Who we are
Since its formation in 1969, the City of Fairfax Band has grown from a small, summer-season ensemble to one of Northern Virginia's best-known volunteer community performing organizations, having expanded to include three concert bands and six smaller ensembles. Now an association, the City of Fairfax Band Association is a non-profit organization of over 200 adult and 60 youth members who enjoy providing high-quality musical performances to the Northern Virginia community. Fairfax Band musicians, all with a strong commitment to the organization and a shared love of music, promote musical growth and education among students and residents alike.
The Bands are unique in maintaining high musical standards while remaining open for membership to qualified players. Musicians of the Band continue to apply their talents and musical energy toward the goal of performance excellence both individually and as a team for their community. In serving that goal, we are rewarded by great enjoyment in making music that brings pleasure and enrichment to expanding audiences in a growing community.
In recognition of achieving that goal over the course of many years, The City of Fairfax Band was awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll for 2004 by The John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Sudler Silver Scroll is regarded as North America's most prestigious award for community concert bands. The 2004 Award was presented to the band by guest conductor Keith Brion during our March 19, 2005 concert. The organization has been honored by the State of Virginia, first in 1981, Virginia Governor Dalton selected the Concert Band to perform in concert at opening ceremonies for the Yorktown (Virgina) Bicentennial Celebration; and more recently (2007) the German Band was selected to perform at the 400th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
A chronology: 1969-2011
The City of Fairfax Band began in the summer of 1969 when Matt Hynes, who was then band director at Fairfax High School, did the recruiting and held rehearsals for a concert on the steps of the Fairfax City Hall. That successful first concert led to a second, under the leadership of Philip Fuller, music supervisor for Fairfax County Public Schools and former Fairfax High School band director. The momentum of those first two summer seasons led to the decision to go year-round starting with the City Band's third year of existence. Leadership passed to Dr. Thomas Hill, whose talents would lead the Band to become the strong organization it is today.
In 1974, regular season concerts were established in the Fairfax High School auditorium, a tradition which continues to this day. The City Band's schedule now covers some 20 concerts each year.
As the City Band's size and ability grew, so did its reputation. In 1981, Virginia Governor Dalton selected the Band to perform in concert at opening ceremonies for the Yorktown (Virgina) Bicentennial Celebration, an event attended by 19,000 people. The week-long schedule included performances by other noted musical groups such as the elite French Marine Band, the Premiere Staff Band of the German Army, a British Army Band from Wales, and the United States Army and Coast Guard Bands. In the Northern Virginia and other Greater Washington metropolitan areas, the City of Fairfax Band has accepted invitations to perform at an expanding list of civic and community functions. Large audiences have heard the Band play at Wolf Trap Farm Park for the Performing Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, and the annual Independence Day Celebration in Fairfax.
In August 1984, the City of Fairfax Band put on boardwalk concerts at Rehoboth and Bethany Beach, Delaware—performances which led to annual return engagements.
In 1985, the City Band accepted an invitation to play in Virginia Beach, Virginia, at the annual conference of the Association of Concert Bands, which represents over 300 professional, city, and community bands in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean. In November 1987, the City Band gave a combined concert with the Mormon Choir of Washington for the Virginia Music Educators Conference.
On December 24, 1987, the City Band was invited to perform at the Kennedy Center Concert Hall for radio station WMAL's Christmas Eve at the Kennedy Center, a program broadcast throughout the East Coast; the Band returned almost annually for this performance. The program ended with the 2005 concert.
In addition to the City Band's growing number of invitations to perform at a variety of cultural venues, the Band takes great pride in its Guest Artist series. In April 1989, at the Spotlight On The Arts concert, the Band was honored to have as guest vocalist Dr. William Warfield, internationally known baritone soloist and star of Porgy and Bess and Show Boat . In May 1989, the City Band was also invited, along with the Fairfax Choral Society and the City Band's Fairfax Swing Band, to open the 1989 Summer Season at Wolf Trap. Vocalist Margie Johnson sang with the Swing Band, which also backed up the well-known area vocal duo, "David and Dorothy". In May 1991, the Band featured the internationally renowned tubist, Harvey Phillips, in a performance of Helix, written by Warren Benson for Mr. Phillips. In March 1996, Steven Hendrickson, Principal Trumpet with the National Symphony Orchestra, was the City Band's guest soloist for the Concerto for Trumpet and Symphonic Band by Alexander Arutunian.
