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Falls Church Music Scene Shines for Summer Season

By Kylee Toland

This summer Falls Church is offering a wide variety of musical events for the public to enjoy.

Whether one prefers classical over rock or jazz over hip-hop, the local music scene has a lot to propose to people with different musical tastes.

For classical music lovers, the Washington Sinfonietta provides a range of musical works, with music ranging from historical legends such as Beethoven and Mozart to lesser-known composers from the classical and romantic eras.

Founded in 2006, the Washington Sinfonietta states on its website that its mission is “to enrich the greater Washington D.C. community through quality symphonic and chamber music performances and community outreach activities.”

Steve Higley, the current president of the orchestra, stated the Washington Sinfonietta usually has around 70 to 100 attendees per performance, but also said he would like to see ways “to grow that audience base.”

THE WASHINGTON SINFONIETTA, following their recent performance with Rachel Franklin. (Photo courtesy Steve Higley.)

Having the title of the only “full orchestra” that’s based in Falls Church, Higley said the orchestra views this achievement as both “a responsibility and really a privilege to be kind of a cultural ambassador to classical music and the community.”

Recently, the Washington Sinfonietta held a tribute concert at The Falls Church Episcopal to Cindy Pettigrew, the deceased mother of a musician in the orchestra. Higley said it was an “honor” to be a part of the memorial concert, while also stating “it’s a lot more about music” and “it’s not really surprising when you start to think about how important music is in our society and in our lives.” To learn more, visit washingtonsinfonietta.org.

The Summer Concerts in the Park series allows locals to enjoy live music from local bands every Thursday night starting at 7 p.m. in Cherry Hill Park.

Celebrating its 30th year, the concert series line-up this summer includes the Falls Church Concert Band, Apple Core — a Beatles cover band — Ocho De Bastos — a Latin Rock band — and many more. Guests are encouraged to bring a folding chair or picnic blanket, as well as a picnic dinner to enjoy while watching the shows.

To learn more, visit fallschurchva.gov.

On Saturday, June 25th, Project Locrea — a world-folk fusion ensemble — hosted a free live concert at the Mary Riley Styles Public Library. Yana Nikol, founder and flutist of Project Locrea, said the main focus of the musical event is on “performing original arrangements of folk songs from all the different countries and cultures we are from.”

Arrangements include modern U.S. grooves, with current members originating from Argentina, China, Peru and other countries. Project Locrea started when Nikol stated she had a “dream of starting a band” like Project Locrea, and was able to fulfill that dream in 2018 when “ the right people came along and they all said ‘yes’ when I asked them to join.”

Originally from Falls Church, Nikol said one of her goals for Project Locrea is to “expand the audience in Falls Church and to find more venues to host us so we can share our music and our message of harmony between cultures through music.”

Depending on the venue they are playing, Nickol said anywhere between 30 and 200 people attend their concerts.

As for what she believes Project Locrea brings to the Falls Church area, she said “it expands the variety of different styles of music presented in the area,” as well as “showcasing a music project that is the result of collaboration between immigrants and Americans.”

Project Locrea is also planning to perform in Potomac, Maryland on July 9th and Vienna, VA on July 14th. To learn more, visit projectlocrea.com.

The State Theatre is probably one of the most well-known live music areas in Falls Church, hosting a wide variety of artists and bands.

Built in 1936, their website states that it was once a movie theater, but was changed into a concert venue in the 1990s. Known as the first theater to be centrally air-conditioned, the State Theatre is hosting bands such as The Smithereens, The Legwarmers, and many more this summer season.

Meredith Johnstone, the COO and Primary Talent Buyer for The State Theatre said their main goal “continues to be bringing some of the best and most entertaining acts in live music and comedy to the heart of Falls Church.”

She also stated Falls Church is an “active community of people interested in going out and finding new and interesting things to do.”

“We are bringing in a wide range of shows that the community can come out and enjoy,” Johnstone said, “but also shows that bring people in from outside of the community for an evening in our city.”