12.10.12Del Ray Tree Lighting

Hundreds gather in the farmers market lot to celebrate the season and remember Nancy Dunning.

Kate Moran, Dunning’s niece, led the crowd in carols and counted down the lighting of the tree, which was donated by “Mango" Mike Anderson and Bill Blackburn of Pork Barrel BBQ and Holy Cow.

09.27.12First Annual Friendship Firehouse Picnic

The Friendship Veterans Fire Engine Association held the first Friendship Firehouse Picnic in "the Grove" of the Virginia Theological Seminary on Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012 in support of the Alexandria Fire Department. We could not have asked for a more beautiful day!

01.20.12CrossFit Inspires Singers "Fight

The stage is not much different than a WOD. So says Kate Moran, lead singer of the Kate Moran Band and a CrossFitter at CrossFit Oldtown in Alexandria, Va.

“You just have to let go," she explains. “You have to just take a big breath and … hope for the best."

But it wasn’t always like that for Moran. Her first two months at the box were marked by anxiety.

“For the first two months, I was terrified of everything," Moran says. “I was really scared of the weights and when they would slam down."

These days, her deadlift is about 260 lb. Not only does she feel better physically, she says, but CrossFit has made her a better musician.

“The way that I sing after doing CrossFit is totally different than I used to sing. I wasn’t physical on stage. I didn’t use my body. It just didn’t move through me the way it does today."

The training methodology also inspired Moran to write the song Fight.

“I wasn’t in a great place before I came here," she says, holding back tears. “I just kept fighting through it in that first year. You just fight every time you come in here."

06.24.11Kate Moran: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing

"How does Kate Moran find time to sleep and still stay cheerful?

By day, the Del Ray pop singer with an earthy voice works at the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs. By night, when she’s not earning her Doctorate at George Mason University two nights a week or collecting used swimsuits for poor Alexandria kids, you can find her belting out “Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing" onstage with The Kate Moran Band."

11.08.10CD Review: Love's Not Easy 'On the Avenue'

By Rebecca J. Ritzel
Del Ray Patch
"If ever a sitcom were set in Del Ray, Kate Moran would write the theme song."

10.14.10Halloween Parade Fast Approaching

By Drew Hansen
Del Ray Patch
"The Kate Moran Band will perform following the ceremony. Children's games and activities provided by the Alexandria Jaycees will be set up in the playing fields."

08.26.10A musician bred on The Avenue

By David Sachs
Alexandria Times
"You learn so much about yourself when you go through situations in life, whether it’s with a love, whether you lose somebody, whether something works out. Every experience we have, we learn something from, and I definitely get a lot of my lyrics and my thoughts from feelings that I have, so it all comes from a true place."

07.08.10Discs on the Avenue

By Michael Pope
Alexandria Gazette Packet
"Songs on the album, titled "On the Avenue," reflect Moran’s experience growing up in Del Ray. Moran said she experienced Mount Vernon Avenue blossom over the years from a quiet suburban outpost into a thriving regional hotspot, known to some as Old Town’s quirky sibling. She’s set to perform the songs during the next First Thursday celebration in Del Ray, scheduled for Aug. 5."

06.28.10Del Ray's Music Festival Keeps it Hot

By James Cullum

The U.S. vs. Ghana World Cup match kept Alexandrians glued to their televisions and away from the start of the fourth annual Del Ray Music Festival. After the disappointing 2-1 U.S. loss, however, reggae, classic rock and bluegrass provided consolation. More than 20 bands performed on two stages from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. on Saturday.

"I was hoping for a U.S. victory and a quick game but it wasn’t to be," said Fred Hoff, who plays drums, keyboard and guitar with the Elroy Jenkins Band. The band’s set ended at 5:45 p.m., just when larger numbers of people began to flock to the stages on the field at the Mount Vernon Recreation Center.

The festival was singer Kate Moran’s brainchild, and she begins planning for it each November. “I’ve been here setting up since 6:30 this morning, this is a little hot. But I love being here. Every year it seems to get a little bit bigger, a little bit better," she said.

Saturday’s hot weather and the reggae sound of Richmond-based Antero went well together. “This is the only neighborhood I know that has its own music festival," said Antero singer and guitarist Wyley Jones. “Give yourselves a round of applause," he told the audience.

Festival organizer Pat Miller owns A Show of Hands on Mount Vernon Avenue. “This year, Kate [Moran] got some really good bands," Miller said. “It’s been a great turnout."

Local vendors included the Del Merei Grille, Pizzaiolo Café & Bar, Evening Star Café, Taqueria Poblano and Saeh’s Treats.

Christine Ponzi owns Pizzaiolo Café and Bar. “This is our second year at this event. This is more than about making profit. It’s about being part of the community," she said. “This year we have focused on fundraising for victims in Haiti, supporting local churches and the Alexandria Soccer Association."

