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Herndon’s Board of Zoning Appeals Overturns House Concert Citation

Herndon’s Board of Zoning Appeals narrowly threw out a zoning violation for a local house concert series at its meeting on Thursday (Jan. 24).

Chris Devine, the host of The Crib, said he decided to challenge that citation on Dec. 20 after meeting with staff three days earlier. Devine told the Board of Zoning Appeals that the staff appeared unfamiliar with house concerts, which he likened to a sports fan who has fellow fans over to watch the show and asks for money to help cover food and drink costs.

Zoning Administrator David Stromberg testified on Thursday night that the Town of Herndon first received an anonymous complaint last year on Oct. 30 alleging that 70 people entered Devine’s single-family townhouse. Stromberg said that evening surveillance then took place during two scheduled concert dates.

After two more complaints on Dec. 8 and Dec. 10 mentioning a lack of visitor parking, a notice of violation was issued on Dec. 14.

“[This] activity constitutes an Indoor Entertainment use and is not a permitted use on the subject property pursuant to the Town of Herndon Zoning Ordination,” the citation said.

Stromberg said that the zoning ordinance doesn’t really define a “commercial use” versus “non-commercial use” for indoor entertainment, adding that he did not consider who was receiving the money from the tickets.

All of the attendees’ donations and tickets go to the artist, according to The Crib’s website.

Devine said at the meeting that he’s taken steps to remediate any confusion that could result from a cursory review of the house concerts.

He said that he changed the wording on the website from “ticket” to “suggested donation” to clear up any concern about where the money goes. He also removed reference to a limited liability corporation he had set up for potential professional endeavors unrelated to the house concerts.

“I am certainly free as a homeowner to invite into my home anyone that I choose, including those fellow music lovers who want to support those artists through a donation,” Devine said in response to a definition of commercial activities referring to open attendance. “While I have not had the occasion, I can also refuse to anyone at any time for any reason, therefore attendance to my home is not open to the public.”

Since launching in 2015, The Crib has hosted nearly 50 house shows with 28 different independent artists, according to its website. Each show lets the artist perform two 45-minute sets of original music. Seating is on a first-come basis with a capacity of roughly 40 people.

After several locals testified in support of The Crib, the board voted 3-2 to overturn the violation.

The Crib’s next scheduled performance is set for Feb. 8 and will feature Dustin Furlow and Matt Thomas.

Image via Board of Zoning Appeals 

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Musician Kevin Daniel to Perform for Deepwood Sessions Later in January

Singer-songwriter Kevin Daniel will perform in January as part of the Deepwood Sessions, a series of house concerts hosted in Reston.

Based out of Brooklyn, Daniel’s music mixes Americana, country and blues. He released his second EP, “Myself Through You,” in early 2018.

The 7 p.m. show on Friday, Jan. 18, has a $10 suggested donation. Each concert for the Deepwood Sessions has a suggested minimum donation, which goes to directly to the artist.

The sessions help cultivate the Deepwood neighborhood community and provide a platform for independent artists to showcase their music.

According to the website, the series hosts its acoustic and unplugged concerts with a variety of styles and musical genres.

RSVP-ing in advance is strongly recommended since space fills on a first come first serve basis and also provides the location of each concert. The events are family-friendly and attendees may bring wine and beer.

Photo via Kevin Daniel/Facebook

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Herndon High School Band to Host Veterans Day Concert

Herndon High School’s band program is hosting a free concert in order to honor veterans on Nov. 7 (Wednesday).

The Tag Day Concert, which is set for 7 p.m.,  aims to celebrate and recognize members of the American military with patriotic songs, according to event organizers.

The concert will focus on World War II as the marching band prepares to go to Normandy, France to participate in a parade marking the 75th anniversary of D-day.

The band is raising money to offset the cost of next year’s trip.

The concert is free and concert-goers should park in front of the school and enter through door 11. The event will take place in the auditorium of Herndon High School.

Photo via Herndon High School Band/Facebook

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Bluegrass Barn Concert Series Returns to Frying Pan Farm Park

The Bluegrass Barn concert series, which celebrates bluegrass music, will kick off next month at Frying Pan Farm Park in Herndon. Concerts are held on Sundays from 7-9 p.m.

Season passes for all eight shoes and reserved seating are available online.

The series is sponsored by the Friends of Frying Pan Park, Vienna Hardwoods and Eastman Guitar and Mandolins in cooperation with Fairfax County Park Authority. Tickets are $18 in advance and $20 at the door.

The program breakdown is below:

  • October 21: The Plate Scrapers, a traditional bluegrass band from western Maryland
  • November 4: Gina Clowes Project, featuring Gina, who was raised in Virginia and has taken a national role as the banjo player for Chris Jones and the Night Drivers
  • November 11: Donna Ulisse, a veteran songwriter and singer who was named Songwriter of the Year in 2016 by the International Bluegrass Music Association
  • January 27: Only Lonesome, a band nominated by the Washington Area Music Association as the Best Bluegrass Group from 2013-2016
  • February 10: Laurie Lewis, a Grammy Award-winning musician and international renown singer and songwriter who has recorded nearly 20 albums since her debut in 1986
  • February 24: Nothin’ Fancy, a band based in Virginia
  • March 24: Highland Travelers, a new band formed after The Boxcar and Ramblers Choice combined

The series will close off with a final show by the Becky Buller Band on April 14. Buller was the first person to win in both the instrumental and vocal categories at the International Bluegrass Music Awards.

