Friends and Neighbors

‘Unsung Heroes’ to be honored Feb. 10

There are many reasons I like writing this column. One is because I get to tell you the good news.

And some of the good news today is that I get to announce the 2013 BTW Unsung Heroes. Not all the honorees are graduates of Booker T. Washington High School. They come from all the formerly all-black high schools in Miami-Dade County.

One of the heroes is Thomas Leo Albury Jr., a graduate of the old Dorsey High School in Liberty City. Leo, as he is affectionately known, was my surrogate brother and dear friend during my growing-up years.

The heroes also include: Madeline Hepburn Atwell, Booker T. Washington High; Otis Collier, Mays High; Johnnie Fields, Booker T. Washington High; Frank G. Hall, Booker T. Washington High; Anne Turner Herriott, Northwestern High; Eddie L Redding, Booker T. Washington High; Dr. Richard J. Strachan (I call him Mr. Music), Dorsey High; Girlean "Gigi" Tinsley, Booker T. Washington; Lee Waters, Mays High; and Freddie G. Young, Carver High.

The honorees will be recognized a at special event called the "Orange, Black and White Tea" at 4 p.m. on Feb. 10 in the auditorium of Booker T. Washington High School, 1200 NW Sixth Ave. in Overtown.

The event is in conjunction with Black History Month and the celebration of the history of the six original black high schools — Booker T. Washington, Dorsey, Mays, Carver, Northwestern, and North Dade.

According to Cecillia Hunter, chairwoman of the event, the honorees from the schools are being recognized because "others have risen on their shoulders. These elevations have served us well and made room at the top for many."

Hunter said she hopes the celebration will serve as a history education in the county and "help to reunite us as a community."

Each honoree will present a short history of their high school and the part it played in the education of blacks in Miami Dade County.

The event is free and open to the community.

Women writers group to meet

A Writing Critique Group for Women will meet from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. each Wednesday, starting Feb. 6, at Arts at St. Johns, 4760 Pinetree Dr. in Miami Beach.

All types of writing will be accepted, from fiction and nonfiction, to short stories and novels, and poetry and memoirs. It’s free and open to all women. If you go, take along your writing or just an idea. The group will be led by Carol Hoffman-Guzman. Call 305-613-2325 for more information.

Find your new Valentine at pub crawl

The Coral Gables Museum’s Young Associates will host the Second Annual Gables Heart Crawl at 3 p.m. on Feb. 9. The Young Associates have asked participants of the love-themed pub crawl, to wear colors matching their relationship status. For example: the color green means one is single and "ready to mingle," yellow lets other crawlers know "it’s complicated," and red is for those who already have Valentines.

The donation is $25 in advance and $30 at the door. The event will begin at 3 p.m. at Tarpon Bend on Miracle Mile and will continue to The Local, Fritz and Franz, John Martin’s and The Bar.

According to Cristina Mas, "The Young Associates has become one of Coral Gables’ best organizations for young professionals to learn about art, network, and even to find romance." Mas is president of the organization.

For tickets or more information, go to:

UM to break ground on new music studios

Music lovers are invited to the ground-breaking ceremony for the new Patricia L. Frost Music Studios at the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami.

The event will take place at noon on Feb. 8 at 1314 Miller Dr. in Coral Gables.

Also, the Frost School of Music Friends of Music will have a joint fundraiser, "Jazz Under the Stars," with the Kampong of the National Tropical Botanical Garden at 5:30 p.m. at the Kampong, 4013 S. Douglas Rd. in Coconut Grove.

The evening will start with hors d’oeuvres and wine, followed by the musical program at 6:45 p.m. Desserts and coffee will be serves following the program, featuring the Larry Lapin Jazz Vocal I Ensemble.

Tickets are $250 for reserved seating and $150 for general seating. A discounted rate of $1,800 for a reserved table for eight, is also available. Proceeds will benefit the Friends of Music Endowed Scholarship Fund at the University of Miami and preservation of the Kampong’s historic plant collection.

Credit card ticket sales are available on line at:

Or, you may contact Margo Williams at 305-261-4696 or, or Adele Neumann at 305-530-8039.

Recital at Pinecrest Gardens

You are invited to a recital that will feature two, talented Elaines — internationally renowned soprano Elaine Alvarez who will appear with Orchestra Miami Artistic Director Elaine Rinaldi, at 8 p.m. Friday at Pinecrest Gardens’ Banyan Bowl, 11000 SW 57th Ave.

