Lucketts musician chosen as Loudoun Arts Council president

Rebecca Kites, the new Loudoun Arts Council president, rehearses at her studio for a concert to take place Sunday at the Franklin Park Center for the Performing Arts.
Rebecca Kites, the new Loudoun Arts Council president, rehearses at her studio for a concert to take place Sunday at the Franklin Park Center for the Performing Arts. (Lee Mckinster)
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By C. Woodrow Irvin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 18, 2010

The new president of the Loudoun Arts Council has plans for the two to make beautiful music together.

Rebecca Kite, 58, of Lucketts, a professional marimba soloist and instructor, was recently chosen by her council peers to lead the organization, whose mission is to serve as an advocate for the arts community in the Loudoun.

"It's been really busy and very exciting," she said of her work as council president. She said the council wants to be "where people can go for information about the arts" in Loudoun County.

By using the council's program, ArtShare, which is funded by private donations, Kite hopes to provide assistance to county arts organizations and start-up groups. The council also hopes to assist people who have ideas for using the arts to enrich the community

"Perhaps a music teacher in the public schools who wants to fund an after-school music program for underprivileged kids," Kite said.

The council faces an obstacle common to so many groups: finding funds to accomplish its goals. For those interested in helping, Kite's advice is simple: Join the council.

"We are artists and art lovers and people who are passionate about the organization. We believe in the power of arts and culture to build community," she said. "We are hoping to create a vibrant scene. We are dreaming big."

Kite's love of percussion instruments began when she was a girl growing up in Nebraska.

She discovered the five-octave concert marimba, a larger cousin of the xylophone, and became enamored with its "beautiful, warm" sound, she said. She also loved that the instrument allowed her to create both melody and harmony.

"I like being able to shape the entire composition," she said.

When she moved to the county nine years ago, Kite said, one of the first things she did was volunteer at the Lucketts Community Center.

"Volunteering has always been something I've tried to do with some of my time," she said.

In addition to performing, Kits has taught classes around the world. She has also published articles in Percussive Notes, a publication of the Percussive Arts Society, and written books. Her most recent is "Keiko Abe: A Virtuosic Life." She continues to perform regularly and offer private music lessons.

More information about the Loudoun Arts Council is at http://www.loudounarts.org. Rebecca Kite will perform at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Franklin Park Center for the Performing Arts, 36441 Blueridge View Lane, Purcellville. $10; seniors and students, $8. 540-338-7973 or http://www.franklinparkartscenter.org.


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