NOVA Annandale Symphony Orchestra
Reunion Music Society and 
NOVA Annandale Symphony Orchestra
Update August 26, 2020

Fall Semester is on with record-breaking enrollment!
Music Director Chris Johnston, RMS, and many volunteers have collaborated over the summer to prepare and test an ensemble music syllabus for the NVCC Music 148/248 class - with conservative pandemic safety precautions.  

Furthermore, although NVCC is struggling with enrollments due to the pandemic and may have to cut back on many classes, our musician community has rallied to support the orchestra by enrolling in higher numbers than ever seen in its 25-year history.  

NVCC has accepted the syllabus, and with this unprecedented support, they have confirmed that the music class will go ahead. First class is tonight!

Music class format
Musicians (both registered students and community players) will convene for discussion every Wednesday evening on Zoom.  Small ensembles will be formed (2-15 players) and will each have an ensemble leader (playing), a coach (typically an orchestra section leader), and a music program.  The ensembles will work on their pieces independently, using any combination of these methods:

  • Outdoors.  Musicians meet in a suitable outdoor setting with distancing and masking as appropriate.
  • JamKazam. Each musician plays at home and the ensemble connects via audio in real time on
  • Asynchronous.  A guide/foundation track is prepared. Musicians separately record themselves.  A composite performance is assembled from the recordings (audio or video).
Community musicians are warmly invited to participate, even if not registered students! If you are new to the orchestra, please visit the Come Play With Us page and submit the application there.

We are assuming that indoor concerts will not be possible and are working towards presenting two Internet streaming events, one in October and one in December.  The events will include live performances and/or premieres of prerecorded performances.

RMS support
The Reunion Music Society is actively supporting these ensemble activities with:
  • Equipment loans.  A good quality microphone and computer interface are important for both JamKazam and self-recording. RMS has purchased several kits of suitable equipment and is loaning them to musicians who have financial need so they can best participate in ensemble music.
  • Scholarships and tuition reimbursements. RMS is continuing to support NVCC students, both music majors and community members, with tuition reimbursements for MUS 148/248, as our support for the long-standing relationship with the college.
  • Volunteer support.  Coordination of small ensembles and presentation of streaming events poses many new challenges! RMS members are playing vital roles both musically and administratively. 
Scholarship winners
RMS congratulates Laura Pilkington (clarinet), winner of the 2020-21 Herbert Smith-Richard O. White scholarship, and Patrisha San Juan (viola), winner of the  2020-21 Lafayette Jackson scholarship. Each musician will be reimbursed for tuition in the Music 148/248 (orchestra) class for two semesters and will receive a $500 stipend.

For news about streaming performances, please monitor our website and these newsletters. If you have any questions, email

We look forward to bringing ensemble music to the community again. Please stay safe and healthy!

Ralph Brooker
President, Reunion Music Society
Cello Section Leader, NOVA Annandale Symphony Orchestra