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Neighborhood: Seminary Valley June 7

<sh>Seminary Valley

SPRING HIGHLIGHT

Spring is a busy time for Alexandria parents, which explains my dearth of columns of late.

One May highlight was getting to play the piano with T.C. Williams’ Symphonic Orchestra and during some selected seniors’ solos (notable West End neighbors Giulianni Hardy and Cathryn Dutton). Please look for an opportunity to hear this great group of performers next year when they debut in the new T.C. auditorium. It is always a bonus when one of our children is also in the ensemble; daughter Katie joined some band members to supplement the very able orchestra.

LOCAL PERFORMERS

Our family also sat through an entertaining evening with the T.C. Symphonic Band, led by Naylor Street’s Vaughan Ambrose. The band is well-populated by Seminary Valley students. They include but are not limited to: Makda Aman, Emily Haitsuka, Patrick Cox, Katie Jones, Patrick Horner, Jesse Schaffer, Alia Elnahas, Anna Moeser, Craig Pullen, Sara Danver, Marc Grosser, Simon Cohn, Abby Keller, Michael Green, Hannah Levy, Olivia Gonzalez, Lily Noguchi, Drew Kelly, Giordano Hardy, Heather Casey and Carl Eckel. Special honor was given to Mr. Kelly’s parents, Sue and Joe (of Sutton Place), who have toiled many years in the T.C. Band uniform closet, on charter buses, backstage and in various band carpools.

You may get to see some of those students, along with adult counterparts, in an Alexandria Citizen Band performance this summer. The Band is looking for skilled musicians of any age to join and perform with the ensemble. Especially needed are percussionists, French Horn and Bari Sax players. The group rehearses on Friday evenings at Minnie Howard from 8 to 9 p.m. There is also a Citizen’s Jazz Band that rehearses from 6:30 to 8 p.m., also on Friday nights. Questions? Call Rick Whittenberger at 703-587-7932 or e-mail him at rickwhittenberger@yahoo.com.

ALUMNI FLASH

Kassy Benson has a Hammond alumni flash: The 2006 Committee and the Francis C. Hammond High School Alumni association invites everyone to a picnic on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2007 at Ft. Hunt Park. This is a catered event, not a potluck. If you attended Hammond High between 1956 and 1971, there is a small charge. For information, contact Hammond2007Picnic@Yahoo.com.

NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH

Bob Bates of Peele Place is Seminary Valley’s go-to guy for Neighborhood Watch. The City, our Civic Association and the Polk PTA are once again sponsoring a National Night Out celebration at Polk Elementary School on Tuesday, Aug. 7. Bob also wants all of you to please remember to lock your doors and windows on these lovely spring days…some unwelcome guests have been breaking into homes in, and close to, our neighborhood. Because of Seminary Valley’s proximity to highway exits, it’s a good target for car thieves: so lock your cars, folks!

TRIPS GALORE

Many of you ask me "where have you been lately"? In May we visited Richmond, where both Pat and I had conferences (his: transportation, mine: genealogy). I was especially interested to go there as I have deep family (Adams and Pollard) roots there. Frankly, it is ludicrous that I have lived in Northern Virginia for 23 years and not paid the city a visit. It was such a treat to walk along Church Hill streets and see where my forbears lived before relocating to New Orleans, then California.

The day after Pat returned from Richmond we were off to Crete, in part to celebrate our 19th wedding anniversary. If any of you visit a Greek Island, pack insect repellent! Bring plenty of cash: gas is over $6.50 per gallon. While Pat toiled with international toll industry bigwigs, I toured the island and got a head start on my tan. We Californians love the ocean and it was a treat to break away from my St. Stephen’s loop to run along the Mediterranean coastline, then breakfasting on fresh yogurt and honey. I’ll be making a trip to the West End’s Mediterranean Bakery very soon, be assured!

—Mia Jones