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McLean Orchestra Hosts FunFest, Cookout

Saturday’s event supports orchestra’s mission.

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The event features food from area restaurants, as well as games, raffles, prizes and a "moon bounce."

The McLean Orchestra will host a Community FunFest and Cookout on July 18, 1 - 6 p.m. at St. Francis Episcopal Church in Great Falls. Residents of the greater McLean and Great Falls communities are invited to join orchestra members, patrons and friends of the McLean Orchestra and McLean Youth Orchestra at a fun-filled day which will feature the live music of the Parklawn Ramblers Bluegrass Band, the McLean Orchestra Brass Quintet and other featured groups. There will be food from area restaurants, including Red, Hot & Blue and the McLean Family Restaurant, as well as games, raffles, prizes and a "moon bounce." A Redskins football autographed by quarterback Jason Campbell and donated by Easterns Automotive Group will be the premier item in a live auction.

The first in what is hoped to become an annual event, this community picnic is a fundraiser designed to generate income to help the orchestra move beyond the current economic difficulties and expand its offerings to new audiences. The McLean Orchestra and McLean Youth Orchestras have been playing to crowds for many years at Oakcrest School in McLean. To guarantee the opening of the 2010 season, the 38-year-old institution is turning to the community to help raise the necessary funds.

The Board of Directors of the McLean Orchestra recently announced a fund-raising goal of $60,000 to be raised by Sept. 21. Monies raised at the FunFest will support the orchestra’s mission to extend the appreciation and enjoyment of orchestra performances to all sectors of the community.

"This is perhaps the most exciting time in McLean Orchestra history. We have one of the best orchestras on this side of the Potomac and we’ll spotlight our orchestra next season with some electrifying programs," said Maestra Sylvia Alimena. On the orchestra’s 2009/2010 schedule are performances of Shostakovich’s Tenth Symphony, Mendelssohn’s Reformation Symphony and Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. Highlights include solo performances by 11-year-old prodigy flutist Emma Resmini and renowned National Symphony Orchestra Concertmaster Nurit Bar-Josef.

A new offering this season will be innovative multimedia presentations and a series of pre-concert lectures. Along with pops concerts, chamber music programs, McLean Youth Orchestra concerts and in-home musicales, the orchestra also provides community outreach programs to local retirement homes, homeowners associations, local civic organizations and many area school children.

"We constantly ask ourselves what we can offer the local community," said executive director John Huling. "The July 18 FunFest is the latest and most inviting way for us to bring the community together to spend an afternoon with family, friends, and fans, while helping to fund an exceptionally worthy cause," he said.

Major supporters of the FunFest are Red, Hot & Blue, Easterns Automotive Group, Allegra Print & Imaging and the McLean Family Restaurant.

Call 703-893-8646 for more information.