Elbert Watson, NA Dance Master, To Participate in CommUNITY Concert on Sunday

Last year, Elbert Watson created a participatory dance for the first annual CommUNITY concert, a joint effort by the City of Norfolk and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra and Chorus to promote unity, peace, and the spirit of brotherhood.

That concert, which arose as a local response to the white nationalists’ march in Charlottesville in August 2017, drew an audience of 700 people to the Decker Half Moone Center and generated tremendous enthusiasm. So much so that the organizers are repeating the event this year in a much larger venue. Mr. Watson, who last year got the audience up out of their chairs to sway and gesture, is once again featured in the program.

CommUNITY: A Play-In & Sing-Along will be held at Scope this Sunday (August 26) with WHRO’s Barbara Hamm Lee as the emcee. An array of ministers representing various faiths are also included in the program to speak between musical selections.

Arrival time depends on your plan to participate. If you wish to play along and experience the fun of rehearsing with the pros, bring your voice, violin, guitar, trumpet, or tambourine with you and register starting at 2:30. Rehearsal takes place from 3:30-4 p.m. The concert runs from 4:30-6 p.m., and you may play and sing along, or simply soak up the music as an avid listener.

That option to “just listen” comes with one small caveat: When Mr. Watson, our dance master and former Alvin Ailey principal dancer, is leading his participatory dance, all NA Bulldogs are expected to join in with our customary energy, enthusiasm, and of course, the gracefulness that is a renowned attribute of our mascot.

Could there be a better way to get ready for school on Monday and launch into the “Year of Friendship”?