Performances to Aid Center

Performances to Aid Center

Tom Teasley brings his rhythmic beat to Mount Vernon Unitarian Church.

Not just one but three performances. That's what Tom Teasley, percussionist and Washington, D.C. native now living in nearby Hollin Hills, has agreed to give to help the Bryant Early Learning Center, run by United Community Ministries in partnership with Fairfax County.

The first performance will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. This performance, "Autumn Grooves," will be the first in a three-concert series to benefit the BEL Center. All three concerts will take place at Mount Vernon Unitarian Church, located 1909 Windmill Lane in Alexandria.

The series, "BioRhythms," will feature Teasley, his wife Linda and colleagues in three Sunday afternoon concerts celebrating the cycle of seasons. Tickets are $15 for each event, or $40 for series ticket purchases. Future performance dates are Dec. 18 and March 26, 2006.

When Teasley first spoke to MVUC friends about offering a performance series and community benefit, they immediately thought about the BEL Center. Teasley has agreed to share half of the proceeds from all performances, plus a portion of his CD sales, which MVUC will collect and donate directly to the BEL Center at the end of the series. Local sponsors who have supported the BEL Center will have opportunities to enjoy special publicity by making donations designated for BEL, which relies on contributions from corporations, organizations and individuals.

TEASLEY SAID that he was looking forward to combining creative programming with community service, and in an e-mail to his supporters, he wrote, “I suppose all musicians would like to imagine that their music has some sort of healing property and serves a greater good. I have been searching for a way for my music to have a direct impact on my community in addition to whatever aesthetic value it may have. To that end, I am happy to announce my three-part ‘Bio-Rhythms’ series in partnership with the Mount Vernon Unitarian Church. These concerts will benefit the Bryant Early Learning Center, an affordable childcare center and the affiliate program, Project Opportunity, helping teen mothers to stay in school. I have agreed to cover expenses for the hall rental, musician fees, etc. and to donate half of all proceeds to BEL. Additionally I will donate a portion of all CD sales to the center.”

Teasley said that the first concert will be a solo percussion recital featuring musical influences from India, Africa and the Middle East, with ancient and traditional instruments coupled with electronics.

“My wife Linda, a vocalist, will accompany me on a portion of the concert,” he said.

The second concert will feature his new ensemble, "World, Wind and Percussion." This trio features John Jensen on trombone, didgeridoo and conch shells and Chris Battistone on trumpet and shofar.

“We will be offering an alternative to the traditional holiday brass and percussion concerts,” Teasley said.

The third and final program, March 26, features Teasley’s longtime collaborator and friend Charles Williams in "Word Beat," a program that combines words and songs with a plethora of percussion.

Teasley chairs the percussion department at the Levine School of Music in Washington, D.C. He has performed internationally and nationally, at major music festivals and percussion events and locally at the Kennedy Center. Teasley’s tunes combine instruments and rhythms from around the world, and are frequently aired on NPR.