Elizabeth Colella is a native of the D.C. area. She began playing the flute at the age of eight thanks to the Montgomery County Public Schools system. As she progressed, Elizabeth began taking flute lessons with the former principal flutist of the National Symphony Orchestra, Wallace Mann. One of her biggest thrills was to play a duet with a fellow classmate at her high school graduation in the concert hall of the Kennedy Center.
Following high school she played with the George Mason University Symphony Orchestra and played piccolo for the pep band. After college, her career as a nurse and then physician’s assistant, as well as bringing up three kids, occupied most of her time. Elizabeth’s only opportunity to play the flute was occasionally at church where she directed a children’s choir. Once her youngest child graduated from the choir, Elizabeth joined the NVCC-Annandale Symphony Orchestra.
“In the five years I have been performing with this group, Maestro Johnston has been an inspiration in my playing. He has taught me about history and styles of playing with expression in different genres and eras of music. He has given me instructional advice which continues to make me a better player as well as a more well-rounded person for which I am most grateful.”
During its nearly 25-year history, the NOVA-Annandale Symphony Orchestra has performed many challenging works, from Beethoven symphonies to ragtime compositions. But within the long list of works that the orchestra has performed, the Enigma Variations of Edward Elgar must rank among the most challenging, in terms technical difficulty and interpretive demands. The work stands as one of Elgar’s most respected compositions and was largely responsible for catapulting the composer to a position of international renown. After its initial London premiere in 1899, the Variations received immediate critical acclaim and numerous international performances. The piece remains an enigma in many ways, and to date, no one has conclusively unraveled the mystery surrounding its title. It is a piece of many moods, haunting and humorous, decisive and delicate, powerful and passionate. It is my hope that as the orchestra has grown from the study and preparation of this great work and that you, our audience, will also be moved by its beauty and power. It is in every way a monumental work and its performance on November 10, 2017 will serve, I am sure, as a benchmark in the life and history of the orchestra.
-Christopher Johnston, NVCC-Annandale Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor
Our principal flutist Jenn Lynn is passionate about helping families who are dealing with Autism. She has a 14-year-old son with Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Anxiety Disorder NOS, and Executive Function Disorder.
Jenn strives to educate, enrich, and empower parents and the community by sharing what she’s learned from her training at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, her work in special education at public and private schools, her two years as an ABA technician, her Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) training, and her job working with special needs adults.
Jenn is the executive director of Upcounty Community Resources, a nonprofit group in Maryland which serves the fitness, social, and therapeutic requirements of adults with special needs. A former TV news producer, she now collaborates with special needs professionals and doctors and is advising Humana Behavioral Health as it develops its Center for Autism Excellence.
“There are some rehearsals where my commute is longer than the length of the actual rehearsal, but it’s totally worth the drive from Montgomery County. I’ve grown more in my ten years playing for Chris than I have in my 30 plus years of playing.”
Jenn travels the country with her son, Jake, teaching law enforcement professionals proper ways to interact with people on the Autism Spectrum. She shares her encouraging stories about life on the Spectrum at TheWorldAccordingtoJake.com. In addition, Jenn is a contributor to the Organization for Autism Research‘s newsletter and blog. She is a published author, an adoption advocate, and is active in special needs ministry.
On top of all this, she performs professionally as a flute and piccolo player around the D.C. Metro region. Jenn’s performing duo is called Flutes Forte. Her favorite composer is Ludwig van Beethoven.