Dear Dewberry School of Music Family,

We are eagerly anticipating Jazz4Justice this Friday night at 8 pm as we feature our outstanding Mason Jazz ensembles in a virtual concert partnership with Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV). This year's celebration concert will feature the Mason Jazz Ensemble, Mason Vocal Jazz, and Steel Pan Ensemble. 

We are proud to continue our Black Artist Series with 13 extraordinary guest artists this semester.  We hope that you will join us this Friday afternoon at 4:30 pm for a lecture with Dr. Rita Porfiris, violist, on "The Classical Chamber Music of Black Composers."

How thrilled we are to present Mason's New Sound Collective tonight at 8 pm in a world premiere featuring Mason student composers and performers. The Mason Brass Ensemble presents a stunning program this Sunday at 5.30 pm, including a world premiere by Andrew Markel. Our Mason opera students are excited to share an evening of beautiful Operatic Arias this upcoming Monday at 7:30 pm.  We are also pleased to feature faculty masterclasses and 16 student degree recitals as highlighted throughout this newsletter.

During this season of Thanksgiving, please know how grateful we are for each of you, our wonderful Mason Music Family. We deeply appreciate your enthusiastic support of our talented and hard-working Mason student artists as they share their musical gifts via live-stream and video performances during this global pandemic. We pray for health and safety for each of you and we give thanks for the gift of music that continues to uplift, inspire, and sustain us during this challenging time.

Warmest wishes for a safe and healthy Thanksgiving season,
Dr. Linda A. Monson, Director
Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music
Black Artist Series
The Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music is leading the charge by utilizing its collective efforts and creative energy to shed light on the talents of those who have been historically underrepresented. As part of this crucial endeavor, the School has established a monthly educational series that includes masterclasses and roundtable discussions highlighting Black musicians and their contributions to the music field. The Black Artists Series launched this fall, upholding George Mason University’s mission to be an "inclusive academic community committed to creating a more just, free, and prosperous world."
The new series—which is organized by Linda Apple Monson and members of the Dewberry School of Music faculty—features 13 extraordinary guest artists in various formats during the current semester. From composers and conductors to singers and instrumentalists, a broad array of musical disciplines at the Dewberry School of Music are being spotlighted through this Black Artist Series.  

“I thought this was important for us to do, and I'm very proud of what we've been able accomplish in order to curate and present the Black Artists Series,” commented Linda Apple Monson, Director of the Dewberry School of Music. She added, “I must note that this is possible for us because of the terrific relationships that our Dewberry School of Music faculty enjoy with terrific colleagues in the field.”

Upcoming sessions left in the series will feature violist Rita Porfiris (November 20), soprano Aundi Marie Moore (December 1), conductor and tubist Michael Nickens (December 1), and conductor Marcellus Brown (December 3).
The Black Artists Series reflects a larger commitment to equality, justice, and freedom within the artistic community at Mason. Other new initiatives at the Dewberry School of Music for this academic year include: integrating a broader set of musical experiences and styles into the music curriculum; commissioning two new works by Black composers, which will be premiered by Mason students in May 2021; and inviting guest artists from diverse backgrounds for a Global Music Series with student artists. 

Rita Porfiris, violist
The Classical Chamber Music of Black Composers
Friday, November 20th, 4:30 PM

Dr. Rita Porfiris will begin with a discussion of the earliest known Black composers of chamber music and then focus on how the Nationalistic movement of music in Europe could have changed the landscape of American classical music, but did not. The presentation will end with a quick survey of contemporary composers of the Americas.
Meeting ID: 981 8480 8342
Passcode: 283999
Friday, November 20th
Mason Jazz Students Play to Bridge the
Justice Gap in Northern Virginia

"One of the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ core beliefs is that students should be civically engaged and become social do-gooders in their communities. Our faculty prioritizes this duty through their curriculum development and instruction, and our staff makes every effort to support faculty- and student-led initiatives that promote advocacy, activism, and community service through the arts. A prime example is Jazz 4 Justice™, a concert-fundraiser that is presented through a partnership between George Mason University’s Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music and Legal Services of Northern Virginia (LSNV)."

