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"The President's Own"


"The President's Own"

United States Marine Band

Colonel Jason K. Fettig, Director
Unit News
Orchestra Performs Vaughan Williams, Walton, and Sibelius

By Staff Sgt. Rachel Ghadiali | United States Marine Band | March 30, 2016


The Marine Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Assistant Director Major Michelle A. Rakers, will perform music by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Sir William Walton, and Jean Sibelius at 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 1, at the National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. The concert is free and no tickets are required. Free parking is available behind the main church building.

The first half of the program includes Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves followed by Walton’s Concerto for Viola and Orchestra, featuring soloist Staff Sgt. Sarah Hart.

Hart studied Walton’s Concerto in school and has performed parts of the piece, but this is the first time she will perform the work in its entirety. Interestingly, she performed the first movement to audition for “The President’s Own.”

“It is one of the best known viola concertos, so I am very excited and grateful to have the opportunity to perform it in such a lovely setting,” Hart said. “The piece shows off the melancholy and lyrical side of the viola; it is a nice showcase for the instrument.”

 The second half highlights the musical prowess of Sibelius with his Valse triste, Opus 44, No. 1, and Symphony No. 7 in C, Opus 105. “Few would argue the musical sway Jean Sibelius held over Nordic composers, but he also significantly impacted the work of many British composers,” Rakers said. She has programmed the performance to demonstrate the musical fashion of Great Britain in emulating the great Finnish composer.

The National Presbyterian Church is located at the corner of Nebraska Avenue and Van Ness Street, near NBC and American University. A free parking lot is available behind the main church building, which is accessible via Van Ness Street or Nebraska Avenue. For Metro, take the red line to Tenleytown. Proceed south on Wisconsin Avenue (toward the Tenleytown Library), turn right onto Nebraska Avenue at the circle, and walk two blocks to the church. 

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