American Festival Pops Orchestra Presents ‘Cinema Magic’

Posted: April 10, 2013 at 5:00 am, Last Updated: April 12, 2013 at 1:23 pm

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By Jill Graziano Laiacona

American Festival Pops Orchestra. Photo by Stan Engebretson

American Festival Pops Orchestra. Photo by Stan Engebretson

Northern Virginia’s own American Festival Pops Orchestra (AFPO) returns to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts on Saturday, April 13, at 8 p.m. for a night of enchanting music. Titled “Cinema Magic,” this concert is sure to strike a chord with audiences young and old with its sounds of beloved movie masterpieces.

Under the baton of its founder and artistic director, Anthony Maiello, AFPO will perform some of Hollywood’s most iconic tunes, including favorites from film giants John Williams, Hans Zimmer, Mark Shaiman and Jerry Goldsmith. The cinema-themed program for this performance includes “Over the Rainbow” from American classic “The Wizard of Oz,” “The Mission” theme song “Gabriel’s Oboe,” “The Gladiator” from modern tour-de-force “Gladiator” and the score from the infamous shower scene in “Psycho.”

In addition, guest conductor and film score composer Vincent Oppido will lead the AFPO in a live film score demonstration. Oppido completed his bachelor’s and master’s degrees through Mason’s School of Music. He has composed and conducted music for such films and television shows as “Cloud Atlas,” “Family Guy,” “The Simpsons” and the 2013 Academy Awards broadcast.

Other guests include:

  • Soprano Kathryn Hearden, a professor of voice and associate director of Vocal Studies in Mason’s School of Music who has performed with the President’s Own Chamber Orchestra of the United States Marine Band, Choralis, Pershing’s Own U.S. Army Strings and Concert Artists of Baltimore, among others.
  • Saxophonist Jim Carroll, the director of the Metropolitan Jazz Orchestra and the Jazz Studies program at Mason, has extensive experience in the music industry, including collaborations with Michael Jackson and Woody Herman and The Thundering Herd.
  • Keyboardist Wade Beach, a professor in Mason’s School of Music, has performed across the globe with the United States Air Force Band jazz ensemble, The Airmen of Note.
  • Emmy Award-winning oboist Joe Robinson has played in the New York Philharmonic – where he served as principal oboist for 27 years – and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and also serves as a guest artist with Mason’s School of Music.
  • Renowned flugelhornist Dave Detwiler, president of the Virginia chapter of the International Association for Jazz Education, has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow.

A university professor in Mason’s School of Music, Maestro Anthony Maiello has a distinguished career that includes professional appearances conducting orchestral ensembles and presenting workshops throughout the United States and abroad. He has served as conductor of the Gold Medal Ceremonies at the 1980 Winter Olympics; musical director for Music Festivals International; associate conductor of the McLean Orchestra in McLean, Va.; and honorary conductor of the United States Navy Band. He was also a participant in the National Conducting Institute with Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra, to which he has lent his services as a cover conductor. After AFPO’s inaugural season in 2009-10, he was inducted into the Bands of America Hall of Fame in Indianapolis. Maiello is the author of “Conducting Nuances” (GIA Publications Inc.) and “Conducting: A Hands-On-Approach” (Warner Bros./Alfred Publications).

Tickets are $24, $40 and $48. This performance is family friendly: tickets for youth through grade 12 are half price when the youth is accompanied by an adult. Visit the box office (open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit 

Write to Robin Herron at

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