Fiddler on the Roof, a classic musical that boasts Broadway’s longest run, opens at St. Petersburg College’s Clearwater Campus Arts Auditorium on June 30. Mark your calendar now to attend one of the two performances on:
Friday, June 30 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, July 1 – 7 p.m.
SPC Arts Auditorium, Clearwater Campus
2465 Drew St., Clearwater
General Admission: $10; Free for SPC students, faculty and staff.
Directed by SPC Theater Professor Scott Cooper, this is the largest production SPC has ever put on, featuring 32 local high school and college actors. In addition, 14 technical students created the costumes, set and props and are working on lights and sound.
More about Fiddler on the Roof
Set in 1905, in the little Russian village of Anatevka, Fiddler on the Roof centers on Tevye, a poor milkman, and his five daughters. With the help of a colorful and tight-knit Jewish community, Tevye tries to protect his daughters and instill traditional values in them in the face of changing social mores and the growing anti-Semitism of Czarist Russia.
Rich in historical and ethnic detail, Fiddler on the Roof‘s universal theme of tradition cuts across barriers of race, class, nationality and religion, leaving audiences crying tears of laughter, joy and sadness.
SPC summer theater camp
Part of a month- long, summer program that was open to SPC students and local high school students, students auditioned for the camp in May and attended Technical Theater Production and Acting Repertory classes.
“This is the first time I have ever heard of a summer production/camp for technical theater students also,” said SPC Theater Professor Scott Cooper. “I have always thought it was important not only to help build their skills, but get everyone involved in one production.”
The tech students are learning about set construction, painting, lighting, sound, costumes and more. Cooper hopes to send them back to their high schools to teach other students what they have learned from St. Petersburg College and, hopefully, make them want to come back to SPC’s Theater Program to learn more.
LIBERTAIRE: THE PLAY, an award-winning screenplay written by SPC Art Professor Elizabeth Indianos is also an adapted stageplay premiering May 11-13, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. at the Tarpon Springs Performing Arts Center. The play tells the story of newspaperman Joe Pulitzer and French sculptor Auguste Bartholdi, who fight discrimination and indifference for a woman no one wanted: Lady Liberty.
“The story really revealed a lot to me and I felt like I needed to tell this story,” said Indianos. “My grandparents were immigrants and they came through Ellis Island and saw the statue of Liberty – escaping the Greek genocide.”
Elizabeth Indianos is an artist, writer, public speaker and art professor at St. Petersburg College. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree from the University of Florida and a Masters of Fine Arts from the University of South Florida. Early in her career she received a Mobil Corporation grant for the exploration of new materials. Over the past twenty eight- years her diverse and varied work has developed in this same spirit of exploration through a variety of themes and a wide scope of materials and technology. She has created large-scale projects in the public art arena. Many of these projects integrate writing components and unusual collaborative ventures. View some of her art at www.elizabethindianos.com.
St. Petersburg mural art is all the rage recently. Almost everywhere you go in downtown St. Petersburg, people are talking about the artists who have turned the streets into an open air art gallery.
St. Petersburg College students experienced the urban art form firsthand recently when they partnered with WEDU PBS to produce Concrete Canvas, a nationally broadcast segment from a recent WEDU Arts Plus episode. WEDU Arts Plus, a weekly arts and culture program, is produced by WEDU and airs on Thursday nights at 8 p.m.
Watch the Concrete Canvas segment above for a tour of the murals of downtown St. Petersburg and meet the talented artists whose canvas is concrete. Initially aired in June, the segment will be seen nationwide in dozens of the hottest markets.
Learn more about St. Petersburg Mural Art by visiting the Shine Mural Festival website. Held Sept. 1-10 in downtown St. Petersburg, the annual event gathered the best local, national and international mural artists who added more than a dozen new murals the trendy downtown landscape.
