Seventeen St. Petersburg College music students joined over 300 of their peers from Florida State Colleges at the 2018 Florida College System Activities Association’s Winter Music Symposium. Five of them were recognized as category winners and honorable mentions in the Student Artist Competition.
The annual event was hosted at Jacksonville University from January 25 to 27. SPC Professors Nathan Muehl, Director of SPC Bands and Dr. Robert Williams, Director of SPC Chorus, attended the event with the students. Dr. Susan Robinson served as piano accompanist. In addition to performing in chorus, symphonic band, orchestra, and jazz ensembles, several SPC attendees competed in the Student Artist Competition. The five competition winners performed their solo works on a Friday evening concert and each received a $1,000 scholarship that is honored at all state universities and some private ones.
Muehl said the symposium is an opportunity for students to network and collaborate.
“They engage in ensemble rehearsals and masterclasses with university professors and get a sense of the bachelor level music offerings at the host institution,” Muehl said. “A good portion of our students make a real connection with whichever university hosts the symposium that particular year, and it often goes to the top of their list of university considerations.”
The SPC winners were:
Gina Spano – Piano category winner
Ashlee Allaire – Percussion category winner
Bo Garrard – Woodwind category honorable mention
Charles Tsai – Male Voice category honorable mention
Jacob Fox – Brass category honorable mention
Competitors each prepared over 12 minutes of music of various styles. Winners were invited to perform one piece at the Friday evening concert. Gina Spano performed Feux d’artifice by Claude Debussy, and Ashlee Allaire performed the Allemande from the E minor Lute Suite on Marimba by J.S. Bach.
According to Muehl, being recognized at the competition is a great honor that rewards musicianship, technique and performance ability. Since all AA Music majors take weekly lessons with SPC professors who specialize in their musical area, all of that hard work culminates at the competition.
“The FCSAA Symposium is one step on a long journey of experiences towards achievement of undergraduate and graduate degrees in music, and ultimately, careers in teaching and performing,” Muehl said.