However, it is much more than a concert.

The collaboration’s primary mission is to raise funds that underwrite civil legal assistance for underprivileged community members and those facing financial hardships. This year’s Jazz4Justice™ is especially vital, as many of our neighbors throughout Northern Virginia are struggling with the unexpected effects of the pandemic on their health and livelihoods.

“LSNV’s free legal help is particularly crucial this year because the pandemic has forced so many Northern Virginians to face eviction, unemployment, lack of adequate health insurance, and more,” affirmed Marcy Kossar, Director of Development for LSNV.

The Legal Services Corporation estimates that 86% of low-income Americans who have civil legal problems receive inadequate or no legal help, and 71% of low-income households experienced at least one civil or legal problem in the last year (source: 2017 Justice Gap Report). This discrepancy between legal representation for civil cases and the need for legal services for low-income individuals is known as the “Justice Gap.” Jazz4Justice™ brings awareness to the Justice Gap, while providing monetary support through concerts and sponsorships.

For 19 years, Mason students have participated in Jazz4Justice™ and lent their talents to a greater cause. Our young jazz artists are acutely aware of the needs from those around them who are less fortunate, and it brings them a sense of purpose to be a part of the solution."

Read more here.

Be sure to tune in to Jazz4Justice this Friday, November 20th at 8:00 PM!
Upcoming Concerts, Masterclasses, and Lectures
New Sound Collective Presentation
Mason's Contemporary Music Ensemble
Wednesday, November 18th, 8:00 PM

Join us for the world premiere of a new film score for the Harold Lloyd classic, Safety Last! All of the music for this silent film has been written, performed, and recorded by GMU students.
Oboe Masterclass with Prof. Emily Foster
Saturday, November 21st, 10:00 AM
Mason Brass Ensemble Concert
Sunday, November 22nd, 5:30 PM

Featuring an evening of selected chamber music by contemporary composers.
Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center:
David Shifrin, clarinet

with pre-concert discussion moderated by Dr. Kathleen Mulcahy

Sunday, November 22 at 7 p.m.
An Evening of Operatic Arias
Monday, November 23rd, 7:30 PM

Live-streamed from the stage of the Center for the Arts, our marvelous Mason students will be singing beautiful arias by Handel, Mozart, Verdi, Wagner, and additional opera composers.
Doctoral Lecture-Recitals
Selected excerpts of piano solo music will be represented in a geometrical model of musical chords and melodies based on atomic and molecular bonding models. A note is modeled as a solid sphere, two-note chords as two solid spheres bound linearly, three- and four-note chords as polygons inside a hollow spherical space, and the melodies as contouring lines of a helix. The model develops geometrical shapes of melody, intervals, and chords progressively into two-dimensional and three-dimensional shapes.

Estrella Hong, Doctoral Piano Lecture Recital
Wednesday, Nov 18, 5:30pm
Estrella Hong Dissertation Defense
Thursday, November 19th, 10:00 AM
Meeting ID: 431 829 8411
Passcode: 029363
Michelle Fegeas, Doctoral Vocal Lecture Recital
Saturday, Nov 21, 2:00pm

Enjoy the finest work of Michelle Fegeas in her doctoral vocal lecture recital where she will be presenting a feminist reading of the poetry of Margaret Atwood set to twenty-first century art songs.
Fall 2020
Student Recitals
Our talented student artists will be presenting their degree recitals this semester virtually. View upcoming recitals below and on our calendar.
Save the Date!
Dewberry School of Music Holiday Concert
Saturday, December 12th, 8:00 PM

Featuring the Mason Symphony Orchestra,
University Singers, Mason Chorale,
Wind Symphony, Mason Percussion,
Mason Brass Ensemble and Woodwinds
Stay in the Know