Video students gain real world experience with mural art project
Every student enrolled in the videography sub plan of SPC’s Digital Arts degree or certificate gets the unique experience of collaborating with WEDU professionals to produce a segment for WEDU Arts Plus.
“The biggest benefit is that when their work gets aired on a genuine television outlet it gives them a portfolio piece that has been viewed by the masses,” said John Muehl, SPC Digital Media professor who has taught the Advanced Videography class for the past two semesters.
SPC students who worked on the Concrete Canvas mural art video included Sean Freeman, Deven Keough, Christopher Mclean and Fred Perz.
In his last semester at SPC, with plans to graduate in December, Sean Freeman was glad to add the nationally broadcasted segment to his portfolio.
“Working on Concrete Canvas has given me recognition nationally,” said Freeman. “I really learned a lot and it helped me confidence wise.”
Freeman has a passion for documentary work and is also working to grow Aeronautical Productions, his video/photography business.
Freeman and his classmates created the mural art video from concept through production with feedback along the way from their professor and the WEDU professionals. They also toured the WEDU studios where they pitched their ideas to the pros.
Community partnerships that make a difference
SPC began partnering with WEDU back in 2008 when SPC helped them produce an interview and live event at the Palladium Theater featuring the program NOVA scienceNOW. Since then, SPC students have worked with WEDU on a variety of projects including the Emmy Award winning Away: A Story of Trash and segments for WEDU Arts Plus.
All of these projects have provided SPC Digital Media Arts students the opportunity to work in a real-world environment through their classes to pitch, produce and deliver a video production package to a ‘client’, WEDU.
“In addition to the practical experience they receive through this process, SPC students are able to have a fully produced product for their resume portfolio as they head out to acquire that first video production job,” said Jack Conely, WEDU Vice President of Content.
The partnership gives WEDU quality, cost-free content and provides SPC and WEDU with opportunities to collaborate on other projects, such as town-hall meetings, public forum events and more.
Watch videos produced by SPC students for WEDU
* Chosen for national marketing market
Leepa-Rattner Museum of Art: The Leepa-Rattner Museum in Tarpon Springs displays the work of Expressionist painter Abraham Rattner, and champions a diverse array of artists in its collections. Aired April 4, 2013.
Artist Francois Gilot: We learn about the life and work of Francois Gilot, known for her colorful modern paintings and relationship with Pablo Picasso. Aired June 13, 2013.*
Painter Arnold Martinez: A native to Ybor City, painter Arnold Martinez uses inspiration from his hometown to create realistic works of art using materials like coffee and tobacco. Aired June 20, 2013.
Food Truck Rallies: Local food truck owners prepare their specialty dishes all in one place- giving new meaning to “fast” food. Aired June 27, 2013.
Liz Pennock: Liz Pennock plays the blues with a new twist: she only has three fingers on each hand. But, that hasn’t stopped her from performing the music she loves and paving a way for future musicians. Aired July 11, 2013.
Brad Williams: Born with dwarfism, Brad Williams found he could overcome his condition and help others through comedy. Aired June 6, 2013 and Nov. 21, 2013.*
3 Daughters Brewery: Three Daughters Brewery in St. Petersburg is a family-owned business that focuses on the art of making craft beer while instilling a family-oriented atmosphere. Aired June 26, 2014.
Shuffleboard Resurgence: Witness the revival of shuffleboard among all ages as the world’s largest shuffleboard club, St. Pete Shuffle, provides free weekend entertainment. Aired July 3, 2014.
Rasta Geary Taylor: Local St. Petersburg artist Rasta Geary Taylor uses anything as a canvas, and aims to “put paint where it ain’t” at his 1 of 1 Customs studio. Aired July 10, 2014.
Colors of Courage: Tampa Bay artist Lisa Scholder helps to heal the visible and emotional wounds of female cancer survivors through body paint. Aired July 17, 2014 and March 19, 2015.
