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Branford Marsalis

Virginia Symphony opens season with dramatic performances

To say that the Virginia Symphony Orchestra’s opening concert for the 2017-18 season was out of this world would be stretching the point, but it would be on target with the program’s primary theme — the celebration of NASA Langley Research Center’s 100th anniversary.

For the Friday event in the Ferguson Center, JoAnn Falletta and company embraced Hampton’s NASA Langley’s importance to our region, including a moving proclamation tribute presented by a Newport News council member to the on-stage 99-year-old Katherine Johnson. She was the African American mathematician-physicist whose intense and dedicated work at NASA led to the success of the first American man-in-space mission,...