Our Musicians

Cello (retired) & Founder of the VCO
Cello (retired) & Founder of the VCOJohn Mabardi
Following his retirement from a business career John quickly understood that golf was not going to be his passion. He attended classes on “strings for non-musicians” sponsored by the Sarasota Orchestra and to his amazement discovered that very quickly he could play something that sounded like “Twinkle, twinkle little star” on a borrowed cello. He was hooked and started taking weekly private cello lessons. John compensates his lack of musical experience with an unshakable passion for growing the orchestra. Founding the community orchestra resulted from his desire to play with other local musicians in a friendly setting. John is always on the lookout for like-minded musicians interested in making good music while having fun along the way.

Bass
BassAl Gilman
Bio coming soon…
Cello
CelloBarbara Kessler
Coming to United States from Scotland, Barbara took up the ‘cello as a mature student in Washington DC. While pursuing a career in teaching, the ‘cello was laid to rest for a spell … until retirement and a pleasant encounter with the VCO! In fact, she was motivated to renew her ‘cello study after visiting the VCO during a rehearsal. Didn’t take her long to dust off her ‘cello and join in the fun. Barbara finds the orchestra members to be most enthusiastic, supportive and continuously trying to improve their play while having fun making music.
Cello
CelloFranz Schneider
Bio coming soon…
Cello
CelloMargaret (Maggie) Bartley
Bio coming soon…
Cello
CelloMary Lou Bungay
Bio coming soon…
Cello
CelloScot Deagan
Bio coming soon…
Flute
FluteJeanette Himmelfarb
Jeanette, a retired banker, learned about the flute business as the lending officer to Powell Flute Company. She began playing at the same time her son and husband took up the violin. She has performed with a number of amateur chamber music ensembles in Massachusetts. For the past four years, Jeanette has been a flutist with the Suncoast Wind Ensemble, a local concert band that entertains residents of nursing homes and rehab hospitals from Sarasota to Port Charlotte.
Piano
PianoMichael Falivena
Keyboardist Michael Falivena started his ten years of classical piano training in New Jersey at the Chiapanelli Pianoforte School of Music, studied under Bach expert Russell Lanning and composer Walter Giannini. While in prep school he was a member of the New Jersey All State Orchestra and accompanied the glee club. In college he branched out into all musical genres playing in the dance band, played twelve string guitar, tenor banjo and chromatic harmonica as well as in the pit orchestra for the show “The Boyfriend.” He has played piano live on radio and television. His solo piano venues have included piano bars, restaurants, corporate functions, singalongs and house parties.
Viola
ViolaDavid O'Fallon
David is a talented professional percussionist AND composer/arranger, who plays viola with our orchestra!
Viola
ViolaJan Faber
Bio coming soon…
Violin
ViolinCarla Bellosa
Carla has played professionally for many years (both in the Sun Coast region and upstate NY!) as a Violist! She plays violin with us and acts as a valued “coach” to our 1st violin section.
Violin
ViolinJohn Wahl
Coming from a musical family, John started taking violin lessons when he was in grammar school. During high school John’s concentration changed from music to science and math preparing him for an engineering career, all the while he continued to play violin. In college, John played with MIT’s Symphony Orchestra. Now, John is happy to have the opportunity to play his original violin as member of the VCO.
Violin
ViolinKevin Bellosa
Violin “Kevin has also played another instrument professionally for many years The cello! He play in several ensembles and symphonies regionally and in upstate NY. He too, is a much appreciated “coach” for our 2nd violin section.
Violin
ViolinLauree Duncan
Bio coming soon…
Violin
ViolinMartin Himmelfarb
Martin took up the violin 25 years ago to accompany his young son who needed a Suzuki practice partner. For a time he served on the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Institute of Boston, a music school that provided free and low cost music lessons for inner city children. Martin has played with a number of amateur chamber ensembles over the years. As a retired lawyer, he most enjoys performing for small groups.
Violin
ViolinNancy Leipold
Nancy began playing the violin at 8 years old. She played throughout high school and college. She plays horn with the Venice Community Band, Suncoast Concert Band and the Sarasota Concert Band. She is a member of the Gulf Coast Banjo Society playing Thursdays at Snook Haven in Venice. She enjoys playing violin with the Venice Community Orchestra and is grateful to be part of this most friendly string ensemble.
Violin
ViolinPatty Lamar
As a child, Patty Lamar took piano lessons for about 7-8 years and was her church’s pianist while she was in high school. In college, she sang alto in the University of Kentucky Glee Club. After retiring in 1995 from a teaching career, she started taking violin lessons from several instructors. This spring, as a member of the Venice Community Orchestra she attended the string ensemble class at State College of Florida and thoroughly enjoyed it. At the present time, she’s spending the summer at her small farm in Kentucky and plays in a string band that goes to nursing homes to play for the residents. Patty is looking forward to getting back to Venice, FL this fall and attending the fall VCO string ensemble class.
Violin
ViolinSumiko Chipman
Bio coming soon…
 
Guest Cello Soloist
Guest Cello SoloistJack Gallahan
Guest Violin Soloist
Guest Violin SoloistLuca Stine