The Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia, SONOVA, provides high-quality classical music to Northern Virginia and the surrounding area. With every concert, our dedicated musicians strive to entertain and educate as we bring affordable, accessible classical music to audiences in the region.
We began as a small, government-funded orchestra in Arlington County, Virginia. In 2011, SONOVA's founder, Maestro Jeffrey Dokken, and a group of committed musicians established a large, independent, professional-quality symphony orchestra.
Our home theater is the beautiful George Washington Masonic Memorial Theater. Over the years, SONOVA has been invited to perform throughout the Mid-Atlantic region with arts organizations as wide ranging as renaissance choirs, tap dance companies, symphonic choirs, and Broadway artists. Additionally, SONOVA has performed at such venues as Arlington’s Spectrum Theater, The Grand Opera House in Wilmington, DE, the historic Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., the White House, and Colonial Williamsburg’s historic Bruton Parish.
We routinely perform with world-class guest artists, conductors, and musicians. We have been joined onstage by world-renowned soloists and conductors Jorge Saade-Scaaf, Sofya Gulyak, Juan Carlos Escudero, Krystal Rickard-McCoy, Jackson Caesar, Laura Wehrmeyer, Bakaari Wilder, David Timpane, Barry Hemphill, and many others.
We also place special importance on collaborations and American and world premieres. Over the years, SONOVA has given premieres of works by Brian Wilbur Grundstrom, Peter Rauch, Paul Leavitt, Michael Ream, and William Burdett.
SONOVA welcomes Ethan Lolley as the second ever music director of the orchestra, beginning with the 2023-2024 season.
Meet the Founder - Jeffrey Sean Dokken
SONOVA was founded in 2011 by Jeffrey Sean Dokken. As featured in the “Best Of” issue of Virginia Living Magazine, Jeffrey is one of today’s most exciting and vibrant Music Directors and Conductors. Over the past decade, Dokken has performed throughout the United States in some of America’s greatest venues, including The Kennedy Center, Carnegie Hall, Strathmore Concert Hall, The Grand Opera House, Constitution Hall and many more. Internationally, he’s performed in innumerable world renowned venues throughout Europe and South America. Maestro Dokken has had the distinct honor of conducting at the White House in Washington D.C. on several occasions.
Dokken is the Artistic Director and Conductor of The Rome Symphony Orchestra in Rome, Georgia and the Music Director for the NFL's Washington Commanders. Dokken has an active career as a guest conductor, and amongst many other recent engagements throughout the United States and abroad, has had the honor of conducting the National Symphonies of Brazil and Ecuador, and conducting the World Premiere of the Philip Glass Flute Concerto in Florence, Italy.
After earning his degree in voice from the University of Redlands, Dokken pursued graduate degrees at California Lutheran University and Shenandoah Conservatory. A multi-instrumentalist as well as a vocalist, Dokken is a piano, brass and percussion specialist, with an emphasis on low brass.
He has composed for, conducted and performed on a number of recordings, including recent recordings of flute and orchestra music for Universal Music Group, and on “Premiered at the Opera House,” a recording with the Symphony Orchestra of Northern Virginia and the Metropolitan Chorus. Additionally, Maestro Dokken recorded a CD of American music with renowned violinist Jorge Saade and the Guayaquil symphony orchestra. A lover of all kinds of Rock music, Dokken frequently lectures on the intersection of popular and classical music, and features the juxtaposition of genres in much of his programming. Dokken maintains a thriving Arts Consulting Business, with an emphasis on helping composers and artists bring their works to life.
“NOVA HAS A WORLD-CLASS SYMPHONY IN THE SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA.”
Board of Directors
Agnes Manley, President
Eileen Street, Vice President
Alexander Grisos, Secretary
Sarah Taylor, Treasurer
Ethan Lolley, Music Director
Michael Thompson, Associate Music Director
Serena Sela, Interim Executive Director