Both artists were born, raised and educated in Miami. Alvarez made her break-out debut with the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2007 and since then, has been "stunning audiences at the world’s major opera houses with her artistry and lush lyric voice," Rinaldi said.

In addition, Rinaldi said, Alvarez has been mentored and trained by the top artists in the world. This includes soprano Renata Scotto and Marilyn Horne. Alverez was a finalist in the 2006 Placido Domingo Operalia Competition and made international headlines with her critically acclaimed 11th hour debut as Mimi in the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of La Boheme.

According to a press release, conductor Rinaldi is fast making her mark among the ranks of rising young American conductors. As Founder and Artistic Director of Orchestra Miami, Rinaldi has brought a new level of professionalism and quality to the local arts scene. She also is in demand as a recitalist and vocal coach, and has had the privilege of working with many of the world’s most important opera singers, including Renato Capecchi, Nico Castel, Sherrill Milnes, Mignon Dunn, Renata Scotto, Juan Pons, Judith Blegen and Dodi Protero. Currently Rinaldi is the collaborative pianist for the "Prima Volta" debut recital series at the Austrian Cultural Institute in Manhattan.

Tickets to the recital are $25 and $30 each for reserved seating. Senior tickets are $20 each and students tickets are $5 each. All tickets may be purchased through or by calling 800-838-3006 or through For more information call 305-274-2103 or visit:

Piano recital at UM

Internationally renowned pianist and composer Cyprien Katsaris, will be presented in a solo recital at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Miami’s Gusman Concert Hall.

Katsaris has been a celebrated international touring artist for more than four decades and is recognized for his masterful interpretations of works from the standard repertoire and as a champion of forgotten and lesser known romantic era compositions.

Presented by the Friends of Chamber Music of Miami, the program will include Katsaris’ own solo piano version of Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto in its North American premiere. He will also perform 12 of the Lyric Pieces by Norwegian master Edvard Grieg and three Schubert-Lizzt song transcriptions: Stanchen, Der Muller und der Bach, and Ave Maria.

Admission is $35 for adults and $10 for students.

Free classical concert in Coconut Grove

There’s lots of good music in the air. And this one is free.

The Alhambra Orchestra, directed by Zoe Zeniodi, will present its February Festival, an all-classical program featuring cello soloist Ross Harbaugh at 7 p.m. Sunday at Ransom-Everglades School, 3575 Main Hwy. in Coconut Grove.

This is the 23rd season of Alhambra Orchestra, Miami’s community orchestra, which makes great music accessible to everyone.

Harbaugh is a faculty member at the University of Miami and is well known to Miami audiences through his performances with the Bergonzi String Quartet and the Deering Estate Chamber Ensemble.

Zeniodi is a conductor and pianist, who earned her graduate degrees at the University of Miami and was recently selected as assistant conductor of the Florida Grand Opera. She also conducts the Broward Symphony.

Although the concert is free, a donation will be accepted.

More piano music

Some of Florida International University’s finest piano students and alumni from the Keyboard Studies Program, will present a program of music by Czech and Slovakian composers at 4:30 p.m. Sunday in the Mary Ann Wolfe Theater at FIU’s Biscayne Bay Campus, 3000 NE 151st St. in North Miami.

The pianists will perform the works of Dvorak, Smetana, Moscheles, Suchon, Hummel, and others.

Admission is $20 per person. the concert will be followed by a reception.

Yoga classes at Beth David

Lisa Levine-Cobos, a certified yoga instructor, will teach a Vinyasa flow class which is aimed at quieting the mind and strengthening the body, from 9 to 10 a.m., each Tuesday through March 19 at Beth David Congregation in the Walberg Lounge, 2625 SW Third Ave. in Miami.

Vinyasa yoga links breath and movement through a sequence of Sun Salutations and postures. the smooth continuous flow deepens breathing, increases endurance and will test for balance and flexibility. All levels are welcome. Modifications are made available as needed.

Levine-Cobos discovered yoga in Bologna, Italy in 2001, while pursuing a master’s degree in International Studies, and has remained a devoted yoga practitioner ever since. She completed her teacher training in 2011 at Yoga Works in New York City. When she later returned to Miami, she took an apprenticeship with Jivamuki teacher Dawn B at Miami Life Center. She currently teaches Vinyasa flow classes at Mandarin Oriental Miami and offers private classes.

For more information and to register email: or call 305-854-3911, ext. 200.

Send all items at least two weeks in advance to Friends and Neighbors, c/o Neighbors, 2000 NW 150th Ave., Suite 1105, Pembroke Pines, FL 33028, fax it to 954-538-7018 or email Pictures are accepted but cannot be returned.

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