DCSAR held its 2022 Holiday Dinner on December 7, 2022, commencing with a host bar with hors d’oeuvres and cocktails at 7:00pm. The dinner occurred in the elegance of the Eisenhower Room at the prestigious Capitol Hill Club, located at 300 First Street SE, Washington, DC.
Guests were welcomed by DCSAR President Bill Ritchie followed by the invocation from DCSAR Chaplin Rev. John Stonesifer and the pledge of allegiance by DCSAR Senior VP Tom Readmond. President Ritchie acknowledged special guests who were in attendance. Dinner followed where guests chose either an entree of Pork Porterhouse with Creamy Polenta, Sauteed Swiss Chard, Roasted Figs or Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon with Braised Lentils and Winter Root Vegetables.
As desert was served, President Ritchie introduced the guest artist for the evening, Dana Kristina-Joi Morgan. Dana is a graduate of the Howard University Master of Music Program. She received a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Capital University Conservatory of Music in Columbus, Ohio. She has won numerous accolades and awards for achievement. In 2014 Dana placed as a finalist in the Washington International Piano Artists Competition. Competing against pianists representing the USA, France, Germany, Japan and Taiwan, Dana received the “Audience Award”, “Press Jury Award”, “Best Performance of a Beethoven Work” and “Best Performance of a Classical Work”.
She was also featured on the televised 2011 Trumpet Awards where she was able to share the stage with legendary performers such as Aretha Franklin and Earth, Wind and Fire. Most notably Dana was recently featured as a special guest artist in Dordogne, France for the 110th birthday celebration of Josephine Baker. This performance was held at the Chateau des Milandes which was the former castle of Josephine Baker and now services as her museum. Dana acknowledges one mentor who assisted with her early professional development, the late Jazz Great Nancy Wilson. Ms. Wilson was the cousin of President Ritchie.
Dana is the Performance Coordinator of Creative and Therapeutic Arts Services at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, DC. The service has provided artistic programming to patients, families and staff since 1978. A dedicated team of arts-in-healing professionals works to foster an atmosphere of cultural tolerance, promote wellness through self-expression, offer patients choice and variety and create an aesthetically pleasing environment.
Ms. Morgan gave a rousing performance on the grand piano with elements that encouraged active participation from the audience with applause as she moved from one recognizable standard to another, including patriotic selections. On this evening, she was more than a classical pianist; she was an entertainer who set the appropriate mood as we experience the beginning of this joyous holiday season.
At the conclusion, Ms. Morgan was given an SAR certificate of appreciation and a gift by President Ritchie. Rev. Stonesifer offered the closing benediction.