Press Releases

Venice orchestra begins Fall rehearsals

Venice, Florida, September 10, 2014 — The Venice Community Orchestra is thrilled to announce the start of the fall rehearsal season.

Laurie Vodnoy-Wright, accomplished and renowned professional violinist and teacher, will lead and coach the orchestra for the2014-2015 season at the Venice Campus of State College of Florida (SCF), 8000 South Tamiami Trail, in the Sarah H. Pappas Professional Development Center.

Registration is required through the SCF Corporate and Community Development, 941-752- 5669. Tuition is $75 for the fall semester.

The Venice Community Orchestra is South County’s only intergenerational orchestra solely for amateurs and those just learning a new instrument.

The orchestra also includes members who are once again playing after a hiatus of 10 or more years.

Rehearsals start right away at the Venice campus of the State College of Florida, but returning snowbirds can join when they arrive. The first rehearsal date is Saturday, Sept. 13, at 9 a.m., and rehearsals will continue on Saturdays at that time.

Anyone who can read music is encouraged to join. There are no auditions. Those who do not currently own an instrument may consider renting one and joining in the fun.

For more information, visit VeniceCommunityOrchestra.com or call John Mabardi at 941-350-0311.

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Venice Community Orchestra Concludes Season with Master Class

Venice, Florida, June 15, 2014 — The Venice Community Orchestra, under the musical direction of Professor Todd Craven, concluded its 2013-2014 season with a master class conducted by internationally renowned violinist Andrea Segar. Following the class, Maestro Craven figuratively passed his baton to Dr. Segar, who will lead and coach the Orchestra beginning next season.

In residence at the State College of Florida Venice Campus, the VCO enjoyed a three-semester season of performance instruction, coaching and ensemble training by Professor Craven, formerly principal trumpet of the Sarasota Orchestra. The class benefitted greatly from his depth of orchestral and chamber music experience, as both a musician and conductor. “He is a gifted teacher who gave us the freedom and knowledge to understand what we needed to do in a most enjoyable way,” said VCO cellist and founder John Mabardi, who also expressed his thanks to SCF for making such a “rich experience available to amateur players in the Venice area.”

Professor Craven and Dr Segar Professor Craven and Dr Segar

Professor Craven will be departing this summer to pursue advanced study in conducting at the University of Michigan.

Dr. Segar, the winner of numerous violin competitions, will lead and coach the orchestra for the 2014-2015 season at the Venice Campus of SCF. Her two-hour performance classes will take place on Saturdays from 10 am to 12 pm beginning on Sept 13, 2014. They are open without audition to string players of all levels who can read music. Registration is required through the SCF Corporate and Community Development Dept. Tuition is $75 for the fall 13-week semester.

Originally from Davis, CA, Maestra Segar earned her Doctorate in Musical Arts from State University of New York at Stony Brook and her Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. She brings to the Orchestra a wealth of teaching and performance experience, most recently at the Birdfoot Festival in New Orleans.

To register or to get more information, visit www.VeniceCommunityOrchestra.com or call Cindy Hunter, Director of Continuing & Community Education, at 941-752-5290, or visit www.scf.edu/CCD.

Press contact: John Mabardi at VCOinformation@comcast.net.

Todd Craven and the Venice Community Orchestra

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

String Ensemble Performance Course at SCF – Venice

Venice, Florida, August 19, 2013 — State College of Florida will offer a string ensemble performance course at its Venice campus starting September 21, 2013. Registration for the 13-­‐week course, taught by Adjunct Music Professor Todd Craven, will be open to violin, viola, cello and bass players of all levels who can read sheet music. There will be no auditions. The course is jointly sponsored by SCF’s Corporate and Community Development Program and the Venice Community Orchestra.

Among the students will be the players of the VCO, which is in its third year of existence and has performed at area churches, assisted living facilities and country clubs. The VCO is composed of new players, retired professionals and avid amateurs, many of whom took lessons earlier in life and are now renewing their joy of music.

Professor Craven, formerly a principal musician with the Sarasota Orchestra, has studied conducting in the United States and abroad and has previously coached and conducted numerous ensembles and choruses in the Sarasota area. He led the VCO at its last season’s finale concert.

This course, which will continue for the second semester next winter, will be offered on Saturday mornings from 10-­‐noon. Prof. Craven will select music consistent with the level of the students from the SCF music library of classical and traditional repertoire.

Each semester of the course, will conclude with a concert at the SCF Venice Campus. SCF Venice Campus Provost Darlene Wedler-­‐Johnson has termed the venture a “win-­‐win project,” and VCO founder and cellist John Mabardi notes that all course participants will be invited to join the VCO in any extracurricular performances.

