By GRACE WINFIELD
This past Saturday, Friends of the Rappahannock hosted their 27 annual riverfest at Farley Vale Farm. The event serves as a great opportunity for the people of Fredericksburg to support their community and river restoration over a delicious cookout, boat rides and live music. This year, the University of Mary Washington’s very own Doug Gately, Director of Jazz Studies, and the UMW Jazz Ensemble were invited to perform at the festival.
“[the] group was just what we needed for our crowd and we got numerous compliments on their sound,” said the producer and organizer of the FOR Riverfest, Mary Lou Gramann. “Everyone enjoyed [their] selections and the big band they used.”
Despite the good reviews, it is unlikely they will perform again next year as the event rotates through various groups and genres of music every year, though Gately and the group of musicians are eager to perform at Riverfest again in the near future.
Riverfest is one of many non-profit events at which the UMW Jazz Ensemble performs.
They have performed at charity events supporting the Food Bank, American Cancer Society, United Way and the National Federation of the Blind, as well as concerts celebrating cultural contributions of the Latino and Black communities. The ensemble will be performing at the Hurley Convergence Center on Oct. 2 at 7:30 p.m. for their annual Latino Identities concert. They will also be performing for Black History Month in February, paying tribute to many of the great African American jazz icons.
The musicians have also provided music for special events and receptions such as the Great Minds awards, UMW President and BOV Receptions, UMW Dedications and President Paino’s inaugural celebration.
The UMW Jazz Ensemble is very proud to host their annual event, the “Jazz 4 Justice™” concert. This year it is scheduled for Nov. 4 in Dodd Auditorium also at 7:30 p.m. Net proceeds from the event will benefit UMW Jazz Ensemble and “Legal Aid Works℠,” an area nonprofit that provides critically needed civil legal assistance for domestic relations and other cases. The money will help fund legal services for low-income area individuals and families and provide scholarships for UMW music students.
FOR was founded in 1985 as a non-profit, grassroots conservation organization. The organization works to educate everyone about the river and to advocate for actions and policies that will protect and restore the Rappahannock River.
More information is available on the bands website: http://cas.umw.edu/