Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas

LLI: Manassas Symphony Orchestra: Seriously Fun

Hylton Performing Arts Center, Jacquemin Family Foundation Rehearsal Hall


Speaker/Host: James Villani, Music Director

James Villani, music director and conductor of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra (MSO), will reveal the lighter side of orchestral music leading up to the MSO’s March 2 concert, Seriously Fun. The discussion will include the role orchestral music plays in shaping the character of movies and take a look at the contributions of John Williams and others. We will also consider 19th century light fare, like Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnival of the Animals” and whether the Beatles’ music belongs in the concert hall (spoiler alert, it does!).

Maestro Villani has been on the podium of the Manassas Symphony Orchestra since 2002. A long-time advocate for continuing adult music education and volunteerism in the arts, Mr. Villani has been involved in community musical organizations since coming to Northern Virginia in 1986. He was associate conductor and clarinetist for the Reston Chamber Orchestra for 10 years and has been involved with many other area performances. Mr. Villani was the recipient of the 2022 Seefeldt Award for Arts Excellence from the Prince William Arts Council as Outstanding Individual Artist. He has been recognized in the Congressional Record by the Virginia Senate and the Manassas City Council for his leadership of the MSO. In addition, he was a semi-finalist for The American Prize for Community Orchestra Conductors in 2010 and a finalist for The American Prize in Orchestral Programming / Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award —Community Division, 2019-20.

This event is open to the public. For more information about the Lifelong Learning Institute, Manassas, visit