The Amadeus Orchestra performed for students at Spring Hill Elementary School in McLean on Sept. 14, but they were not the only ones on stage — the 27 members of Spring Hill's Chamber Orchestra shared music stands with the 45 professionals during the opening number, "The Star-Spangled Banner." The school's orchestra director, Ruth Donahue, conducted the entire ensemble.
After playing the National Anthem, the young Chamber Orchestra musicians sat among the professionals, and the students watched them perform Rossini's "Overture to L'Italiana in Algeri" and Mendelssohn's "Symphony #4 in A major, opus 60" under the direction of Amadeus Orchestra conductor, A. Scott Wood. Everyone at the assembly enjoyed the entire concert, but loyalty won out — Spring Hill staff and students said that their favorite piece was "The Star-Spangled Banner."
This is Wood's first season with the Amadeus Orchestra. He is also music director of the Washington Conservatory Orchestra, the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and the National Cathedral School & St. Albans School Orchestra. In the coming year, he will also appear with the Orchestra Society of Philadelphia and the Brevard (N.C.) Philharmonic. In recent years Wood conducted the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra at the Shenandoah Valley Music Festival, the American Youth Symphony Orchestra, and the D.C. Youth Orchestras.
The Amadeus Orchestra was founded in 1981 as the Great Falls Concert Series by the late Timothy Rowe. It is a non-profit, public music foundation dedicated to enhancing the enjoyment, understanding, and accessibility of fine music in Northern Virginia and the surrounding area. Concerts feature professional musicians performing high-quality programs of solo, ensemble, and orchestral works.
With 277 string players, the Spring Hill Elementary School Orchestra in McLean is one of the largest elementary school orchestras in the nation. Its more experienced musicians can audition for various groups: Silver Strings, Strolling Strings, The Chamber Orchestra, and the elite Liya Ensemble, which is named after the orchestra's concert master who died just after her 6th grade graduation.