcomes thousands to celebrate the ukulele

''Did you know we had 964 ukulele players last year?'' Marcy Marxer is reminiscing about the success of last year's UkeFest at Strathmore, which attracted a crowd of 2,100 people. Marxer, with her partner Cathy Fink, actually worked to ensure all 964 players knew how to play before the feat, designed for the Guinness Book of World Records. ''It was a stunning, community group effort,'' Marxer says. ''It was more like a joy fest than anything else.'' And that success ... [Read]

Swing Time

Steven Reineke leads the NSO Pops in some Voodoo fun

This summer, Steven Reineke will perform with Idina Menzel at Wolf Trap, supporting the Broadway and TV star with the National Symphony Orchestra Pops. But this weekend, Reineke will lead a show of a different sort, wearing a black velvet sport jacket as he conducts the Pops. A black velvet sport jacket? ''Hickey Freeman kind of made me their Sinister poster child,'' says Reineke, referring to Freeman's new Sinister line of clothing. ''I want to fit in gracefully and appropriately.'' ... [Read]

Marriage Singer

Accomplished singer and actress Audra McDonald is also one of the loudest voices for marriage equality

''I want my child to be able to marry whoever she wants to marry when she grows up, and have the same rights as everyone else,'' says Audra McDonald. Her daughter Zoe Madeline (named for actors Zoe Caldwell and Madeline Kahn) is 10. ''I'm not saying my child's gay -- she may be someday, I don't know. Who knows now? But she deserves all those rights as every other [person] in the United States.'' An award-winning singer and actress, McDonald ... [Read]

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