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Free concert in Alexandria features original tribute to Pearl Harbor hero

U.S. Navy Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller (image via National Archives)

A free concert later this month features a new composition from a local professor honoring the first Black recipient of the Navy Cross.

The Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA) Alexandria Band is scheduled to hold a free concert on Thursday, Oct. 27 at 8 p.m. in The Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall (4915 East Campus Drive). The main feature of the new concert is a new work by composer and George Mason University instructor Mark Camphouse called “Valor and Remembrance.” The composition honors U.S. Navy Mess Attendant 2nd Class Doris Miller.

Miller was awarded the Navy Cross for heroism aboard the USS West Virginia during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Miller, who worked in the ship’s mess, manned an anti-aircraft gun on the top deck of the ship during the attack and — with a weapon he’s been trained on using only moments prior — shot down two Japanese airplanes attacking the ship.

“We are thrilled that composer Mark Camphouse will be joining us for the premiere of his newest work,” Lisa Eckstein, associate professor of music and band director, said in a release. “This is the final piece of his trilogy which celebrates the courageous contributions of African Americans. The other two compositions honor Civil Rights Heroine Rosa Parks and Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”

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If you had a chance to enhance a child’s future with a time commitment of less than 2 hours a week, how would you respond? You have that opportunity right now to join over 200 Alexandrians as a reading tutor volunteer with the Alexandria Tutoring Consortium (ATC).

ATC tutors work with one child in kindergarten, first, or second grade in Alexandria public schools who need extra help with reading. Tutors meet with their Book Buddy 1-2 times each week for 30 minutes October-May at school, during school hours. Many struggling readers only receive one-on-one instruction through this program, and it makes all the difference. Last year, ATC served 195 children, of whom 82% ended the year reading on grade level and 96% made substantial reading gains. But the need is great, and we are still seeing learning lags from the pandemic.

This year, ATC plans to significantly increase the size of the program to reach over 250 students and to serve every elementary school in Alexandria. This is very exciting news, but we will only succeed if we can recruit more tutors. ATC trains you, matches you with a child, and provides ongoing lesson materials and support.

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If you have been thinking about buying your first home or haven’t owned one in the last three years, THIS IS FOR YOU!

In the DMV area, it can be difficult to save the downpayment necessary for you to get into your own home. We have a solution. The Funder’s Summit!

We have assembled a summit with different municipalities to tell you how to access their funds for your home purchase.

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Submit your own Community Post here.

2023 Alexandria Fall Festival

Food trucks, bounce houses, pony rides, magic shows and more at the 2023 Alexandria Fall Festival, an Alexandria Living event presented by The Patterson Group. Join us at River Farm on Sunday, Nov. 5 from 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.


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