Oh my goodness. What an absolutely fabulous evening at the George Mason Center for the Arts courtesy of the American Festival Pops Orchestra and Lisa Vroman.
The orchestra, under the direction of Conductor and Artistic Director Anthony J. Maiello, along with the featured guest performers, Wade Beach, piano, Dave Brown, saxophone, Jim Carroll, saxophone, Dave Detwiler, trumpet, and Harold Summey, Jr., percussion, was nothing short of phenomenal.
From The Star Spangled Banner to America, the Beautiful with Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Man of La Mancha, Ol’ Man River, Porgy and Bess, and the Armed Forces Salute, every arrangement and rendition was stellar. Tambourin Chinois by Fritz Kreisler (arranged by Bryan Kidd) was written for violin but Summey hit it waay out of the park on the xylophone.
The evening would have been great with just the orchestra and guests, but there was another special treat in store, the absolutely stunning and amazing Lisa Vroman, soprano.
Lisa Vroman was a student of Maiello’s in college, where she was studying the flute. What a shame it would have been had she not pursued vocal training. What a voice! Her voice is as clear as a bell and her stage presence is ebullient and engaging. She sang several tunes, including the Trolley Song, If I Loved You, I Got Rhythm, All I Ask of You, Glamorous Life, and Wonderful Guy, with interesting and amusing anecdotes.
She brought Jonathan Champ, a junior at GMU, on stage to join her in her portrayal of an incident in a performance of All I Ask of You. He is quite a young talent and how gracious of her to give him the opportunity to show us. Well, I will be watching for Miss Vroman and hope to catch her performance very soon.