Art of Racing: Speed into the local short track races of Pinellas Park. Get a glimpse at what it takes to get a racing machine ready for Saturday night, as these race car enthusiasts design, build, and drive their way to the finish line. July 2, 2015.
Music Therapy: See how Tampa Bay residents use music to help individuals with special needs and emotional or physical trauma. Aired July 9, 2015.
Justin Beauchesne: St. Petersburg Skateboarder Justin Beauchesne shows that determination and a positive attitude can overcome a physical disability. Aired July 23, 2015.
Chains of Fire: Father and son street performers in St. Petersburg excite onlookers as they perform daring tricks of acrobatics and contortion. Aired July 30, 2015.
Concrete Canvas: Tour the mural art of downtown St. Petersburg and meet the artists behind the large-scale works that adorn building facades. Aired June 23, 2016.*
For the Love of Music: Take a tour of St. Petersburg music venues, where there is something for every musical taste. Aired June 30, 2016.
One of a Kind: See how dollmaker Gayle Wray creates unique hand-made dolls and explains the special meaning that these dolls have for those who receive them. Aired July 7, 2016.
Poetry in Motion: Learn an art form unique to deaf individuals as young people perform poetry on stage using American Sign Language. Aired July 14, 2016.
As an award-winning concert pianist, Petrescue has performed with the Florida Orchestra and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through connections she’s made at SPC.
As a business-savvy entrepreneur, Petrescue is using lessons learned in her business degree to further her natural musical talent.
“I am kind of my own business,” said Petrescue. “I’m self-employed so these skills and these tools that I’m acquiring: marketing, entrepreneurship, even project management, can come in handy with planning and organizing the music projects that I do.”
The gift of music
Her love for music started at an early age. Her mother was a piano teacher so music students were coming in and out of their house all the time. Her first lessons began at age 5.
“I grew up in a very musical family,” she said. “I used to fall asleep to the exhilarating sounds of Rachmaninoff as my brothers practiced at night.”
She started taking dual enrollment classes at SPC as a high school student in 2010 and earned her A.A. degree in 2013. During that time she studied classical piano with SPC professor Dr. Xu Hui.
“I don’t think I would be here today if it wasn’t for getting linked up with Dr. Xu Hui,” she said. “She is a professional instructor and brilliant pianist, who I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study with and prepare for competitions.”
Petrescue has also participated in the SPC Piano Concert Series Master Classes, working with Steinway Artist and Artist-in-Residence Rebecca Penneys.
Her hard work over the years has paid off with a long list of awards that have opened doors for her to perform professionally with organizations like the Florida Orchestra and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
Top prize: playing with the Florida Orchestra
In 2015, Petrescue won first place in the senior piano division of the Justine LeBaron Young Artists Competition for playing the first movement of Mendelssohn’s Piano Concert No. 1 in G Minor, Op. 25.
Held annually at the St. Petersburg College Music Center, the competition is sponsored by the Florida Orchestra Musicians Association. This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, April 16 and is open to the public. Learn more about the competition.
When Petrescue won the 2015 competition, the Florida Orchestra invited her to perform with them at Clearwater’s Ruth Eckerd Hall and the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg in February.
“Performing with the Florida Orchestra was surreal,” said Petrescue. “It was like a childhood fantasy that I was living out. It was absolutely thrilling.”
Petrescue also played with members of the Florida Orchestra in a 2012 chamber music concert after winning the piano division of the Stephen P. Brown Concerto competition. As the featured pianist, she played Schubert’s Quintet in A major.
Petrescue shared other talents with fellow students as a peer advisor on SPC’s Seminole Campus.
“Being a peer advisor was such an incredible experience,” she said. “I love the concept of using my personal experience as a student, along with professional academic advising training to help enhance the college experience for others. Having that personal connection with somebody – it really sets SPC apart.”
Petrescue was invited to join other peer advisors as part of an expert panel at the National Academic Advising Association’s Summer Institute.
