Opening on the big stage for Young the Giant was a dream come true for Miroux band members Jonah Hollander and Natalie DePergola. Students in SPC’s Music Industry and Recording Arts program, the band kicked off the 97X Backyard BBQ show in downtown St. Petersburg on May 28.
Meeting Young the Giant
The gig came to be after the group’s performance won the Ferg’s Live competition, which secured the 97X show for the young band. DePergola said she was a big fan of the other bands there, and Miroux had the chance to meet them and make some connections.
“It was crazy,” she said. “We met the other bands and even swapped phone numbers with Young the Giant. It was a super-cool experience.”
DePergola, who was previously featured in a story on this blog, is a dual-enrolled senior in the Florida Virtual School and SPC’s MIRA program. She is also an artist with the Zildjian cymbal company and ddrum drum company and a finalist in Drum! magazine’s “Hit Like a Girl” international competition.
Hollander is an incoming MIRA student and a graduating senior from Lakewood High School, where he has been a bassist in the school jazz ensemble, which was recently named grand champion at the Crescent City Jazz Festival in New Orleans, where Hollander also won the award for top improviser.
Both students also participated in the 2015 GRAMMY Museum Revolution project at Ruth Eckerd Hall, an invitation-only program that offers creative young musicians a chance to engage in musical discourse and performance with other talented youth. The students learn about music history, theory and composition, and they also enjoy one-on-one mentoring sessions with GRAMMY nominees and/or winners, and form ensembles with their fellow classmates.
MIRA Department Chair Patrick Hernly said that SPC keeps a close relationship with Pinellas County Schools.
“MIRA assists PCS with curriculum design related to commercial music and music technology,” Hernly said. “It’s a nice symbiosis because it enables us to do good community outreach work, but then it also is a good recruitment tool.”
DePergola, who just finished her first year in the MIRA program, said she has been learning music theory and new instruments.
“I love it at SPC,” she said. “I’ve been learning from a lot of new teachers, and it’s really helping me grow as a better musician.”