Hylton Performing Arts Center Offers Grand Opening Events

Posted: May 14, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: May 13, 2010 at 3:56 pm

There's a seat waiting for you at the Hylton Performing Arts Center during the Grand Opening weekend celebration. Photo by Evan Cantwell

The Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus raises its curtain with a Grand Opening Weekend on May 21, 22 and 23.

The center is a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and the private sector.

This world-class, state-of-the-art performance facility provides both a home for local and regional performing arts organizations and ensembles and a venue where the Northern Virginia community can experience outstanding performing artists of national and international renown.

The Grand Opening Weekend Performance Sponsor is Novant Health. Tickets for the Grand Opening Weekend performances are on sale now.

May 21



The weekend kicks off on Friday, May 21, at 8 p.m. with a performance by internationally acclaimed Celtic music and dance group Leahy in the Hylton’s 1,140-seat main stage venue, Merchant Hall.

This Canadian octet of brothers and sisters plays to sold-out audiences around the world, with fiddle-driven music, dancing and vocals.

Raised on a cattle farm in Lakefield, Ontario, the Leahy children (11 total) learned to play the Celtic fiddle from their father, while their mother taught them to sing, dance and play the piano. The siblings also learned a variety of instruments including guitar, banjo, mandolin, drums and bass, and during performances they often switch instruments, each demonstrating remarkable skill.

With a style planted squarely in the family’s Irish and Scottish roots, this ensemble explores a broad range of musical genres and cultures with formidable instrumental prowess. One of Canada’s best exports, Leahy has sold numerous albums, but it is on the live stage that this group truly shines. Tickets are $50, $42 and $34. An opening night reception in the Didlake Grand Foyer follows the performance.

May 22

Anthony Maiello

Mason's own Anthony Maiello will direct the American Festival Pops Orchestra at the gala concert.

Hylton opens its doors in style on Saturday, May 22, at 8 p.m. with a celebratory black tie optional fund-raiser performance in Merchant Hall featuring the patriotic sounds of Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra under the direction of Anthony Maiello.

Titled “An American Festival Celebration,” this concert treats audiences to a festive experience that pays tribute to the celebrated musical genre that is a treasured part of American popular culture. Joined by soprano Lisa Vroman and virtuoso pianist Thomas Pandolfi, this impressive orchestra, which comprises more than 60 professional musicians from the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area, will perform a program that includes rousing patriotic songs and music from Hollywood films and Broadway, as well as some of Gershwin’s most memorable works.

A sensation on Broadway, Vroman, who starred as Christine Daaé in “The Phantom of the Opera,” will perform a medley of songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s blockbuster musical. Pandolfi will perform Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Tickets for the event are $125 and $75. Funds from the gala concert will benefit the Hylton Performing Arts Center. A reception will follow in the Didlake Grand Foyer.

May 23

On Sunday, May 23, the Northern Virginia community is invited to Hylton Family Day to experience the excellence of the Prince William County resident arts groups that will now call the Hylton their home.

Beginning at 1 p.m., both Merchant Hall and the Gregory Family Theater will reverberate with the excitement of local theater, dance and music groups performing every half hour. Resident arts groups include the Manassas Ballet Theatre, Youth Orchestras of Prince William, NOVA Manassas Symphony Orchestra, Prince William Little Theatre, VpStart Crow Productions, the Creative and Performing Arts Center, Woodbridge Flute Choir, Parrish Handbell Choir and the Manassas Chorale.

Families will enjoy the Youth Orchestras of Prince William’s interactive instrument “petting zoo” in the Hylton’s rehearsal studio.

Tickets are $10 for adults and free for children in grades 12 and under. A barbecue lunch will be available for purchase on the Hylton Terrace. Hylton Family Day is sponsored by Prince William County and the City of Manassas.

For more information about the Hylton Performing Arts Center and the Grand Opening Weekend events, see the web site, hyltoncenter.com.

For tickets, charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit tickets.com.

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