“This conference has provided me with a much better understanding of the purpose behind the peer advising program,” she said. “I have a greater sense of purpose as I see how my role fits in with the big picture.”
Another benefit of working as a peer advisor was making her own connections. While working as a peer advisor during one of SPC’s Working Wednesday events aimed at getting students into jobs, Petrescue met a recruiter from Busch Gardens Tampa Bay.
“I found out they were holding auditions, and it has always been my dream to perform at the park, so I auditioned on a whim to play background piano music in the Crown Colony Restaurant as part of their Christmas Town event,” she said.
It started out as a seasonal gig, and then turned into a part-time job as she was invited back to perform in various day-shows a few days a week.
“If it wasn’t for attending the Working Wednesday event, I wouldn’t have known the opportunity even existed,” she said.
“SPC does an excellent job of connecting students with the community through internships, job fairs, conferences, community service projects, as well as other extracurricular and career service programs,” she said. “There are a tremendous wealth of resources and tools available if students will take advantage of them. Though I have been really proactive in my pursuits, I thank God for bringing these opportunities across my path.”
SPC Foundation Scholarships made college affordable
Like many SPC students, scholarships from the St. Petersburg College Foundation made Petrescue’s education affordable.
“I am so thankful for the financial support that has greatly helped fund my education,” she said. “Through the Foundation, I have been selected to receive generous contributions through the private gifts of individuals, community groups and businesses.”
While at SPC, Petrescue was awarded the following Foundation Scholarships:
Rotary Club of Seminole Scholarship
Robert and Mildred Baynard State Contribution Scholarship
Robert and Mildred Baynard Ethics in Business Scholarship
As an entrepreneur, Petrescue was looking for a broad, practical degree that she could apply to the variety of things she is doing. She found it in the Bachelor of Applied Science in Management and Organizational Leadership.
Petrescue teaches private lessons and sings professionally for a variety of special events, concerts and ceremonies. She was the piano accompanist for St. Petersburg College’s Xanadu and Godspell theater performances.
Petrescue has also taught masters classes for the American Stage Theater Company, where she also worked as a music director for their youth summer camp programs in 2014 and 2015.
“I have had several leadership opportunities cross my path and I figured this degree would be the best tool to help me continue to grow in that area,” she said.
As for her future career path, Petrescue is learning as much as she can and sees her business degree as a possible stepping stone into musical directing or orchestra management.
“Right now I am very passionate about the performing arts,” she said. “I dream of traveling to perform and study abroad! Perhaps in the future, I will be more serious about teaching. I also enjoy working with people, and applying my leadership and administrative skills in an organization. Whether I do these things separately or somehow merge them, I am open-minded.”
She highly recommends SPC as a place to grow, find your passion and make connections.
“The classroom experience is only half the story,” she said. “The faculty are incredibly knowledgeable and experienced. They offer degree programs that are relevant and continuously expand on them. They want students to succeed – that means everything.”
Largo native Natalie DePergola has been drumming since she was 6 years old. She learned the basics from her Uncle Bill, quickly graduating from a toy store drum kit to a full-size
Pearl set. Since her first public performance at age 9, she has gone on to play at venues throughout Tampa Bay, Nashville and even Canada.
After winning first place in a talent contest sponsored by the St. Petersburg Times, DePergola’s star has continued to rise. In 2013, she was chosen for the GRAMMY
Museum’s Music Revolution Project at Ruth Eckerd Hall, where musically gifted high school students explore songwriting, production, performance, and the business
Other notable achievements include her top-three finishes in the 2014 and 2015 Hit Like a Girl drumming competition, as well as her strong showing at the 2015 Guitar Center Drum-Off in Clearwater. She also holds endorsements from international brands ddrum and Zildjian.
