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Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Symphony Orchestras

Mission: Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association’s mission is to inspire and instill a lifelong passion for the performance of classical music in artists and audience through stimulating concerts, culturally diverse collaborations, and educational outreach.

Target demographics: inspire and instill a lifelong passion for the performance of classical music in artists and audience

Geographic areas served: Alexandria, VA and surrounding areas

Programs: stimulating concerts, culturally diverse collaborations, and educational outreach.

Community Stories

31 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Playing with WMPA has been great experience. The musicians
In the orchestra range from amature to professional to services men and woman. Plus it has allot of multicultural diversity. Anyone can play in this orchestra. The organization listen to their audience and musicians for ways to draw bigger audience. I can say the audience is getting bigger every time. If you miss one concert you still have a chance to see it again the following week. WMPA is constantly challenging it's musicians to different levels of music and that keeps you busy. Come and join us!!!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through its three highly accomplished orchestras with musicians of practically all ages and its FREE summer concert series of impeccable quality, WMPA enriches the greater Washington community with the precious gift of music. As a member of the Philharmonic orchestra for nearly twenty years (!), I consider WMPA not only an arts organization but also an essential part of my life and my community. WMPA and its devoted leadership offers concert-goers a wide array of musical compositions that make every concert a winning experience.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have performed with a number of groups over the years and the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic is been the most pleasurable. The personnel are more friendly and encouraging. I like the balance of the playing some well known music and promoting new composers. I also like that each program is performed twice.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

When I moved to the DC Metro Area, I started researching orchestras as I was eager to continue to play. WMPA had remarkable stories and seemed more like a 'family' than other orchestras. Mr. James has a true passion for making music and a amazing heart as he puts so much extra time and effort for his musicians. I am so honored to playing with such a professional group, and hope I do not have to move away anytime soon!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the great pleasure of listening to and performing with the WMPA in its various forms. Both the summer chamber series and the Orchestra provide quality musical programs for a very reasonable price, sometimes for a whatever-you-can donation. I have had a 40-year career as a professional musician, and I am proud to be able to contribute to the continuing success of this fine organization.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

It is wonderful to have an ensemble to create music with and share it with the community. I put in my time to become as accomplished a musician as I could be, but my life lead me to a non-performance career. I'm glad to have a place to "practice my craft" at a musically fulfilling level with musicians just as passionate and capable (and kind, to boot). The repertoire the WMP programs is worthwhile to play and definitely worthwhile for the audience to hear!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic is a wonderful orchestra that consists of amateurs, professionals and semi-professionals. They sound like a fully professional orchestra. Their guest soloists are remarkable, their selections are well chosen and the community is well served by having an orchestra such as this.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

WMPA its doing great things to advocate for the arts in the DC Metro region. It reaches a broad range of audiences with its various performance groups and venues. Keep up the great work!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is the most joyful community orchestra that I have ever had the privilege of performing with!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Association with its three orchestras, summer chamber music series (free) and a US East Coast composition competition does more with less than just about any comparable organization. Its Executive Director Robin Parker, a tireless builder, and the President of the Board of Directors, Lawrence Ries have literally doubled the Association's income in a short 3 years. From every viewpoint, this is a special organization that provides superior musical art to the community.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is very valuable to the community and the future. Not only just music performance but the fostering of musical inspiration for our next generation through the youth orchestra programs and the new music composition contest. But don't miss the outstanding performances of the Philharmonic, you will hear things you have never heard before at most performances.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Such a great organization, an expliary beacon for the arts in the greater DC area. WMPA is an outstanding organization made up of several different orchestras for different ages and skills, from student orchestras to the highly-regarded Philharmonic, which has had a presence beyond the normal concert hall to include performances at benefit concerts, charity/outreach/community, galas, commemorations, and dedications throughout the region. Ulysses James, the conductor and musical director, founded WMPA in the early 1980s, and is the heart and soul of the group. A very worthwhile organization.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