Tuition will be $85 per semester. Sign up through the SCF Corporate and Community Development Office (CCD) at https://scf.augusoft.net .

For information on the VCO email VCOinformation@comcast.net  or visit www.VeniceCommunityOrchestra.com.

Press contact: John Mabardi at VCOinformation@comcast.net.

Todd Craven and the Venice Community Orchestra

The Venice Community Orchestra, now in its second season, welcomes players of all ages and levels, from children to seniors, beginning amateurs to seasoned professionals, snow birds and year-rounders, notes John Mabardi, the founder and a cellist in the group. “There are no auditions, and we rehearse Saturday mornings at the Island Village Montessori School in Venice.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pre-Schooler Plays in Orchestra

Venice, Florida, March 10, 2013 — The newest member of the Venice Community Orchestra is also its youngest…by far. Four- year-old Hannah Smith of Sarasota has joined the ranks of string players as second violinist, playing on a ¼-sized instrument.

Hannah, who is homeschooled by her mother, started violin lessons a year ago. Karen Smith reports that her daughter enjoys listening to dramatic classical music pieces that prompt her to imagine adventurous fantasy stories. “Peter and the Wolf is her current favorite, and she is a big fan of Sarasota’s Musicians Out of the Box.”

Besides music, Hannah loves anything to do with nature, and maintains a growing collection of shells, seed pods, animal skeletons, insects, bird eggs, owl pellets, fossils and shark’s teeth. She enjoys reading Greek mythology and historical fiction and is in her second year of ballet.

Hannah, who has two big brothers, also enjoys snuggling up with a pile of books and her fuzzy bunny, Blueberry Muffin.

In the orchestra, Hannah shares the sheet music with a player who is 63 years older and considerably larger than she is. “We lower the stand so she can also see the music,” explains her stand partner, “but I can still see the notes through the bottom half of my bi-focals.”

The Venice Community Orchestra, now in its second season, welcomes players of all ages and levels, from children to seniors, beginning amateurs to seasoned professionals, snow birds and year-rounders, notes John Mabardi, the founder and a cellist in the group. “There are no auditions, and we rehearse Saturday mornings at the Island Village Montessori School in Venice.”

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Community Orchestra Befriends Local Charter School

Venice, Florida, December 14, 2012 — The Venice Community Orchestra has joined with the Island Village Montessori School to enhance the K-9th grade charter school’s new string instrument instruction initiative. Under the arrangement between the orchestra and the school, the school will provide weekly rehearsal space at its North Venice campus, and provide opportunities for beginning music students to sit in and play along with them. The artistic director and conductor of the orchestra, Angela Navarro, will also collaborate with the school’s music director, Peter Simms, to plan programs and concerts that will entertain and educate the entire student body while providing the valuable experience to the string students to play side-by-side with seasoned performers.

At the formal kick-off to the joint program, the Venice Community Orchestra recently performed a program of classical works and a sing-along of holiday favorites for 200 of the school’s pupils and faculty. During the concert’s intermission, two orchestra players, violinist Martin Himmelfarb and flutist Jeanette Himmelfarb, donated a violin outfit formerly used by their son David, when he was a beginning player, to the school’s string training program.

According to school executive director Kym Elder, who also plays cello in the orchestra, the string program, though only underway for a few weeks,  has already attracted 18 violin students, three cello students and six guitar students, not counting the children who are taking private lessons. The demand has become so strong that the school has retained well-known Venice area performer and string teacher Karen Tuttle to instruct the new string students.

About Venice Community Orchestra

The Venice Community Orchestra was organized in 2011, by founder John Mabardi, a cello student, to provide a place for players of all ages and levels, from retired professionals to beginning amateurs, to come together to have fun making music. Today the orchestra is composed of 20 musicians who rehearse weekly at the IVMS. During its brief existence, one of its high-school age violinists was hired by the Venice Symphony Orchestra and an 8-year-old cellist was recruited by the Sarasota Youth Symphony. “There are no auditions required to join us, just the desire to enjoy making music together,” the retired corporate executive noted. “Our friendship with the Island Village Montessori School will be a wonderful experience for our players and the kids, both.” The Venice Community Orchestra is a Florida “Not for Profit” organization. All donations (cash, instruments, music etc.) are gratefully appreciated.

About Island Village Montessori School

Founded in 1976 and established as a Sarasota County charter school, the Island Montessori School provides individualized education for students from pre-K through 9th grade. In addition to its core curriculum in language, humanities, math and science, the school offers programs in art, music and athletics.

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