Lessons provide foundation for music career
Much of DePergola’s early music education took place at Seminole Music & Sound, under the guidance of manager John Spinelli. She has studied with legendary drummers
John Blackwell, Vinny Appice and Brent Easton, and cites local musician Rodney Rocques as another mentor. DePergola is currently a junior at Florida Virtual School, and recently entered St. Petersburg College’s Music Industry Recording Arts (MIRA) as a dual enrolled student. Fall 2015 marked her first semester at the college; her classes included Fundamentals of Music and Critical Listening, as well as a weekly private drum lesson with professor and MIRA Academic Chair Patrick Hernly. Because DePergola is such an advanced drummer, Hernly’s lessons explore different types of percussion, such as batá, cajón, and timbales.
“By learning these styles on authentic instruments, it increases the breadth of
musical styles that Natalie is acquainted with and allows her to apply those concepts
to the drums,” he explained.
DePergola expresses great appreciation for her classes and instructors at SPC.
“Patrick is an amazing drummer, and he helps me identify and improve on my weak
areas,” she noted. “His Critical Listening class has completely changed the way I listen
to music; I’m now hearing so much more than just chords and instrumentation. And
in Fundamentals of Music, Austin Vickrey has been teaching me how to read, play,
notate, and write music for the piano and other instruments.”
A Passion for Learning
While DePergola is enrolled in MIRA’s Artist with Performance Focus subplan, she is
eager to explore all facets of the program. “I want to be more than just a musician; I want to know how to record and produce, and how to write songs. I want to be a well-rounded professional, and there are so many people here who can help me do that,” she asserted.
DePergola also enjoys getting to know her fellow MIRA students. “They often ask me to help with their side projects and lay down drum tracks in the studio. I love doing that,” she said. “And I love playing with musicians who are better than me; I can learn so much from them.”
Hernly’s comments echo DePergola’s eagerness to learn and the ways MIRA can
benefit her. He notes that she is “extremely teachable” and credits her “excellent
combination of pattern recognition and audio-motor feedback loop” as an advantage,
enabling her to quickly figure out and emulate new techniques.
If you like Halloween and Valentine’s Day, then you’ll love Valentween, a fundraising event on Feb. 29, from noon to 2 p.m. at St. Petersburg College’s Downtown Center.
Sponsored by the Environmental Society, proceeds of this event will go to the campus earth garden, and for Mission Blue, an ocean conservation group that promotes a clean environment and protection zones for aquatic life.
Enjoy this mash-up of Valentines Day and Halloween by viewing The Corpse Bride, dressing as your favorite character, and indulging in a few sweets.
SPC Professor Dr. Brandy Stark will host a lecture discussing the symbolism of the butterfly, illustrated through Tim Burton’s The Corpse Bride. Students are welcome to view and discuss the film as part of this event.
Environmental Society demonstration
Environmental Society members will be on hand to discuss butterflies, butterfly gardening, and butterfly attracting plants. Plants to be offered to students to take home and start their own butterfly gardens. The club will also begin to plant its first earth box with butterfly-attracting plants on the 6th floor of the parking garage (on the other side of the elevator). Students are welcome to attend and assist.
There will be popcorn, grab bags and more! Faculty, staff and student are invited to attend.
Jazz artist Fred Johnson will conduct a free Music and Healing workshop on Friday, Feb. 26, 1 p.m. at St. Petersburg College, as part of the 2016 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival. The workshop will be held at SPC’s St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus, 6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg, Room HS 117.
Fred Johnson on the power of creative expression
Fred Johnson has spent the past 35 years presenting international concerts and seminars on the power of creative expression as a tool for personal well being and healing. He has performed on stage with or as the opening act for such musical greats as Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Chick Corea, Herbie Mann, Nat Adderly, Joe Zawinul, David Sanborn, Richard Elliot, Ramsey Lewis, Aretha Franklin, Patti La Belle, Patti Austin, George Benson, BB King and many others.
He has also presented music programs in association with Dr. Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, Dr. Maya Angelou and many others.
