Hylton Performing Arts Center at George Mason University Manassas Campus

Photo provided

A performance space that has brought the Manassas community together time and again to celebrate the arts over the past decade will have to celebrate remotely.

The Hylton Performing Arts Center is hosting a virtual 10th Anniversary Celebration on Saturday, July 18. 

It will feature exclusive live performances, a Raise Your Paddle fundraiser and a home-delivered catered meal by Susan Gage Caterers complete with a bottle of wine, according to a news release.

A 10th Anniversary Gala had been planned for April 18, but the event was cancelled, along with the rest of the Hylton’s calendar, due to the pandemic.

The virtual event will begin at 6:30 p.m. and will include a tribute to this year’s honorees, and remarks from the Hylton Center’s and George Mason University’s leadership. 

The celebration honors the Hylton Center’s mission to stimulate and transform the cultural and economic vitality of our region by presenting diverse performances and programs of high quality and artistic excellence to inspire, educate, enrich, and enhance the community.

The evening will feature a live performance by husband and wife duo Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr., and an appearance by Mason’s own jazz vocalist, Darden Purcell. 

McCoo and Davis are the voices, original stars and lead singers of the legendary group, The 5th Dimension. After leaving The 5th Dimension in 1975, Marilyn and Billy recorded “You Don't Have to be a Star (To Be in My Show),” a chart-topping record that won them their own Grammy Award and a television series on CBS.  Billboard named them "The First Couple of Pop and Soul.”  Billy devoted his efforts to a successful gospel music career, and Marilyn performed in television's “Solid Gold.” They have received a total of seven Grammy Awards, earned 15 gold and three platinum records.

Darden Purcell is a Washington, D.C., based jazz vocalist, multi-faceted musician, band leader, vocal instructor and active featured soloist with symphony orchestras, big bands and small ensembles across the country.  She is the director of Jazz Studies and Jazz Voice at George Mason University.

The highly anticipated fundraising event provides critical support to the many artistic performances, arts education programs and outreach initiatives, as well as the Hylton Center’s Endowment. 

The 10th anniversary celebration will honor Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, P.C. for their many contributions to the Hylton Center, George Mason University, and the community, through their ongoing philanthropic support and volunteer leadership. The 10th anniversary celebration is also supported by many regional businesses and individual donors, including presenting sponsor Compton & Duling.


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