JMU Outdoor Music Series Welcomes Summer

by Janet Smith


JMU Outdoor Music Series Welcomes Summer

Photo of concertgoers listening to Mr. Jefferson's Bones on the JMU Sculpture Garden lawn.The College of Visual and Performing Arts at James Madison University will present its 2012 Concerts on the Lawn Series every Sunday at 7 p.m. from May 20 to July 1. All concerts are free and open to the public.

Sunday, May 20 – JMU Sculpture Garden
Massanutten Brass Band
and Massanutten Youth Brass Band are British-style bands in the Shenandoah Valley whose repertoire includes marches, concert works, hymns and movie music, and music written specifically for brass bands. Under the direction of Kevin Stees, the Massanutten Brass Band was the 2007 Champion of the North American Brass Band Association's 2nd Section. The band placed third in the 1st Section in 2009 and 2010, and second in the 1st Section in 2012. The Massanutten Youth Brass Band, now in its third year, draws its members from 13 high schools in the Central Virginia area. The band is under the direction of Rhonda Stees.

Sunday, May 27 – JMU Sculpture Garden
Mr. Jefferson's Bones
has entertained thousands since its inception in 2001. The ensemble, whose repertoire includes classical, sacred, popular and jazz music, is comprised of some of the Shenandoah Valley's most experienced and talented trombonists including John Hollenbeck, former principal trombonist of the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra and a Los Angeles musician; Tom McKenzie, a noted area trombonist and valley band leader; Andy Lankford, associate professor of trombone at JMU; and Robert Mott, a bass trombonist whose arrangements and compositions for the ensemble have been published by Cimarron Music Press.

Sunday, June 3 – Memorial Hall Auditorium
A new group to this series, The Harrisonburg Harmonizers is the chorus of the Harrisonburg Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society. Founded in 1938, the society is an organization of 820 North American chapters (with affiliates abroad) devoted to the preservation and encouragement of the unique American music art form of a cappella singing known as barbershop harmony. Formed in 2008 and chartered in 2009, the Harrisonburg Chapter is a group of 35 men who love to sing old songs. In addition to its chorus, the Harrisonburg Chapter has several barbershop quartets that perform at public and private venues; the Harmonizers and quartets perform about 20 shows per year up and down the Shenandoah Valley.

Sunday, June 10 – JMU Sculpture Garden
Just Jazzin'
, a 20-member ensemble that plays big band and contemporary swing and Latin tunes, has played at concerts, dances and benefits in the Central Virginia area. The band also performs with college and high-school jazz ensembles and gives master classes to young jazz musicians throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Directed by Tom McKenzie, Just Jazzin’ features vocal soloists Charles Barone and Kelly Harris.

Sunday, June 17 – JMU Sculpture Garden
Harrisonburg-Rockingham Concert Band
, under the direction of JMU faculty member William G. Posey, traditionally performs concert-in-the-park repertoire with marches, overtures and Broadway musicals. The band traces its lineage to the late 19th century; it took the form of a modern-day concert band in 1983.

Sunday, June 24 – Memorial Hall Auditorium
The Ovation Singers
from Staunton, Va. perform "Songs of the Nation: An American Tapestry." The concert selections have been described as the "Who, What, When and Where of the great American people." Formed in Staunton in 1985 by Carolyn and Ray Hoaster, the Ovation Singers have presented hundreds of programs throughout Virginia with their own unique treatments of patriotic, seasonal, sacred and occasion-oriented programs.

Sunday, July 1 – JMU Sculpture Garden
After a year's absence, The 29th Army Band (Virginia Army National Guard) returns to play patriotic and popular music to celebrate Independence Day. Chief Warrant Officer Donald Carson will conduct the band in the season's final performance. Established in 1917, the 29th has supported the troops fighting in World Wars I and II, Bosnia and Iraq. Based in Petersburg, Va., the band has performed morale-building concerts and provided ceremonial backgrounds for funerals, changes of command and community concerts.

The JMU Sculpture Garden is located between the Music Building and Duke Hall. Audience members are encouraged to bring picnic dinners and lawn chairs to the concerts. Parking is available between Duke Hall and Miller Hall, between the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts and Anthony-Seeger Hall, and in the Warsaw Parking Deck.

In the event of rain, the concerts will move indoors to Memorial Hall Auditorium at 395 S. High Street. The concerts on June 3 and 24 will take place in Memorial Hall rain or shine.

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May 16, 2012

Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Last Updated: Thursday, October 20, 2016

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