Press Room

For Press Inquiries, contact Camille Cintrón Devlin, Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications at 703-993-8794 or


January 7, 2009
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.






Jan. 22-24, 2009


FAIRFAX, Va., Dec. 18, 2008George Mason University’s Potomac Arts Academy and the Department of Music are pleased to present the 2009 High School Honor Band Festival on Jan. 22-24, 2009 at Mason’s Fairfax Campus. The festival will give high school band students from public and private high schools in Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C. the opportunity to participate in master classes and workshops with Mason’s distinguished music faculty; perform under the direction of internationally renowned composer and conductor Mark Camphouse (director of the Mason Wind Symphony); and rehearse and perform with professor Michael "Doc Nix" Nickens and “The Green Machine” (Mason’s Award Winning Pep Band). Selected students also will have the opportunity to perform with the United States Navy Band, which is in residence for the international saxophone symposium. The Honor Band Festival is the launching event for the newly expanded Potomac Arts Academy, a program of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts.

“The Potomac Arts Academy is very pleased to be collaborating with George Mason University’s Department of Music band organizations in presenting the 2009 High School Honor Band Festival,” said Elizabeth Curtis, the manager of Potomac Arts Academy. “This year’s festival offers students expanded experiences ranging from master classes, panel discussions and special performance opportunities. Combine this with working with some of Mason’s finest faculty and you have a truly unique and very exciting program.”           

Students will be required to study, rehearse and perform several works with the theme of “Music in Wartime” at this year’s Honor Band Festival. In addition, Mason’s Wind Symphony will perform selected works from their concert repertoire. Selected by Mark Camphouse, the works include John Paulson’s “Epinicion”; the Virginia premiere of Camphouse’s “Anthem”; and Daniel Bukvich’s Symphony No. 1 “In Memoriam Dresden."

Paulson’s “Epinicion” refers to the song of victory at the conclusion of a triumphant battle. Ancient Greeks sang an epinicion while they walked through the battlefield sorting the wounded from the dead. Written during the final days of the Vietnam War, Paulson wished to portray to inevitable insanity, despair and the absolute horrors of war.

Composed by Camphouse in the fall of 2007, “Anthem” incorporates elements of the national anthems of both the United States and the Republic of Iraq, however, it is not a “war piece.” Rather, it invites the listener to contemplate the ramifications of the conflict as it might be viewed by an Iraqi civilian through the setting of the Iraqi national anthem, entitled “My Homeland” and by a U.S. serviceman or woman, with fragments of "The Star Spangled Banner," in addition to Camphouse’s originally composed ballad-like theme.

Originally composed as his master thesis assignment, Symphony No. 1 "In Memoriam Dresden" helped propel Daniel Bukvich’s career into national prominence. The work depicts the Allied forces fire-bombing of Dresden, Germany on the night of February 13, 1945, which killed approximately 150,000 men, women and children. The four movements, “Prologue," "Seeds in the Wind," "Ave Maria" and "Firestorm," are derived from David Irving’s "The Destruction of Dresden," a historic account of the bombings.

“Music is a powerful means of communication,” said Camphouse. “I chose the ‘Music in Wartime’ theme to try to illustrate to Honor Band students and the audience just how connected music is with historic events and the human condition.”

Potomac Arts Academy is the community outreach branch of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts, and provides quality year-long classes, special events and seminars and a wide variety of summer programs to community members of all ages, skill levels and socioeconomic backgrounds. The faculty members at Potomac Arts Academy are drawn from the College of Visual and Performing Arts, graduate students and well-respected members of the arts community.

“We are delighted to host this event,” CVPA Dean William Reeder said. “Bands form the backbone of American musical and ceremonial life. Having the opportunity to engage some of the nation’s finest musicians in this concentrated fashion is important to CVPA’s understanding of the field and its leaders.”

For questions or more information on the 2009 High School Honor Band Festival, please contact John Kilkenny, festival coordinator, at or (703) 993-1607.


Festival Performance Schedule

Friday, Jan. 23 at 8 p.m.

United States Navy Band Concert

Center for the Arts Concert Hall

FREE, non-ticketed


Saturday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m.

Mason Wind Symphony

High School Honor Band

Center for the Arts Concert Hall

FREE, non-ticketed


The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit

The College of Visual and Performing Arts exists to create an academic environment in which the arts may be considered both as individual disciplines and as interdisciplinary forms that strengthen each other. Believing that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the College draws on a variety of professional presenting and producing units where artists from across the country and around the world regularly perform, give master classes, work with students during extended residencies and interact with the community in a variety of other ways. These programs at the Center for the Arts Concert Hall, TheaterSpace, Galleries, Harris Theater and other venues, provide a diverse selection of challenging and entertaining cultural experiences for the University community, as well as Northern Virginia and the greater Washington, D.C. area. The College houses four academic departments: Art and Visual Technology, Dance, Music and Theater.

About George Mason University

George Mason University, located in the heart of Northern Virginia’s technology corridor near Washington, D.C., is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with national distinction in a range of academic fields. With strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering, information technology, biotechnology and health care, Mason prepares its students to succeed in the work force and meet the needs of the region and the world. Mason professors conduct groundbreaking research in areas such as cancer, climate change, information technology and the biosciences, and Mason’s Center for the Arts brings world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Its School of Law is recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the top 35 law schools in the United States.