Santa Fe College “Lights Up The Night” to Inaugurate New Fine Arts Hall

Santa Fe College “Lights Up The Night” to Inaugurate New Fine Arts Hall

The premiere of Santa Fe College’s 2011-12 theatrical season and inauguration of its beautiful new Fine Arts Hall will take place Saturday, Sept. 24, at 2 p.m. (Matinee) and 7:30 p.m. The event titled Light Up The Night will feature world-renowned artists who are also Santa Fe alumni and friends, as well as Santa Fe faculty and students, in the stunning 600-seat theater.

The premiere event boasts performances by Jose Manuel Carreño and Sarah Lane of the American Ballet Theatre, Andrew Copeland and Ken Block of Gainesville’s own Sister Hazel, and Evans Haile with the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra. The event concludes with a Broadway medley directed by Marion J. Caffey of New York City’s Apollo Theatre.

Carreño and Lane will perform Carmen Suite, choreographed by the late Alberto Alonso, the Santa Fe Dance Program’s former master choreographer in residence. Lane served as the dancing double for actress Natalie Portman in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ 2010 feature film “Black Swan.” And a July 1 New York Times article gushed: “There are few dancers as adored by both balletomanes and the general public as Mr. Carreño …. a superb partner with a virile stage presence and a reliably plush, polished technique, he has been one of the standard-bearers of Ballet Theater’s reputation for brilliant male dancers.”

Haile will be featured playing Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” on Santa Fe’s new Steinway grand piano. Haile is conductor and musical director of the Gainesville Chamber Orchestra and recently embarked on the sold out Haile to America tour, hosting and performing an irreverent celebration of 100 years of popular American music.

Caffey is the son of two generations of proud Florida educators. In 1990 Caffey taught Acting Fundamentals and directed a theatrical production at SF College. Most recently he opened Three Mo’ Tenors in New York City, at Off-Broadway’s Little Shubert Theater, to standing ovations and rave reviews.

Caffey spent a week at SF in August staging and rehearsing students for Light Up The Night’s musical theatre finale.

“The students have accepted the important role of closing the show, and have risen to a professional level that we will all be proud to see at the premiere,” said Alora Haynes, SF Fine Arts Chair.

The event will include other music and jazz performances by Santa Fe students, as well as La Donna Mobile, directed by Santa Fe Music Professor Lynn Sandefur, and because i must leave something dear, an original work choreographed by Rodney Brown, Santa Fe’s artistic director of dance.

Over 40 years in the making, with the enthusiastic support of a community-wide audience, the Fine Arts Department at Santa Fe College continues to build its programs regionally, nationally and internationally.

The new Fine Arts Hall is the focus for the performing arts on campus. The 39,599-square-foot hall hosts classrooms, an auditorium, orchestra pit and various staging rooms to support the Fine Arts Programs at Santa Fe College.

Performances in dance, music, theatre and the visual arts continue to build on the excellence that Santa Fe College offers. The elegant styling and contemporary engineering empower the Fine Arts Hall as a top venue of fine arts in Florida. Students, faculty and the community alike benefit from Santa Fe having a legacy for the cultural arts on campus.


Purchase tickets for “Light Up the Night,” by calling the Santa Fe Box Office at 395-4181 or order online at

Matinee performance – 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; $45 orchestra, $35 balcony; the matinee performance will be catered by Pomodoro’s Café.

Evening Premiere – 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24; $150 orchestra, $75 balcony

Pre-performance reception From 6:30 until 7:30 p.m., all may enjoy delightful hors d’oeuvres and refreshments, compliments of Saboré. Food will be served both inside the Fine Arts Hall lobby and outside the Hall overlooking the new Amphitheater. Guitarist Richy Stano and vocalist Shane Moore will perform outside during the reception.

Post-performance receptions All VIP ticket holders ($150 tickets) will enjoy a special “Champagne Reception/Meet the Artists” in the Studio adjacent to the Auditorium. Regular ticket holders will enjoy dessert and coffee in the lobby.

When you purchase tickets for “Light Up the Night” at the VIP level, you also receive an individual membership in the Patrons of the Arts at Santa Fe for one year. You will be entitled to all the standard benefits of being a Patron, plus you have the satisfaction of knowing your contribution will be used to enhance the programs for students in the Fine Arts at Santa Fe College. 

