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48th Season

David Grandis, Music Director

Featured Guest Artists for 48th season

Through the 4th Wall
June 30, 2018
January 11 and January 12, 2018

19 logo

Based in picturesque Old Town Alexandria, Virginia (just minutes from Washington, D.C.) theater, film and media company Through the 4th Wall (TT4W) is currently workshopping, booking and performing staged readings of our new original musical called 19.

19 is the dynamic and little-known story of Alice Paul, the suffragists and their fight to get women the right to vote—the 19th Amendment. The inspirational story of these fearless women is brought to life through jazz, spoken word, dance and audience interaction.

For three nights in the fall of 2017, TT4W produced an early-stage performance of Act I of 19. On buzz alone, it quickly sold out and we doubled the seat capacity to accommodate. Encouraged by overwhelmingly enthusiastic support, TT4W has been working tirelessly to revise, research and write the entire show.

2020 is the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Our goal is to get a full production of 19 up & running, and into theaters by the end of 2019.

2018 will be the year of multiple staged readings, where we workshop the show and garner the grassroots support that we hope will enable us to launch a major musical. In an age where women’s rights have finally become an important issue again, the time for 19 is now.

100 years after women got the right to vote, women are still being denied many basic rights, including equality and dignity. However, as we read nearly every day in the press, that is changing. 19 isn’t just a musical, it is part of a movement. This movement is a result of a long history of institutionalized repression and denigration, but the arc of the moral universe is bending back towards justice. And it is doing so with power and speed.

For those interested in women's rights, history, great music, inspirational stories and/or seeing how the “musical sausage is made,“ these work-in-progress performances are a chance to experience parts of the show during its development. (link will open in a new browser window)

Charlie Barnett, pianist and composer
June 30, 2018  

photo of Charlie Barnett

An accomplished and popular American composer, Charlie Barnett is the winner of numerous awards for his film scores, including the Rome International Film Festival’s Jerry Goldsmith Award. Barnett also writes music for television; his credits include Saturday Night Live, Weeds, Royal Pains, and Archer. Barnett’s lively orchestral and chamber works are performed both nationally and internationally. Notable collaborations include a spoken-word piece written and performed with Dr. Maya Angelou. As a producer, Barnett has recorded scores of pop and jazz albums for labels including Def Jam and Elektra. And as a performer, he plays guitar and piano for Chaise Lounge, an eclectic jazz band that frequently appears on the national college-radio charts with his original compositions. Barnett has also been heard as an occasional commentator on NPR. His essay “Hitching a Ride with Junior McGee” was included in the network’s Classic Driveway Moments compilation. (link will open in a new browser window) (link will open in a new browser window)

Brian Ganz, piano
Music from the Masters, October 28, 2018  

photo of Brian Ganz

Brian Ganz is widely recognized as one of the leading pianists ofhis generation. A Laureate of the Marguerite Long JacquesThibaud and Queen Elisabeth of Belgium International Piano Competitions, Mr. Ganz has appeared with such orchestras as the St. Louis Symphony, St. Petersburg Philharmonic, Baltimore Symphony, National Philharmonic, National Symphony and City of London Sinfonia.

He has performed with conductors Leonard Slatkin, Marin Alsop, Mstislav Rostropovich and Leon Fleischer, among others. The Washington Post has written: “One comes away from a recital by pianist Brian Ganz not only exhilarated by the power of the performance but also moved by his search for artistic truth.”

For many years Mr. Ganz has made it his mission to join vivid music making with warmth and intimacy on stage to produce a new kind of listening experience, in which great works come to life with authentic emotional power. As one of Belgium’s leading newspapers, La Libre Belgique, put it, “We don’t have the words to speak of this fabulous musician who lives music with a generous urgency and brings his public into a state of intense joy.”

Edward A. Smith, painter
Music from the Masters, October 28, 2018  

photo of Ed Smith

Ed is a retired Navy Captain with 30 years of service that has taken him, and sometimes his wife Marie-France, around the world to more than 60 countries and ports. Ed took advantage of these opportunities, sketching landscapes and some local people which led him to paint some 60 oil and watercolor paintings displayed in their home.

Ed came to Lake Barcroft after 22 years of service with his wife Marie-France. Lake Barcroft has been another source of inspiration as well as their short-term rental villa in St John, US Virgin Islands. The spectacular views at the villa brought more sketches and paintings. There are some 30 paintings in the villa in St John.

The beauty of the island inspired him to do paintings of the underwater coral reefs and tropical fish. Ed also started to do murals at the villa using acrylic paint on white floor tiles that are then glued to the cement walls and covered with layers of varnish.

Ed has been painting for some 50 years in oil, water color and acrylic. As a young boy, Ed was taught by his grandfather, M.J. O‘Sullivan who worked with the New York Ash Can School from 1911 to 1915. Grandfather Sullivan brought Ed into painting landscapes and taught him to look for the story behind each painting and drawing. His grandfather died when Ed was only 11 years old, but his example has inspired Ed into teaching his own grandchildren.

Education: Ed has a PhD from American University in International Relations. He has written 7 books and 78 published articles and papers. He has lectured in NATO and 15 other countries.