Johnson will also perform during the Jazz Festival with the Helios Jazz Orchestra on Saturday, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m. at the St. Petersburg College Music Center, also on the St. Petersburg/Gibbs Campus. The cost is $15 at the door but is free to SPC students, faculty and staff with a college ID.
Jazz Festival quick links
The 2016 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival kicks off on Feb. 24 with five local concerts nightly through Feb. 28.
The 2016 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival kicks off on Feb. 24 with five local concerts nightly through Feb. 28. Originally dubbed the St. Petersburg College Jazz Fest, the event has evolved into a city-wide celebration now in its eighth year.
SPC music professor, trombonist and composer David Manson started the event in 2009 to promote an American music form that is appreciated around the world.
Presented by EMIT and St. Petersburg College, this year’s St. Petersburg Jazz Festival schedule includes:
Wednesday, Feb. 24, 7:30 p.m.
James Varnado Jazz/Funk Band
Side Door at the Palladium Theater
253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Cost: $15 – Buy Tickets Online
Thursday, Feb. 25, 7:30 p.m.
Bird and Diz
A tribute to Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie led by James Suggs and Austin Vickery
Side Door at the Palladium Theater
253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Cost: $15 – Buy Tickets Online
Friday, Feb. 26, 7:30 p.m.
The Silvano Monasterios Trio
Featuring the compositions of Silvano Monasterios joined by Jon Dadurka on bass and Rodolfo Zuñiga on drums
Side Door at the Palladium Theater
253 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Cost: $15 – Buy Tickets Online
Saturday, Feb. 27, 7:30 p.m.
Fred Johnson and the Helios Jazz Orchestra
St. Petersburg College Music Center
6605 5th Ave. N., St. Petersburg
Cost: $15 at the door (Free for SPC students, faculty and staff with college ID)
Sunday, Feb. 28, 6 p.m. The Post-Festival Jazz Jam
Hosted by the Al Downing Tampa Bay Jazz Association
642 22nd St. S., St. Petersburg
Learn to act for film, television and commercials by taking St. Petersburg College’s Introduction to On Camera Performance class on the Clearwater Campus. This February Express term class starts Feb. 8, 2016.
In this hands-on class, students actually perform on camera each week and no textbook is required.
“We will simulate actual on-set experiences that prepare students to act professionally in television, film, and commercials,” said Tony Valentine, instructor for the course. “We’ll also work on audition techniques and discuss the business of acting so students are prepared to get a professional acting job and manage their careers. Upon completion of this course, students are be ready to step onto a film or television set and perform like a professional.”
No acting experience needed
Students do not need acting experience to be successful in this course.
“Anyone can learn to act for the camera just like a professional actor,” said Valentine. “It’s similar to how we communicate in everyday life, and how we perform different roles every day.”
Learn to act from professor with 30 years acting experience
Dr. Valentine earned a PhD in Fine Arts-Theater from Texas Tech University. With more than 30 years of professional experience as an actor and coach, his acting experience includes a variety of film, television, commercial and stage credits including:
Days of Our Lives (NBC)
Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
A member of SAG-AFTRA (Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) and Actors’ Equity, Dr. Valentine also teaches Speech Communication classes at St. Petersburg College. Learn more about Dr. Valentine.
CoMotion Dance Theatre, the resident dance company at St. Petersburg College, will present their Fall 2015 Dance Concert on:
Arts Auditorium – SPC Clearwater Campus
2465 Drew Street
Admission: $5 general admission; free for SPC students and staff with ID.
CoMotion Dance Theatre is celebrating its 30th season this year, with performances choreographed by the program’s directors and local guest artists from the Tampa Bay area. They are locally recognized for their professional quality performances.
Auditions for CoMotion membership are held at the start of each term. Audition dates for the Spring 2016 term will be posted soon at www.spcollege.edu/comotion.
Explore dance classes at St. Petersburg College
SPC students as young as 16 can take Jazz, Modern and Ballet dance classes at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Dance workshops are also offered. Scholarships are available to talented dance students.