Photo via Frying Pan Farm Park

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Friday Morning Notes

From the ground up — Ken Yarmosh was on the ground floor of app development when he founded Savvy Apps of Reston in 1999. Now he’s working with Fortune 500 companies and being recognized by Google and Apple for his contributions. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Local unemployment numbers — Northern Virginia’s unemployment rate fell from 2.7 percent to 2.4 percent in July. The statewide rate was 2.9 percent compared to the national rate of 4.1 percent. [Virginia Business]

Final Summerbration concert tonight — Join Chris Vadala with the Rick Whitehead Trio for a fresh mix of bebop jazz tonight at Reston Station Plaza. Parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Follow signs to ParkX. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill 

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Reston Divas’ Benefit Concert to Raise Money for Local Residents

Reston’s Diva Duo, Beverly Cosham and Menda Ahart, will perform at a benefit concert at the United Christian Parish (11508 North Shore Drive) on September 14 (Friday).

All proceeds from the event, which will take place from 7:30-8:30 p.m., will support Reston and Herndon residents who are at risk of losing their homes, electricity or water.

Cosham is a Best of Reston honoree and has performed her cabaret act around the country. Ahart has been singing all of her life in church choirs. She is also a part of Mosaic Harmony, an interfaith, multicultural choir that draws on the rich heritage of African American inspiration music. 

Tickets are $25 and can be purchased online. Misha Tumanov and musician Michael Girdy will also perform during the performance by Reston’s Divas.

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Thursday Morning Notes

Wrongful entry — A car crashed into a garage on the 11400 block of Summer House Court in Reston on Tuesday. The Car took out two columns. The driver was taken to the hospital for a check-up. No major injuries were reported. [Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department]

Longtime CEO leaves Fairfax County Economic Development Authority — Gerald Gordon, president and CEO of the FCEDA, will retire at the end of the year. He led the organization since 1987 and has been known for his efforts to diversify and build the county’s business community and economy. [FCEDA, The Washington Business Journal]

Take a Break concert tonight at 7 p.m. — Enjoy New Orleans jazz by listening to the New Line Brass Band play at Lake Anne Plaza. The event is free and open for all ages. Today’s event is the last “Take a Break” concert of the summer. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Friday Morning Notes

Word on the street — StreetShares, a financial technology startup, has moved to new headquarters in Reston. It offers a marketplace to provide financing for small business. [Technical.ly]

Calling all volunteers — Reston Association is looking for volunteers to help out with the multicultural festival at Lake Anne Plaza on September 22. To volunteer, contact [email protected]. [Reston Today]

The weekender — Looking for things to do in Fairfax County this weekend? Local officials offer the following roundup of events in the area. [Fairfax County Government]

Summerbration concert tonight — Enjoy a free concert as part at Reston Station Plaza from 7-9 p.m. This week’s event The Swingin’ Swamis. [Reston Community Center]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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America’s Got Talent Winner to Perform in Reston Town Center on Saturday

A winner of NBC’s America’s Got Talent will perform at the last summer concert at the pavilion in Reston Town Center on Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. was the season six winner of the talent show, winning the largest vote total in the show’s history. He went washing cards from a living and volunteering as a singer in the community to winning the top title of the show.

“I am excited about my performance and my fans will have a good time. Together we will create some fun memories,” Landau said.

His show on Saturday will offer a salute to Frank Sinatra and the magic of Motown. Murphy has performed around the world, sharing the stage with the Boston Pops, George Benson, Christopher Cross and others.

Since winning the show, he released three albums. His latest album, “Landau,” released in December 2016, features his take on new versions of classic R&B and new compositions. He also co-authored a book with Rick Robinson titled, “Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.: From Washing Cars to Hollywood Star.” The book debuted at #1 on Amazon’s jazz book chart.

The live concert is free and open to the public.

Photo via Shaili Priya

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12th Annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival Set for Sept. 1

Lake Anne Plaza will once again be lit up with an influx of jazz and blues tunes on September 1.

The 12th annual Lake Anne Jazz and Blues Festival will take place at Lake Anne Plaza from 2-9 p.m. The event is free and open for all ages.

The festival is hosted by Lake Anne Plaza and sponsored by Reston Community Center, Fola, Public Art Reston, and Foxes Music Company.

The New Line Brass Band will perform on August 30 at 7 p.m. for an unofficial kick off of the festival.

This year’s lineup includes the following:

  • 2 p.m.: Shannon Gunn Quintet
  • 3 p.m.: Revelator Hill
  • 4 p.m.: Shacara Rogers
  • 5 p.m.: Vaugh Ambrose Quintet
  • 6 p.m. Gigi MacLaughlin Quartet
  • 7 p.m.: Adrian Duke Project

For the latest updates, follow the Lake Anne Plaza Facebook page.

