Friday, September 14, 2018
“’ARTS by George!’ is a magical, moving, unforgettable experience benefitting student scholarships as well as the “Great Performances at Mason.”
“This year’s event brings together community and college, drawing inspiration from many student showcases as well as world-class talent,” said Jay Speer and Donn Smith, “ARTS by George!” co-chairs. “Where else can you experience so many different art forms together in one place, while dining on a sumptuous buffet under the stars in a night not to be missed!”
The annual “ARTS by George!” helps fund scholarships for GMU College of Visual and Performing Arts students in a wide range of fields, benefits the Green Machine Ensembles and the Mason Community Arts Academy. The event provides guests the opportunity to tour about a dozen open studios and rehearsal halls, “where they can enjoy live presentations of student work and behind-the-scenes insights.” added Speer and Smith.
Music icon The Manhattan Transfer headlines this year’s “ARTS By George!” The group has been a source for delectable pop and jazz hits for more than four decades bringing a melodic flair and jazz-infused vocals to a performance. The group has earned multiple Grammy Awards, is an inductee into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame and recipient of The National Music Council’s American Eagle Award.
As a special addition joining The Manhattan Transfer on the Center for the Arts (CFA) stage will be the Fairfax-based American Festival Pops Orchestra with Artistic Director and Founder Anthony Maiello. And in a very singular bonus, student members of the Mason Jazz Vocal Ensemble, directed by Dr. Darden Purcell, Director of Jazz Studies/Jazz Voice at Mason will perform “I’ll Be Seeing You,” and “No More Blues” on the CFA stage. “No More Blues” is a music piece custom-arranged by American Festival Pops Orchestra Composer/ Arranger-in-Residence, Bryan Kidd.
“The gala ‘ARTS by George!’ brings every aspect of our College to life in just a few short, electric hours, with student showcases, a renowned headliner performance, great food, and the best company anywhere,” said Rick Davis, dean, GMU College of Visual and Performing Arts. “It has helped put the arts at Mason on the radar, and raised essential funds for program and scholarship support.”
“ARTS by George!” aims to benefit deserving students while guests are thoroughly entertained. The gala also benefits CFA’s “Great Performances” so that this year there will be the first-ever “Family Series” with entertainment for children and families.