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Robinson Gives Back

School’s Music Honor Society holds annual benefit concert at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Fairfax.

The Robinson guitar ensemble performs at the 2012 Robinson Gives Back benefit concert. This year, the ensemble will perform works by Darin Au and Eric Whitacre.

The Robinson guitar ensemble performs at the 2012 Robinson Gives Back benefit concert. This year, the ensemble will perform works by Darin Au and Eric Whitacre. Photo by Paul McMahon

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A Robinson cello quartet performs at the 2012 Robinson Gives Back benefit concert held at Lord of Life Lutheran Church. From left, Erina Ishita, Maya Davis, Nick Rupert and Leif van Acker.

For Robinson senior and trumpet player Matt McMahon, just pulling off Saturday’s Robinson Gives Back concert will be a success in and of itself. The president of the secondary school’s 90-member Tri-M music honor society assumed most of the responsibility for organizing the annual event this year when the faculty sponsor and choral director Michael Horanski took paternity leave.

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The Robinson women’s chorus performs at the 2012 Robinson Gives Back benefit concert. The chorus figures to be a highlight of the concert again this year.

But for McMahon, the difficult work of lining up eight different performing ensembles from across the school’s diverse musical disciplines—guitar, band, orchestra and chorus—is well worth the end result: bringing good, live music to the community and donating proceeds to this year’s recipient, the Wounded Warrior Project. “I do want to earn a lot of money for this charity, because it really means a lot,” said McMahon.

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A brass quintet performs at the 2012 Robinson Gives Back benefit concert. From left, Matt McMahon (of Kings Park West), Natasha Penfield (of Fairfax Station), Brian Kropaczek (of Kings Park West), Zach Miller (of Burke) and Ben Flint (of Burke).

The senior is intimately familiar with the Wounded Warrior organization, which offers medical assistance and transitional support to injured soldiers. McMahon’s father Paul served 27 years in the Navy Corps of Engineers and his cousin was recently discharged from the Marine Corps after several tours. Last year, Robinson Gives Back raised donations upwards of $1,500.

The mixed program includes some familiar works by Mozart and Tchaikovsky, as well as pieces from composers including Johann Pezel and Eric Whitacre. Offering an ensemble for seemingly every musical taste, the program features a cello quartet, clarinet choir, women’s choir, string quartet, brass quintet, guitar ensemble and Robinson Singers mixed choir.

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The Robinson singers mixed chorus performs at the 2012 Robinson Gives Back benefit concert. For 2013, the concert proceeds will benefit the Wounded Warrior Project.

“It’s going to be a night of great music, great camaraderie as a music department,” said McMahon. “And you get to help our US combat veterans, who deserve our respect and our love, and our help however we can.”

“Robinson Gives Back” takes place Saturday, Feb. 23, at 7 p.m. at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church, 5114 Twinbrook Road, Fairfax. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged as all proceeds go directly to the Wounded Warrior Project.