What an amazing group of performers! My group got to sing together with WMPA with Ulysses James as conductor and all our patrons loved it! It was an amazing experience how beautiful the philharmonic sounded and the Beatles suite was breathtaking! Highly recommend WMPA and don't miss the Youth Orchestras! The younger musicians are incredible!!!!! I am very proud to serve on the Board of such a talented group of musicians!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My child is in the concert orchestra, and Conductor Ruth Erbe is on of the kindest, patient and motivational people in his life. Thank you for providing this outlet for the youth in Alexandria!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Alexandria's rich and vibrant arts community continues with this wonderful organization! WMPA has so many opportunities for musicians - both youth and adult. The concerts include such a unique and broad selection of music that everyone can find something terrific to listen too. I'm so proud to be a board member to this organization and watch it grow. Bravo WMPA!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My child has played with the Youth orchestra for two years - this is a wonderful organization and is giving our young people incredible exposure and experience with classical music and performances in a full orchestra setting

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I attended every concert last season, and the first concert this season. The selection of music for each concert is so carefully and beautifully chosen ; the guest soloists are of high calibre. The musicians are amazing. Ulysses James, the conductor, is a remarkable musician, who brings out the best in each member of his orchestra. Bravo! This Association which also supports the Junior Orchestra really deserves the support of the community which it serves so well.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I just attended their first concert of the 2105/16 Season in Washington D.C. - This orchestra does very different and varied types of music and it is always so exciting to hear new music along with favorites. The executive director not only personally sold me my ticket, but talked to me at intermission to see how I was enjoying the experience. Very personalbe group - I am looking forward to attending again

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The WMPA organization is filled with many opportunities for musicians of all ages to come out and actively participate in an orchestral setting. The impressive level of repertoire being performed truly enhances the experience while being a member of the orchestra. This also accentuates the ensemble's musicality and putting on a great performance for the audience. As a student pursuing a degree in music education, I can proudly admit that participating in WMYO, the organizations youth orchestra, was a great influence driving me to pursue music as a career. The director is not only a great musician, but also a magnificent character and a pleasure to work with. I would strongly recommend becoming a part of this musical community by joining the orchestras or by simply attending the concerts! Either way, I guarantee a phenomenal experience!

4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a member of the Washington Saxophone Quartet, and as a long-time friend and colleague of Ul James, I can say that the WMPA is a wonderful group to work with. The Quartet has had the pleasure of performing twice with the orchestra and each time it was a musical highlight for our group. The musicians are welcoming, the conductor is supportive and so well prepared, he makes it all work! And the repertoire is superb, performing music of our time. All in all, a fantastic experience that we look forward to doing again!!

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I attended an excellent concert Sunday afternoon at the Masonic Temple in Alexandria. Enjoyed the beautiful Rachmaninoff, but was also impressed by the more recent compositions of Anthony Iannaccone and Mark Wilson. Wilson's Meteora brought back fond memories of my visit to Meteora in 1998. It's great to have such an accomplished orchestra in Alexandria. I'm looking forward to the next concert.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic players, its conductor, Ulysses James, and its staff, including executive director Robin Parker are a wonderful asset to their community. The WMPA provides memorable, enriching musical experiences for their audiences. Their programs bring to the public, at very modest ticket prices, a broad cross-section of high-quality and engaging music from our own time, along with popular repertoire and cherished works from the past. They deserve all the support that the metro community is able to give.

3 Nina16

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I brought two friends to the first concert of the 2015 season at the GW Masonic Memorial and WMPA now has two more fans! Excellent concert. I loved the venue. Music Director Ul James used the word "intimate" to describe the setting. Yes, it was that but what I loved about the musicians in that space was being so close I could see their faces and I was able to see and hear the different instruments come into play. Love too the Flex Pass concept. And the new director, Robin Havens-Parker adds sparkle. Bravo.

