Fifteen music students from the Santa Fe College Fine Arts Department participated in the annual Florida State College Activities Association Winter Music Symposium last Thursday through Saturday where more than 300 students from 18 of the 24 colleges in Florida met at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, to play, rehearse and perform after auditioning to make an ensemble.
Each student went through a rigorous audition process which ended in them being seated in a myriad of Festival Ensembles. They were then introduced to their Festival Directors, who were faculty and staff of the University of North Florida School of Music.
After viewing the audition results, our students took a seat in their respective ensemble. The students then began to rehearse, which included all afternoon Thursday, all day Friday, and ended with a final rehearsal Saturday morning before the concert began at 11:30 a.m. Because of eight different ensembles performing back to back, the concert lasted until 2:30 p.m.
On Thursday and Friday evenings there were two concerts. The Thursday evening concert included the faculty and music students of UNF. Friday night we all heard a concert that included the concerto winners (each received a $2,000 scholarship) and the FCC Jazz Band.
Dr. Bingham’s instrumental students placed well in the 100+ member Symphonic Band, Alex Desmond placed first chair French Horn out of 11 students from 11 different colleges, while David Daza, and Michael Gray placed third and fourth Alto Sax, Travis ONeal placed second Tenor Sax and Kristin Hunt Placed third Clarinet. In the Percussion Ensemble Music Scholarship Students Zach Brown and Berea Etherton placed fifth in the battery and second in the keyboard sections respectively. In the guitar ensemble Music Scholarship student Manuel Robles placed second in the electric guitar division, while Matt Dobrzanski audited the Jazz Band on Bass guitar.
Ms. Sandefur’s Vocal students auditioned for the Chorus. Nelson Baquerizo and Tucker Washburn placed high in the tenor section. Nelson participated in the Vocal Concerto Competition was later selected to read translated verse of the Spanish text that the choir was singing to the audience, quite an honor . Andrea Garcia placed very high in the soprano sections and Naomi Glaser same in the alto section.
Dr. Mitch McKays Piano students both entered the Piano Concerto Competition and faired very well as each performed for the piano master class.
All Band, Percussion, Guitar, and Vocal Students were in ensembles that included a concert on Saturday the last day of the symposium, which was well received. Our SF students our college very well and were professional in their long rehearsals and performances.