Music Faculty News: Concerts, Pianos, Masterclasses and More

Piano Corner

Find out what’s been going on with SPC’s music faculty!

Guitar faculty Joe Braccio coordinated a masterclass and concert with internationally renowned guitarist Andrew York at SPC.

Aric Brian (trumpet) was in Aspen, Colorado during the summer playing trumpet for a production of “Guys and Dolls” at Theatre Aspen. He was also the Orchestra Manager of the Aspen Festival Orchestra at the Aspen Music Festival and School. 

Jeff Donovick spearheaded collaborations between SPC student composers and local artists and productions including bumper music for the 2019 SEmmy Awards. He earned Avid Certified Instructor status for Sibelius notation software. And he is also offering instruction in Ableton Live 10 and Digital Performer 9 for MIDI orchestration and composition through the Contemporary Keyboards courses at SPC.

Dr. David Manson released a CD of his original compositions titled Go!. MIRA faculty members Mark Feinman, Alejandro Arenas and Austin Vickrey performed on the recording with their Brazilian jazz group O Som Do Jazz. As director of the 2019 St. Petersburg Jazz Festival (Feb. 27 – March 3), he scheduled concerts and workshops with guest artists that included the Valerie Gillespie Ensemble, Rivers Lost (a tribute to Sam Rivers), the Nestor Torres Quartet and the Martin Bejerano Trio. On March 2, he directed the SPC ensemble-in-residence Helios Jazz Orchestra with guest singer Alexis Cole at the Palladium Theater.

Dr. Marilyn Michael directed the 2019 Summer Vocal Institute at SPC. Faculty included Metropolitan Opera baritone Jason Stearns and University of Tampa professor Dr. Hein Jung. Dr. Susan Robinson was the music director of the class. Professor Scott Cooper, full-time theater professor on the Clearwater Campus, was the guest stage director and Shawn Thomas was the accompanist. Michael assigned and rehearsed the roles as part of the students’ private voice lessons during this 5-week intensive study of voice and opera.

John Shaw (percussion) is set to perform Joseph Schwantner’s Concerto for Percussion at the Eastern Music Festival on July 19.

Voice faculty Linda Switzer taught her own summer music camp called Next Step Broadway. Thirteen of her Tampa students have been on Broadway and National Tours as a result of workshops that she has directed, starting in 2011 in NYC. Her former SPC student, Thomas Massey, made his Carnegie Hall debut during the summer.

Dr. Hu Xu hosted the “Piano Corner“, a free monthly event for all piano lovers, including lectures, masterclasses and showcases. She also opened her YouTube Channel “Inner Art of Music”, where she posts piano tutorial videos weekly.

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