Narration to: "Herndon--A Town in the Old Dominion"

for orchestra.

Dedicated to the Town of Herndon Orchestra
Words and music by David Rubenstein

Sheet Music in Scorch Format at SibeliusMusic

Herndon--a name to be proud of. The town’s namesake, Captain William Lewis Herndon, was born in Fredericksburg in 1812. He was appointed as a midshipman in the US Navy at the age of 16. He served on many ships, including the Constellation, the Constitution, and the Independence. He grew to become a scholarly explorer, spending a few years conducting research on the Amazon River. In 1857, Captain Herndon was the skipper of the steamship, Central America. When the ship foundered in a storm off Cape Hatteras, he showed personal courage as he and his disciplined crew managed to safely remove most of the women and children from the ship. But Captain Herndon became a national hero after he, along with 426 men, went down with the ship. Legend has it, that the man who suggested that the town be named after the captain, was himself a survivor of that fateful cruise.

Herndon--a sense of history. During the early 19th century, the first building was a mill near where Elden and Locust Streets now run. Additional settlers came and thrived as farmers. The railroad arrived at Herndon in 1859, and a livery stable, stores, and a post office sprouted up in the village. Like most of Northern Virginia, Herndon was caught up by the Civil War. The famous raid of Mosby’s Rangers on St. Patrick’s Day, 1863 on the town of Herndon was remarkable; it was a Confederate success, yet nobody died in the action.

Herndon--a place of faith and learning. In 1872, the Methodist Episcopal Church was founded. Then the Congregationalists and Episcopalians likewise built chapels in the town. The first school devoted to a free public education was built in 1869. Mrs. Robert Castleman established the Herndon Episcopal Seminary for Girls. Then, in 1889, a literary group established itself as the "Fortnightly Club," the first public lending library in Fairfax County. The club was later to build the town’s first library on Spring Street.

Herndon--a town spurred by the railroad. The railroad became electrified in 1911. This development allowed easy access between the city and Herndon by summer residents and commuters. Many new houses were built. A fire ravaged the town in 1917, but growth soon accelerated faster than ever. Sometimes the railroad even brought in unassembled houses from Sears and Roebuck. Today, the Washington and Old Dominion Railroad’s right of way has been converted to a hike and bike trail, providing fun for everyone.

Herndon--a gateway to the world. Herndon is a wonderfully diverse town. People coming from over 50 countries around the world have chosen to make it their home. Scores of restaurants have a deliciously international flavor. It’s quite common for Herndonites to greet guests at the international arrivals terminal at Dulles Airport.

Herndon--a business center. Herndon is well represented by the telecommunications industry, information systems companies, software companies, aerospace and biotechnology. It is also the home of the commercial Internet.

Herndon--a sense of community. People in Herndon enjoy Independence Day activities and fireworks. The annual Homecoming parade shows off the town’s community spirit. The striking Municipal Center, the beautiful Herndon Fortnightly library, the fun-filled Town Green, the train depot museum and famous red caboose give Herndon a special focus right smack in the middle of town. Numerous parks, the Herndon Community Center, the YMCA, and golf course provide recreation for people all around the town.

Herndon--a cultural center. Major landmarks are located nearby; Wolf Trap Farm Park, the Udvar Hazy Air and Space museum, Frying Pan Park and the Sully Plantation. And people from all over the Northern Virginia region enjoy the wonderful cultural events that Herndon hosts: the annual Herndon Festival, the summer concert series, Friday Night Live, the annual jazz festival, the Bluegrass concerts and the folk festival. Herndon is home to the Elden Street Players, the Herndon Towne Square Singers, the Folk Club of Reston/Herndon, and--the TOWN OF HERNDON ORCHESTRA!

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