The McLean Orchestra opened its 33rd season Saturday at a new concert venue, Oakcrest School in McLean, near the Capital Beltway and Georgetown Pike (Route 193).
Under the leadership of music director and conductor Sylvia Alimena, the orchestra will be a resident at the private girls' school.
"The move to Oakcrest School has been in the planning stages for close to a year now," Judith O'Brien, executive director of the McLean Orchestra, said in a news release. "With its comfortable seating, attractive surroundings and expanded concert stage, expressly designed and built with the McLean Orchestra in mind, we think audiences will have a greatly enhanced concert experience."
Paul A. Frank, president of the orchestra's board of directors, said a four-foot extension to the existing stage in the G. Lloyd Bunting Theatre would give the orchestra more room to perform. Both Oakcrest School and the orchestra will benefit from this modular stage, he said, because it accommodates the various needs of both organizations.
United American Construction designed and built the stage and underwrote the labor costs and much of the materials.
"We believe the McLean Orchestra greatly benefits the community, and we wanted to see them performing in a superior concert setting," said Fred Roehner, president of United American Construction of Vienna.
Saturday's concert theme was "The Enigma" and featured guest violinist Regino Madrid, a member of "The President's Own," the U.S. Marine Band.
Remaining concerts this season, which employ spy themes because of McLean's proximity to CIA headquarters in Langley:
* Dec. 18 -- "In From the Cold." Holiday concert.
* Feb. 26 -- "Shaken, Not Stirred!," featuring Delores King Williams, vocalist, performing classic spy movie hits, including music from James Bond films, "Mission Impossible," "The Pink Panther" and a tribute to Henry Mancini.
* April 16 -- "Under Cover of Darkness," featuring guest artists Elizabeth Bishop, mezzo-soprano, and the Washington Women's Chorus. Bishop will perform Berlioz's "Les nuits d'ete." Also on the program are Mussorgsky's "Night on Bald Mountain" and Debussy's "Nocturnes," featuring the Washington Women's Chorus, directed by Don Richardson.
* May 21 -- "Behind the Iron Curtain," with guest artist Laurel Bennert Ohlson on horn. Music includes Shostakovich's Fifth Symphony and Borodin's "In the Steppes of Central Asia." Also on the program is the world premiere of McLean resident Truman Harris's Concertino for Horn. In addition to composing and arranging numerous orchestral works, Harris is a bassoonist with the National Symphony Orchestra.
The concerts begin at 8 p.m. Tickets are available in advance and at the door, and are $23; $20 for seniors and students and $5 for children 12 and younger. Season tickets are $100, $90 and $20, respectively. For more information, visit www.mclean-orchestra.org or call 703- 893-8646.