With its season-filled programs and Guest Artist series, the City of Fairfax Band has also participated in a number of convention-related performances. In 1989, the City Band was privileged to receive an invitation to perform at the 28th International Geological Congress in July at the Convention Center in Washington, D.C. Approximately 8,000 delegates from around the world were there, with President Bush serving as Honorary Chairman. Over the 1989 Memorial Day weekend, the Band performed at Baltimore's Inner Harbor as part of the holiday celebration, and returned for the summer closing on Labor Day weekend. In October 1989, the Band was invited to perform with the Mormon Choir of Washington at the National Republican Women's Convention in Baltimore, Maryland, at which Vice-President Quayle was the guest speaker. In July 1990, the City Band gave a dinner concert for the Korean War Veterans Association's convention at the Sheraton International Hotel in Arlington, Virginia.
In May 1994, Dr. Tom Hill retired, and Robert Pouliot was appointed the Band's Music Director and Conductor.
In February 1995, the City Band made its first compact disc, Yuletide Fair, with tenor Josué Bustos, narrator and guitarist John Lyon, and the 100-voice Mormon Choir of Washington. In June 1995, the City of Fairfax Band was honored to perform in the Filene Center at Wolf Trap for the Catherine Filene Shouse Celebration Concert with world-renowned stars Roberta Peters, Beverly Sills, the Canandian Brass, the Miami City Ballet, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and many others.
In 1996, the City Band was honored with an invitation to perform, on June 14 of that year, at the National Band Association Convention in New Orleans. The NBA is the largest band association in the world, with chapters in the United States and eleven other countries. Each year, one community band in the nation is invited to play at this prestigious event before an audience of school, college, service, and community band directors and band music lovers. The City Band was joined by the National Community Honors Band, made up of top amatuer musicians from across the U.S., invited university and high school concert bands, and the host for the 1996 convention -- The United States Marine Band ("The President's Own"), Washington, D.C. Highlights of the City Band's program for this event included a performance of the original, unpublished version of John Barnes Chance's Incantation and Dance, restoring 30 measures which make a more meaningful transition to the climax of the Dance, and Colonel John R. Bourgeois (Ret.), former Director of the United States Marine Band and Music Advisor to the White House, guest conducted Robert Jager's Esprit de Corps.
On the educational front, the Association began an annual Young Artist Competition to encourage the development of stand-out high school musicians who plan to pursue a musical career. The winner of the annual competition is the featured guest soloist at the April concert and is given a financial award of $2,000 in support of future music endeavors.
To be eligible, the student must be a junior or senior enrolled in a band or orchestra program in a northern Virginia high school.
In April 2002, the City Band hosted the annual national convention of the Association of Concerts Bands. The convention was attended by over 500 community musicians from around the country. Visiting bands which performed during the convention included the Rockville (MD) Concert Band, the Denver (CO) Concert Band, the Midland (MI) Concert Band, and the Chesapeake Silver Cornet Brass Band (DE). In addition, an ACB Convention Band, consisting of convention attendees, performed, and a special appearance was made by the United States Army Band ("Pershing's Own"). Appearing with the City Band during its convention concert was, once again, Steven Hendrickson, Principal Trumpet with the National Symphony Orchestra, performing Excursions for Trumpet and Band by Bruce Broughton.
The City of Fairfax Band is unique in maintaining high musical standards while remaining open for membership to qualified players. Musicians of the Band continue to apply their talents and musical energy toward the goal of performance excellence both individually and as a team for their community. In serving that goal, we are rewarded by great enjoyment in making music that brings pleasure and enrichment to expanding audiences in a growing community.
In recognition of achieving that goal over the course of many years, The City of Fairfax Band was awarded the Sudler Silver Scroll for 2004 by The John Philip Sousa Foundation. The Sudler Silver Scroll is regarded as North America's most prestigious award for community concert bands. The 2004 Award was presented to the band by guest conductor Keith Brion during our March 19, 2005 concert.
The City of Fairfax Band issued its first CD recording since 1996.
The City of Fairfax Band Association added a new community concert
Leader of the Main Street Community Band is Geoffrey K. Seffens, a
The City of Fairfax Band marked completion of its 40th concert season
After intermission, the mood on stage was lighter and brighter as our guest
The association took another big step as both a musical and educational organization when it launched the Northern Virgninia Youth Winds and the youth division of the City of Fairfax Band Association.
NVYW is comprised of high school woodwind, brass and percussion students selected by competitive audition. Under the direction of Denny Stokes, NVYW supports instrumental music students, music teachers and the local music community by
All high school students (grades 9-12) who are members in good standing in their school band programs are eligible to audition for NVYW.