Monday, March 26, 2012

A Center for the Arts

I've been thinking lately that Manassas is quickly becoming a center for the arts. We've been headed down this path for some time now, with the old Community Concert Association hosting artists at the local high schools to the conversion of the Candy Factory in downtown to a Center for the Arts to the opening of the Hylton Performing Arts Center on the Prince William Campus of George Mason University. These are the big venues: there are also theater groups, choral groups, photography groups, art groups, dance troupes, book clubs of all sorts, and even a group for local writers, Write by the Rails, which I think should win a prize for the Best name for a Local Arts Group, not that I'm prejudiced (and a member of WbtR) or anything. (I have purposely not listed the arts groups by name so as not to leave anyone out. You know who you are. I would not want my front door decoupaged by the local crafts group just because I spelled their name wrong. Those craft groups will get you!)

 Anyhow, I was thinking about Manassas as a cultural Mecca this afternoon as I attended the Third Annual Recital to Celebrate the birthday of J. S. Bach. This event features local musicians and is quite the time. Here's the cover of the program:

The pieces were carefully selected, well-performed and widely varied. We had various forms popular with Herr Bach on the organ and then flutes and trumpet added for depth and effect. A string quarter from the Fairfax Symphony played beautifully and combined choirs sang the Crucifixius  from the Mass in b minor.

A nice reception followed, staged by the good folks at Trinity. Stuart Schadt and his congregation are among others making the ecumenical journey possible for the community right now. The church hosts the Lenten services each Wednesday during Lent. Kudos to Stuart and all the musicians and everyone else  who helped make this happen. It was grand and glorious. And as Herr Bach wrote on every piece of music he composed, "Soli Deo Gratia."

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