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Multi-Tasker Alimena Takes Up McLean Orchestra Baton

Sylvia Alimena, who plays second horn with the National Symphony Orchestra and directs the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, Friday Morning Music Club, and Brass of Peace, will take up the baton to direct the McLean Orchestra in concert on Oct. 4.

Alimena won the job of music director for the orchestra after a one-year search. Six guest conductors appeared with the orchestra in that time.

She was appointed to the position last July, succeeding longtime music director emeritus, Arnald Gabriel.

Alimena is a native of Long Island, N.Y., who studied music at Boston University and was awarded a fellowship at Tanglewood Music Center.

She played with the Boston Ballet Orchestra, Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra and the Beacon Brass Quintet and was principal horn of the Boston Lyric Opera and New Hampshire Symphony.

She played with the Utah Symphony for one year and came to Washington in 1985 to play in the horn section of the National Symphony Orchestra.

In 1990, she began conducting when she took over the Brass of Peace, a scholarship program for high-school musicians, which performs 10 outreach concerts yearly in the community and in schools. The program teaches high-school children how to speak in public and how to give to the community, as members of the brass ensemble give talks about their instruments to younger children in the audience.

The McLean Orchestra, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, is composed of serious musicians, both amateur and professional. Its four major concerts are presented at Langley High School Auditorium.