Incendio, Latin world guitar
Classical Cabaret at 1st Stage, November 9, 2018  

photo of Incendio

The acclaimed Los Angeles-based group INCENDIO performs original “world guitar” compositions, featuring incredible guitar-playing across a variety of genres: latin, middle-eastern, and celtic grooves. Formed in 1999, the group has 9 CD‘s and 2 DVD‘s available internationally, variously hitting the Billboard, CMJ, NAV, and charts. Averaging over 150 shows a year since 2000, INCENDIO‘s live performance is an explosive improvisatory journey, garnering tremendous audience response in such diverse venues as the National Gallery of Art, Reston Town Center, Strawberry Music Festival in Yosemite, the Sundance Film Festival, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, California World Festival, the Beishan World Music Festival in China, the national Levitt Pavilions and many more across the U.S.

Their ninth international release, the recent Christmas-themed “O Night Divine”, came out in December 2015. Their previous release, June 2013‘s “The Shape of Dreams”, stayed at or near the top of the Amazon flamenco and world charts for the remainder of that year. They have reached over 80 million spins on Pandora alone, and can be heard on terrestrial radio as well as many other streaming services. The group plans to have a new CD ready for spring 2019.

Incendio Web site (link will open in a new browser window)

Dennis M. Layendecker, George Mason University Symphony Orchestra Conductor
Spring, 2019  

photo of Dennis Layendecker

Dennis M. Layendecker; D.M.A.; Col. USAF (Ret.), is the Director of the George Mason University School of Music. He holds the Heritage Chair in Music and serves as Director of University Orchestras in the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA), positions he has held since joining the faculty in August 2009. The Heritage Chair in Music was established in the 1980s by former Mason president George Johnson and his wife Joanne as a way of promoting the arts on campus and within the community.

During his 26-year Air Force career Dr. Layendecker served as a band commander, conductor, artistic director, pianist, public spokesperson, educator, and diplomat for the Air Force at home and abroad. In July 2002, then Colonel Layendecker assumed command of The United States Air Force Band, Washington, D.C. As part of his duties he provided direct musical and ceremonial support to the President of the United States and his Cabinet, members of Congress and other high ranking civilian and military leaders nationally and internationally. In addition to his duties at the USAF Band, from December 2007, he also served as the Chief of Music for the Air Force. In this capacity he advised the Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs leadership on music policy, officer hiring, development and assignments, force structure, and total force integration of Air Force active duty and Air National Guard musical units. During his military career he led more than 6,000 musical performances worldwide in support of public outreach, community relations, troop morale and welfare, and recruitment and retention programs for the Air Force and Department of Defense. He officially retired from the Air Force in late August 2009.

Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago, where he was awarded a Bachelor of Music Education in 1975. He began his conducting studies in 1977 while on full piano scholarship attending the Royal Conservatory of Music in Brussels, Belgium. He subsequently augmented his conducting studies during summer master classes at the Academia Musicale Chigiana in Siena, Italy, and at the Vienna (Austria) Academy of Music. In 1981, he earned a Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting from Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, and in 1988, completed a Doctor of Musical Arts in Conducting at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the Air Force, Dr. Layendecker served on the music faculties of The American Conservatory of Music, Chicago, Illinois and Eastern Washington University in Cheney, Washington. He was inducted as a member of the American Bandmasters Association in 2006. He has remained active as a conductor and clinician throughout his professional career.

During his distinguished career in the Air Force Dr. Layendecker led many of America’s finest musicians throughout the United States, Asia, the United Kingdom, and Europe—from Los Angeles to New York, Vienna to London, and Oslo to Tokyo. Gifted in foreign languages, he is fluent in French and functional in German and Italian. He has performed in such notable venues as Washington D.C.’s National Theatre and D.A.R. Constitution Hall; Kodak Theatre in Hollywood; Semper Opera, Dresden; Neues Gewandhaus, Leipzig; Royal Albert Hall in London; Alte Opera, Frankfurt; and the Beethovenhalle in Bonn. He has led his ensembles before numerous world leaders to include seven American presidents, Queen Elizabeth of England, and Pope John Paul II. His radio and television broadcast credits include appearances on BBC, German Radio and Television, Polish National Radio, Radio Luxembourg, RAI Italy, and public radio and national television across America.

In addition to his civilian academic credentials, Dr. Layendecker is a graduate of the Air War College, a distinguished graduate of the Air Command and Staff College, and a graduate of the Air Force Academic Instructor’s School and Squadron Officer School, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. His military decorations include the Legion of Merit, the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Air Force Commendation Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Achievement Medal with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with oak leaf cluster, Air Force Organizational Excellence Award with oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal with bronze star, and the Global War on Terrorism Medal.

A native of Springfield, Illinois, Dr. Layendecker resides with his wife Myriam in Burke, Virginia. They have been blessed to raise six children, and late in 2009 welcomed their first grandchild, Simon Peters.

P.O. Box 7484, Alexandria, VA 22307-7484
The Virginia Chamber Orchestra is a Registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization
Last updated: 17 September, 2018......v.4.01