Photo via Lake Anne Plaza

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Thursday Morning Notes

Musical this weekend — NextStop Theatre Company is offering several shows this weekend of ‘Amour,’ a Broadway musical based on a classic French Fable. It follows the story of a simple working man who unexpectedly gains a new and mysterious power: walking through walls. [Maryland Theatre Guide]

Falling for fall — Reston Community Center has released its fall program guide, which offers a glimpse into upcoming events, aquatics, leisure and learning and other programs. [Reston Community Center]

‘Take a Break’ concert tonight — Enjoy Latin music by Mambo Combo at Lake Anne Plaza tonight from 7-9 p.m. The event is free and open to all ages. It will also include dance demonstrations and lessons. [Reston Community Center]

Nearby: Sketch of suspect who exposed himself released — Local police have released the sketch of a man they say exposed himself to a teenage girl in Fairfax County earlier this month. [WTOP]

Flickr pool photo by vantagehill

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Dance Instruction Added to ‘Summerbration’ Concerts

The “Summerbration” concert series at Reston Station Plaza will feature a new addition on Friday summer nights.

Professional dance instructors will offer lessons during select concert performances hosted by Reston Station. Lessons vary from swing dancing to African dance.

Reston Community Center’s executive director Leila Gordon said the center is “thrilled” to add professionals to the lineup. She said Reston Station Plaza is “becoming a destination experience for people.”

Dance instruction begins with Friday’s King Teddy Concert.  Each concert runs from 7-9 p.m. and parking is free from 6:30-9:30 p.m. during the concerts.

The complete lineup, which includes dancers and instructors, is below:

June 15
King Teddy
Swing dancers – dancing and instruction

June 22
Cedar Creek
Country line dance instruction

June 29
Elikeh
African dancers – dancing and instruction

July 6
Four Star Combo
Sock hop dancers – dancing and instruction

July 27
Alfredo Mojica & Friends
Latin dancers – dancing and instruction

August 10
Scott Kurt & Memphis 59
Country dancers – dancing and instruction

August 24
The Swingin’ Swamis
Swing dancers – dancing and instruction

Photo via Reston Community Center

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Signs of Summer: Lake Anne Concert Series Returns on Thursday Nights

The “Take a Break” summer concert series at Lake Anne plaza will feature shows every Thursday night through Aug. 30.

The concert series is presented by Reston Community Center in cooperated with MSE Productions, Inc. Four of the nights are designated as “dance nights” that will feature dance demonstrations and instruction to match the music.

The complete line-up is below. 

Each concert is scheduled for 7-9 p.m.

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‘Summerbration’ Series Kicks Off Today at Reston Station Plaza

Over the last several months, new eateries like Founding Farmers and Sweet Leaf Cafe have opened up shop in Reston Station Plaza.

Now, as summer approaches, the open-air plaza will be the home of “Summerbration,” a free summer concert and entertainment series. The event is intended to activate the space.

The first concert, featuring classic rock band Battery Lane, will take place today from 7-9 p.m. Complimentary parking is available from 6:30-9:30 p.m. for the concert series. Attendees should follow signs to ParkX.

The complete line-up is below:

The event, which is free and open for all ages, is hosted by Reston Station and presented by Reston Community Center in cooperation with MSE Productions, Inc. 

File photo

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‘Reston Concerts on the Town’ Return June 2

Reston Concerts on the Town, a weekly free summer concerts series at Reston Center, is back for its 28th year. The event, which includes concerts from June 2 through August 25 on Saturdays from 7:30-10 p.m., features local and national acts.

Parking is free and the event is made possible by a grant from Reston Town Center Association and support from Boston Properties, RTC’s owner.

The 2018 lineup is available online.

A number of new performers include the Blues Beatles, a blues band based in Brazil; Good Shot Judy, a band that performs swing and jazz; the T Sisters, a trio of sisters from California who have formed an acoustic band; and the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters, the U.S. Navy’s official chorus.

Returning favorites, as described by organizers, include:

  • Leonard, Coleman & BluntThe former lead singers of The Temptations, The Platters & The Drifters and their big band will take you on a musical journey of your favorite Motown and doo-wop hits. They’ll kick off the series on June 2.
  • ScythianThese raucous roots-rockers blend Celtic and klezmer for a high-energy, dynamic show. Come see these world-class fiddlers rock Reston on July 14.
  • Chubby Carrier & the Bayou Swamp BandThis Louisiana-based Grammy-winning zydeco band will shake things up on August 4. 
  • Landau Eugene Murphy, Jr.–This 2011 winner of America’s Got Talent, went from car washer to jazz superstar. Back by popular demand, Landau and his big band close out the series on August 25.

Attendees are encouraged to bring chairs and picnics to the concerts. The event takes place in RTC’s pavilion (11900 Market Street).

Photos via Reston Concerts on the Town

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