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News Release

Date: October 7, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra to Perform in Concert Oct. 23
Concert to Feature Student Violinists and World Premiere of Commissioned Work

PHOTO EDITORS: For high resolution images to accompany this release, click on these links: ChikandLanga.jpg, Chik.jpg, Langa.jpg.

The Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra will perform in concert on Sunday, October 23, at 2 p.m., to inaugurate its Empowered to Excel partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus.  The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the College’s Robert E. Parilla Performing Arts Center, at 51 Mannakee Street, Rockville, Md. 

The Empowered to Excel partnership program, which launched this fall, offers talented MCPS high school instrumental music students the opportunity to play in Montgomery College’s orchestra, be a service leader, and earn Student Service Learning hours. 

“The Empowered to Excel program brings together a unique group of talented musicians from Montgomery College and local high schools to play with college faculty and professional performers,” said Dr. Wen Kurkul, conductor and music director of the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra.  “This mix of musical talent provides an unrivaled mentoring relationship for developing musicians.”

Two talented MCPS students in the Empowered to Excel program—Josh Chik and Thokozani Langa—will play Johann Sebastian Bach’s Concerto in D Minor for Two Violins, 1st Movement, with the orchestra.  Chik, an orchestra member at Richard Montgomery High School, began studying violin at age four.  This year, he won first place in the Maryland Teachers’ Association Competition with Concerto No. 7 by Charles de Beriot.  Thokozani Langa, an orchestra member at Damascus High School, began studying viola at age five with the D.C. Youth Orchestra.  While living in South Africa, she performed solo for the inauguration of Tito Mboweni as Governor of the South African Reserve Bank.

In honor of the 40th Anniversary of the College’s Rockville Campus, the orchestra will play a composition by Dr. Jeffrey Mangels, which was commissioned especially for the concert.  This marks the  world premiere of the piece, which blends sounds from popular tunes from the past four decades, such as “Penny Lane” by the Beatles, and “California Girls” by the Beach Boys (1960’s); Led Zepplin’s “Rock and Roll,” and the Bee Gees’ “Staying Alive” (1970’s); “Every Breath You Take” by the Police, and “Allentown” by Billy Joel (1980’s); and Whitney Houston’s “I Will Always Love You” and the Rembrandts’ “I’ll be There for You” (1990’s).

The concert will also feature remarks by MCPS Superintendent Jerry Weast, Montgomery College Executive Vice President Mary Kay Shartle-Galotto, and Montgomery College-Rockville Vice President and Provost Judy Ackerman.

The concert and its accompanying Rockville Campus 40th Anniversary photo exhibit were produced by Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus Office of Student Development, the Paul Peck Institute for American Culture and Civic Engagement, and the Montgomery College Symphony Orchestra.  

For more information about the concert or the College’s music program, please contact the Montgomery College Music Department at 301-279-5209.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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