04.23.10Weekend Music Roundup

The Walkaways, The Kate Moran Band, Stella Schindler. IOTA Club & Cafe. $12.

07.02.09Musicians Take Center Stage in Del Ray

The Third Annual Del Ray Music Festival brought live music and fun to Commonwealth Avenue on Saturday. The festival, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., featured a variety of local musicians performing everything from swing to Celtic Caribbean rock.

There were two separate stages, one main stage and a “15-minute stage" on which solo musicians played. In all, there were 22 performances in more than 10 different genres of music.

There were also several local restaurants stationed at the event, including Buzz Bakery, Evening Star Café, Del Merei Grille, Let’s Meat on the Avenue, Pizzaiolo and Taqueria Poblano.

While the older crowd enjoyed tasting the cuisine and watching the stage, kids stayed busy with carnival games. The moon bounce was the most popular attraction, drawing children of all ages.

“We initially came for the music, but it was such a treat to see all the games for kids -- and for free," said Brenda Dunlap-Elkins, a resident of Del Ray.

There were more than 15 sponsors who made the event possible, including Guitars Not Guns (GnG), a local grassroots organization dedicated to helping children. Formed in 2000, GnG uses the power of music to inspire at-risk and underprivileged youth to succeed by providing them music education and mentoring opportunities. The afterschool club also partners with other local organizations, including Boys and Girls Clubs, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, county or church afterschool programs and government foster care agencies.

Paul Caffrey, a festival volunteer and owner of Del Ray Chiropractic and Massage, applauded the sponsors for their continued support within the community.

“It’s just neat that people wanted to sponsor here…they’re all about Del Ray," he said.
The festival was co-founded by Steve Attix, owner of the Del Ray School of Music, and Kate Moran, who performed with her band at the event. It began two years ago and was originally held at the Masonic temple. In 2008, it moved to the Mount Vernon Recreation Center Fields in order to be closer to the community.

As more of the community becomes involved, the festival continues to grow and Moran soon hopes to “make the event about a cause."

05.07.08Town of Potomac Centennial Hat Parade

76 Trombones Led the Big Parade!
Town of Potomac Locomotive Parade Float(Well, maybe one trombone and several members of the TC Williams Marching Band.) Hundreds of Del Rayers turned out on Saturday May 3 to commemorate the Town of Potomac Centennial with a Hat Parade! Representatives from various city and community groups marched along a Commonwealth Avenue crowded with onlookers celebrating our 100th anniversary. As the tail end of the parade passed, all of the spectators were invited to join in to truly celebrate our community. Organizers Pat Miller, Gayle Reuter, and Carol Bailey did a fantastic job pulling the event together, and many thanks to the DC Metro Church for organizing the post-parade childrens' games and the Kate Moran Band for the entertainment. Photos will be posted soon, but feel free to peruse Jack Powers's photos in the meanwhile.

02.08.07Top Picks-Saturday. August 7

The Del Ray Citizens Association and Warwick Village Citizens Association invite city residents to celebrate National Night Out with them on Tuesday, Aug. 7, from 5:30-9 p.m. National Night Out is a unique crime and drug prevention event that will take place in the Colasanto Park and Pool area at the intersection of Mount Vernon and Commonwealth avenues.

“This is a nationwide event, and we are certain that it will make our great neighborhoods even better," said Ryann Morales, Chairperson for the National Night Out celebration in Del Ray and Warwick Village. “The goals are to make people more aware of crime and drug prevention efforts, to strengthen our neighborhood spirit and our partnerships with the police, and to send a message to criminals letting them know that we are organized and in control."

This family event will feature games, contests, food, demonstrations, and prizes for all. The pool will be open until sun sets.

Nationwide, this is the 24th year for National Night Out. It involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations, and local officials from more than 10,000 communities in all 50 states and various U.S. territories, as well as Canadian cities and U.S. military bases worldwide. In all, more than 34 million people participated in National Night Out 2006.

Morales said she expects 600 residents to attend the celebration at the Colasanto Park and Pool. Representatives of the Alexandria Police Department, Alexandria Sheriff’s Department, and Alexandria Fire Department and Emergency Management Team, will also be on hand.

The DRCA and the WVCA have named the Alexandria Police Foundation and the local nonprofit Community Partners for Children as beneficiaries of this year’s event. Any funds raised will be donated to these two groups.

The Alexandria Boxing Club, the Alexandria Rugby Club, Be Ryong Martial Arts, Master Yun’s Taekwondo Academy, and Mt. Vernon Recreation Center’s Cheerleaders and Dance Troop will provide demonstrations. The Community Emergency Response Team will hold a fire suppression demonstration.

Music will be provided by Brother Shamus, the Irish Breakfast Band, and the Kate Moran Band.