4 BillColosimo

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

WMPA brings the joy of classical music to the community with concerts and educational outreach which enrich all who are fortunate to be touched. Its fine orchestras, adult and youth, display skill and sensitivity in presenting accessible and complex music to its audiences. I am especially impressed with the dedication, passion and expertise of its Music Director, Ul James, whose attention to detail as both conductor and educator enriches the performance experience for both musicians and patrons. I am also impressed by the level of professionalism of the WMPA staff, particularly the new Executive Director, Robin Havens Parker, whose innovative marketing and on-site attention to the organization's events are raising the level of visibility and positive reputation of the organization. Concert experiences, with delightful venues like the George Washington Masonic Memorial and the Lyceum, are both intimate and engaging, particularly with WMPA's emphasis on pre-concert presentations by composers, artists and knowledgeable music experts to enhance the patrons' appreciation of the presented works. WMPA is a "gem" in introducing "new" fans to classical music AND satisfying the yen of a discerning music public. Bravo, WMPA!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The WMPA is a treasured asset to the DC metro area. From its two youth orchestras to the Philharmonic itself to the summer chamber music series it brings wonderful classical music to our area all year long at an affordable price. Their performances are unique and innovative exposing concert goers to memorable musical experiences.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

WMPA is one of the finest classical music organizations I have ever known. It is unique in its scope from young musicians to seasoned performers, and its range of programs from its youth orchestras, its chamber programs, to its semi-professional Philharmonic orchestra. WMPA is a champion for performing music of living composers, holding its Composer Competition each year. As a completely unknown composer, I’ve been personally honored by having my music performed by the Philharmonic. It's also my privilege to serve on its board of directors, a position that is not without its challenges. But it is genuinely exciting for me, working with my colleagues on the board, our three fantastic music directors, our donors, and our volunteers, to help develop and strengthen this amazing organization for the present and the future, as it presents and performs fine music for Greater Washington.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

Love the summer concert program at the Lyceum, excellent musicians in an intimate setting! During the regular concert season, there is always a challenging, stimulating program well executed by the orchestra under the direction of Ul James. The youth orchestras provide a much needed experience for young musicians of the area. This organization contributes to the community in so many ways both for musicians and audience members. I feel privileged to be involved!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This Association serves musicians and music lovers from age 12 to the end of life through three orchestras and a free summer chamber music series.

The Washington Metropolitan Concert Orchestra for middle schoolers and older, gives members the opportunity to experience the joy of making "classical" music in a group and preparing for advanced orchestral challenges.

The Washington Metropolitan Youth Orchestra for high schoolers provides members the opportunity to perform the same music as a professional symphony orchestra in a nourishing environment where the emphasis is on music, mutual support and development.

The Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic is a semi-professional symphony orchestra. Most members are volunteers. While marvelous music of the past is performed and honored, this orchestra focuses on performance of tonal music by living composers and past composers of the 20th century.

The weekly Summer Chamber Music Series provides performance opportunity for some of the regions most exciting professional and developing musicians.

All of this is accomplished on a very modest annual budget of less than $115,000.00. The Association and its programs provide an extraordinary gift to the community. The emphasis on nourishing performance environments and the challenges of new and exciting music enrich the lives of participating musicians and audiences. As a member of the Alexandria Commission for the Arts once said, "it provides the best bang for the buck in the metropolitan area."

5

Board Member

Rating: 5

I joined WMPA as a member of the Philharmonic, and was surprised by the repertoire - unlike the dozens of other groups I've been a part of, WMP is adventurous in its programming. I already knew I loved Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, but now I have also been exposed to dozens of composers whose names I had never even heard of.

I joined the Board after a year in the orchestra, and have seen the passion not only for the Philharmonic, but for the two youth orchestras as well. Having matured as a musician through youth orchestras, I am proud by the affordability and quality of WMPA's two orchestras for emerging musicians.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first learned about WMPA when I traveled to Germany with "Friends" of WMP to hear music 5 hers ago. The I started going to concerts and then volunteering. I attend almost all WMP concerts and chamber events and have relay broadened my knowledge and appreciation of good music since finding this great resource.

3

Advisor

Rating: 5

Ul James has created an incredible organization. Along with two youth orchestras and conductors Henry Sgrecci and Ruth Erbe, WMPA is bringing classical music to literally hundreds of musicians and patrons in the greater Washington DC area. The interesting and innovative prgramming is a major hallmark of the WMP and keeps each of the philharmonic concerts interesting and exciting.