The young musicians of South Florida continue to amaze. Winners of the Homestead Community Concert Scholarship Competition performed recently at the renovated Seminole Theater to the delight of organizers and the audience.
“The Homestead Community Concert Scholarship Showcase was fantastic!” said Tony Seepersad, HCC Scholarship Chair, in an email.
“You would have thought you were in Carnegie Hall listening to these kids perform,” Seepersad said. “Our top prizewinner of the Carmen Seepersad Memorial Scholarship was 14-year-old cellist Esther Chae. She performed Schubert's deeply dramatic Sonata for Arpeggione with her sister, Gloria Chae, accompanying on piano.”
Afterward Esther dazzled, he said, with Paganini's Caprice 24 originally written for violin, but adapted for cello. “Only the most virtuoso cellists can perform this feat.”
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The night was filled with Mozart, Chopin, Lalo, Schubert, and de Bériot, with music by more modern composers as well.
The evening opened with Honorable Mention Award Winner Justin Veira playing a piano etude by Ukrainian jazz composer and pianist Nikolai Kapustin performed to sound like a jazz improvisation imitating American jazz legend Miles Davis.
The winners: first place, Esther Chae (cello) Carmen Seepersad Memorial Scholarship $500; second place, James Leng (piano) Ronald, John, William Chiapetta Memorial Scholarship $400; third place, Jacob Mason (piano) Bennie Butler Memorial Scholarship $300; honorable mention, Grace Sievert (cello) $200; honorable mention, Justin Veira (piano) $200; and honorable mention, Sophia Molina (violin) $200.
After the concert there was dinner on the Seminole Theater Terrace overlooking Losner Park and the students were honored, as were their parents, for the dedication to their children. There were four scholarships given out in memory of people who have died in our community. It was an emotional night for many in attendance.
“We had an incredible turnout of talent. Our winners of the competition are not just at a high level locally but some are already gaining state and national recognition,” Seepersad said. “I encourage anyone and everyone to see what we have in our backyard here.” He said several audience members stepped up with donations to support next year's event.
If you love tropical flowering plants, you won’t want to miss the eighth International Color Conference, scheduled for June 10-11 at The Kampong in Coconut Grove. Renowned botanists and horticulturists will be featured speakers. This highly anticipated event is sponsored by the Tropical Flowering Tree Society.
At the reception and registration June 10, the first speaker will give a presentation on Amazonian plants. The next day, June 11, speakers will make presentations on topics such as “Hunting for Plants From Around the World that are Florida Friendly,” “New Plants from Southeast Asia”, and “Therapy Through Horticulture: Color and Aromatherapy.”
This year’s speakers include Mike Maunder, Christopher Baralato, Alan Meerow, Chad Husby, Hetty Ford, Jesse Durko, Ron Mossman, and Craig Morell.
“The Color Conference is referred to as the International Color Conference because we have held this event on three continents. We have also hosted many internationally recognized botanists/horticulturists who have presented their work at this Conference throughout the years,” said Jessica Cabrera, TFTS vice president, in an email. She said the group’s motto is “Color the Horizon.”
“One of our ambitious goals is to make Miami-Dade County the ‘Flowering Tree Capital of the World!’ With the help and expertise of our local Botanical Gardens, Plant Societies, Garden Clubs and horticulturally oriented individuals, this goal is a distinct possibility. We have planted almost 20,000 trees, shrubs and vines in Miami-Dade County during the past 20 years, at little or no cost to the taxpayers,” Cabrera said.
The primary objective of the conference, she said, is “the dissemination of information about new species/cultivars of tropical flowering trees, shrubs and vines in the environment of the tropics and warm subtropics.” Many of these plants are now being cultivated in South Florida, especially in Miami-Dade County.
The conference is $70 for early registration before June 10, and $80 at the door. Students receive a discounted price of $40. For information on how to register, visit http://www.tfts.org/.
If you like to hear the song Stars and Stripes Forever, and other patriotic favorites you will want to be at this concert at 7 p.m. May 27 at Silver Palm United Methodist Church at 15855 SW 248 St., next to Redland Middle School and across the street from Knaus Berry Farm on Coconut Palm Drive.
The church choir will be joined by voices from the South Dade Community Choir. Bring flags for waving, and join with our community’s courageous first responders and women and men in uniform at this patriotic musical event. Boy Scout Troop 69 and Venture Crew 69 will be participating as well.
Current and former military men and women, police officers, and firefighters are encouraged to wear their uniforms. Others attending are encouraged to wear red, white and blue. A help offering will be taken for the benefit of the church choir music fund. You can find additional parking on the west side of the church.
ORCHID SALE HELPS KIDS
OrchidMania South Florida will present its 18th annual orchid sale to benefit the children of Project Cradle, a pediatric AIDS program at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine.
Beautiful orchids of all kinds will be on sale 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., May 28-29 at Dante Fascell Park, 8600 SW 57 Ave. (Red Road) in South Miami. Growers will be in attendance to answer questions and there will be bargains galore.
Now in its 26th season, Alhambra Orchestra held its last free concert of the season with works by Beethoven and Lalo. Conductor Timothy Shade led the concert at Ransom Everglades School.
Concertmaster Randy Bella performed excerpts from Lalo’s dramatic Symphonie espagnol in D minor, Op 21 with the orchestra. Contemporary composer James Syler’s work also was presented to the delight of the audience.
Alhambra Orchestra is a nonprofit community orchestra of amateur and professional musicians with a mission to support classical music and music education in our community. To learn more and to help the group by donating, call 305-668-9260 or visit http://www.alhambramusic.org/
If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.