Area schools will join together to perform science-themed oratorio, kick off festival

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 8, 2010; 11:52 PM

Local schools will join together Sunday in an unusual musical prelude to a huge science festival, giving voice to songs with titles that seem to suit the laboratory as well as the concert stage.

Sunday's date can be written 10/10/10, and the students will perform a David Haines oratorio called "Powers of Ten."

The event, at the University of Maryland, helps kick off the USA Science & Engineering Festival, which culminates in an Expo on the Mall Oct. 23 and 24.

Students from Suitland and Thomas Jefferson High Schools, Loudoun Country Day and Fort Belvoir Elementary schools are scheduled to sing.

The oratorio runs a vocal course through amoebas, atoms and quarks, the sun, moon and galaxies. A jazz vocalist is to sing "Black Holes" and "Virus." Perhaps unexpectedly, a festival co-director said, the science-based selections are "beautiful music."

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