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The United States Air Force Band and Washington Performing Arts Offer a Third Collaboration with “The Bernstein Story”

Jamie Bernstein Bio Photo

Jamie Bernstein will narrate "The Bernstein Story" with the U.S. Air Force Symphony Orchestra on February 18th (Photo by Stephen Sherman)

Washington, D.C. --

The U. S. Air Force Band continues its tradition of artistic cooperation with Washington Performing Arts on Sunday, February 18th at The Music Center At Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland by presenting a tribute to honor late American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein in celebration of his 100th birthday. Narrated by Bernstein’s oldest daughter Jamie, the performance is entitled “A Bernstein Story.”

The concert, which marks the third collaboration between Washington Performing Arts and the United States Air Force Band, will be presented in the style of Leonard Bernstein’s famed Young People’s Concerts, which aired on CBS from 1958-1972 and inspired generations of musicians and music lovers. During the series’ original run, Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic introduced young audiences to classical music repertoire, with Bernstein narrating each segment. “The Bernstein Story” performance casts Bernstein’s eldest daughter Jamie in the role of narrator. An active writer, broadcaster, and speaker, Ms. Bernstein is no stranger to the educational concert medium. Fifteen years ago, she created “The Bernstein Beat,” a family-friendly concert about her father’s music, modeled after his own groundbreaking Young People’s Concerts. Jamie has gone on to design, write and narrate concerts for worldwide audiences about the music of Mozart, Copland, Stravinsky and others. She creates and narrates two educational “Discovery Concerts” a year with the New World Symphony in Miami, with the purpose of attracting new concertgoers of all ages.

Under the baton of Colonel Larry H. Lang, “The Bernstein Story” will feature the U.S. Air Force Symphony Orchestra, with special guests from the United States Army Band Strings and Marine Chamber Orchestra, creating a large inter-service ensemble with the ability to convey the lush sonorities of Bernstein classics such as “Candide Overture,” “On the Town,” excerpts from “Fancy Free” and “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.”

The two previous collaborations between Washington Performing Arts and The United States Air Force Band received critical accolades. The 2016 performances of John Luther Adams’ “Sila: Breath of the World” was praised by the Washington Post, who dubbed it “ephemeral, organic, and simply beautiful.”  In 2017, the joint venture produced a performance of Olivier Messaien’s “From the Canyons to the Stars,” which was named one of the top ten classical performances of the year in the DC area by Washington Classical Review.

“A Bernstein Story” will be presented at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 18 at The Music Center at Strathmore, 5301 Tuckerman Lane , North Bethesda, MD. Tickets are free but required for the event. Tickets may be procured through Eventbrite at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-bernstein-story-tickets-42016067188?aff=eac2 For groups of seven or more please contact Ticket Services at 202-785-9727.