Fourth Annual ARTS by George! Benefit to Be Held Sept. 26

Posted: August 28, 2009 at 8:14 am

Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) announces the fourth annual ARTS by George!—a benefit event that supports student scholarships and the Great Performances at Mason series.

The event will be held at the Fairfax Campus on Saturday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. The evening begins with an exciting showcase of the extraordinary artistic talents of Mason students and faculty members, as well as a unique silent auction of arts-related items and experiences.

ARTS by George! culminates in the Center for the Arts Concert Hall with a performance by acclaimed Tony Award-winning Broadway artist Brian Stokes Mitchell. Mitchell will be accompanied by the American Festival Pops Orchestra, which makes its debut under the direction of University Professor of Music Anthony Maiello.

ARTS by George! is generously supported by many area individuals and businesses. Event co-chairs are longtime local arts supporter Julie Dyson of Alexandria, Va., and Enrique Tessada, founder and chairman of Tessada & Associates Inc. in Springfield, Va. Sponsorship co-chairs are Carolyn Peterson and Don Conwell.

Vincent Oppido, a graduate student in Mason’s School of Music, has collaborated with Mitchell to arrange an original overture of beloved songs from Broadway musicals in which Mitchell has appeared.

The American Festival Pops Orchestra is composed of more than 60 professional musicians from across the Washington, D.C., area, including Mason faculty members, musicians from the U.S. military ensembles and regional orchestras. The AFPO also includes a select group of talented young artists from Mason’s School of Music.

“ARTS by George! is advancing to a new creative level,” says CVPA Dean William Reeder. “The formation of the professional American Festival Pops Orchestra under the baton of Maestro Anthony Maiello, and the collaboration between Brian Stokes Mitchell and CVPA graduate student Vincent Oppido represent a bold thrust of creativity. It is a natural extension of the academic, professional and community forces that constitute the Arts at Mason.”

Tickets (includes student performance showcases, food, beverages, Brian Stokes Mitchell concert and dessert reception onstage with the artist) are $200 per person. Contact Deborah Paez at, call 703-993-4188, or visit to order tickets and/or inquire about sponsorship opportunities and benefits.

Individual tickets for the Mitchell concert only may also be purchased beginning Sept. 1. Tickets are $60, $52 and $30. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit

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