Performer bios

Jose Manuel Carreño was born in Cuba, where he received his training at the Provincial School of Ballet and the Escuela Nacional Cubana de Ballet. There he trained with the late Alberto Alonos, former Artist in Residence (1993-2008) with the Santa Fe Dance Program. 

Carreño won the Gold Medal at the New York International Ballet Competition in 1987 and the Grand Prix at the International Ballet Competition in Jackson, Mississippi in 1990. He has appeared extensively in Europe, Latin America and the United States.

Carreño joined the English National Ballet in 1990, and later the Royal Ballet as a principal dancer in 1993.

Carreño joined the American Ballet Theatre as a Principal Dancer in June 1995. He created a leading role in Within You Without You: A Tribute to George Harrison and Pièce d’Occasion with Herbie Hancock. He recently retired from ABT, dancing his farewell performance of Swan Lake on June 30.


Sarah Lane was the dancing double for Natalie Portman in Fox Searchlight Pictures’ feature film Black Swan. Lane began her dance training in Memphis, Tennessee under the direction of Pat Gillespie at the Memphis Classical Ballet.

When Lane was 16, she received a full scholarship to the Boston Ballet’s Summer Program. In 2000 and 2001, she was awarded first place and the Capezio Class Excellence Award at the North American Ballet Festival. Lane was the Silver Medalist, the highest medal in the Junior Division, at the Jackson International Ballet Competition in 2002, and won the Bronze Medal at the Youth America Grand Prix Competition the same year.

Lane joined American Ballet Theatre as an apprentice in August 2003, became a member of the Company’s corps de ballet in April 2004 and was appointed Soloist in August 2007. Lane created the Chinese Dance in Alexei Ratmansky’s The Nutcracker. She was a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 2007 and Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Arts in 2008.


Ken Block and Drew Copeland

Ken Block is a songwriter, guitarist and lead singer of the rock band Sister Hazel. Block attended Santa Fe College, and is a UF alumnus. Ken’s parents, Judy and Al Block, served as professors at Santa Fe College for many years.

Drew Copeland, also a member of Sister Hazel, plays baritone, rhythm and acoustic guitar, and sings lead and background vocals for the band. All of Sister Hazel’s five members boast ties to the Gainesville’s local scene, where Block and Copeland canvassed the coffee shop circuit as a duo.

Sister Hazel released its debut album in 1994 and in 1997 a second album, Somewhere More Familiar. The single All for You topped the adult alternative charts, nearly reaching the national Top Ten, and the success propelled the album to platinum status.

Sister Hazel continues touring and releasing albums. The band’s seventh studio album, 2009’s Release, reached the band’s highest-ever spot (#37) on the Billboard Charts, topping even their platinum disc, Somewhere More Familiar.


Evans Haile is currently the Producing Artistic Director of the Cape Playhouse Center for the Arts (America’s premier and oldest professional theater) and the host of the “Toast of the Town” specials on National Public Radio. He recently embarked on the 50-city, sold out Haile to America Tour, hosting and performing an irreverent celebration of 100 years of popular American music.

International achievements include supervising and conducting the Australian premiere of Villa-Lobos’ Magdalena and three concert tours of Russia with the Moscow Philharmonic. Haile was a regular Guest Conductor of the Orchestra of the Deutsche Opera in Germany for five years, and the Boston POPS for eight years.

Twice Haile has been profiled on “CBS Sunday Morning.”  He produced the Lincoln Center Tribute to American Express, and co-founded the award winning New Amsterdam Theater Company at New York’s historic Town Hall. Haile’s performing edition of Fifty Million Frenchmen has been produced in London, Paris, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.


Marion J Caffey was born in Hempstead, Texas and raised in Gainesville, Fla. Though now completely dedicated to conception, writing and directing, Caffey began his career as a song-and-dance man in New York City in 1981, performing on Broadway and around the world.

Caffey had a brief stint in Gainesville in 1990 when he taught Acting Fundamentals and directed a theatrical production at Santa Fe College.

Cookin’ At The Cookery (The Music and Times of Alberta Hunter), which premiered at the Hippodrome State Theatre, opened at The Delaware Theatre Company to rave reviews and standing ovations and will soon be produced off-Broadway.

Caffey is currently the Amateur Night producer at the famous Apollo Theater in New York City. Most recently, Caffey’s production of Three Mo’ Tenors was taped for PBS’ Great Performances and recorded on CD for RCA Victor. This followed a tour of five US cities to overwhelming critical and audience acclaim.

Performance bios online in Word document


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