Thursday, January 27, 2011


For Immediate Release

Contact:  Jill Graziano Laiacona




MANASSAS, Va., Jan. 27, 2010 Potomac Arts Academy is pleased to present “A Celebration of Black History Month: A Musical Journey of Hope and Freedom” at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in Manassas on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011.

The concert, which takes place at 11 a.m. in Merchant Hall, features the George Mason University Wind Symphony and Opera Ensemble, joined by the Duke Ellington Show Choir and members of area church “Voices of Zion” and “Voices of Tomorrow Today” youth choirs. The program will include African drumming, spirituals, jazz and “A Movement for Rosa,” a special musical tribute to civil rights heroine Rosa Parks, written by music professor, composer and conductor Mark Camphouse in 1992. Camphouse, a Professor of Music in George Mason University’s School of Music, is the conductor of the Wind Symphony.

The concert will be preceded by an art exhibition at 10 a.m. in the Buchanan Partners Art Gallery, featuring works by students from Prince William County Public Schools, with an interactive arts experience for all attendees.

           Potomac Arts Academy began as the Potomac Music Academy in 2003 with a generous donation from the Donald and Nancy de Laski family, and initially offered summer programs to the Northern Virginia community. By 2008, it had expanded to include year-round classes, master classes, children’s concerts and new summer programs in all arts disciplines. More than 1500 community members participated in one or more programs presented by Potomac Arts Academy in summer 2010 and the academy began offering program at the Hylton Performing Arts Center.

           “Potomac is so pleased to be able to bring our outstanding Mason music ensembles together with singers from the Duke Ellington School and area youth church choirs in this rousing Black History Month Family Celebration,” said Libby Curtis, director of Potomac Arts Academy. “It’s especially exciting to hold this at the beautiful new Hylton Performing Arts Center. An art exhibit featuring works from some of the finest Prince William County Public School students and an interactive arts experience, which precedes this concert, make this a fun and engaging event for the whole family.”



Tickets for POTOMAC ARTS ACADEMY’S “A CELEBRATION OF BLACK HISTORY MONTH are $10 general admission. Visit the box office or charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit hyltoncenter.org. The Hylton Performing Arts Center is located on George Mason University’s Prince William Campus at 10960 George Mason Circle, Manassas, Va., 20110. Free parking is available in the lot next to the Hylton Center. For more information, please visit hyltoncenter.org.


About the Hylton Performing Arts Center
Dedicated to bringing a world-class performing arts venue to the Prince William region, the Hylton Performing Arts Center was born out of a partnership among Prince William County, George Mason University, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector. Soaring more than nine stories and boasting a stunning mix of copper, glass and masonry, the 85,000-square foot center is home to two unparalleled performance venues for local arts groups and performers from around the world, as well as university-related activities. Modeled after the intimate European opera houses of the 19th century, Merchant Hall is a 1,140-seat multipurpose proscenium theater, which is encircled by 27 private boxes that rise three levels. The Gregory Family Theater is a flexible, 4,400-square foot space that can be configured for many different types of performances and events. In addition, the Didlake Grand Foyer, with its sweeping staircase, provides an ideal setting for community, corporate and social events. The Hylton Performing Arts Center, the only building of its kind in the area, is sure to quickly become the cultural hub of Prince William County and the surrounding communities and is a shining example of collaboration and commitment to the arts.


About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.


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