Community Voices

Students at Nautilus Middle and Bay Harbor K-8 win Novack music awards

Jasmine Bras, Bay Harbor K-8 top violist for the last three years, was one of the winners of the 20th annual Bob Novack Music Awards presented by music education advocate and public service group 1308 Productions.
Jasmine Bras, Bay Harbor K-8 top violist for the last three years, was one of the winners of the 20th annual Bob Novack Music Awards presented by music education advocate and public service group 1308 Productions. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

A student’s reach for greatness is almost always part of a team effort as family members, teachers and friends play incredibly important behind-the-scene roles of support.

For 20 years, the Bob Novack Music Awards have recognized outstanding student musicians and supported music education in public schools. Novack was one of Florida’s most talented musicians, band and orchestra leaders, and music teachers for more than 40 years.

In remembrance of him, the awards honor students who have been chosen by local school music faculty “on the basis of love and dedication to music and a demonstrated ability to lift the lives of others through musical performance.”

The awards continue to be given through the 1308 Productions public service group that advocates for music education.

This year, the honors went to Bruno Montenegro at Nautilus Middle School, and Jasmine Bras and Alejandro Roqueso at Bay Harbor K-8.

Nautilus Middle music teacher Ray Modia said Bruno is a dedicated music student who has been playing clarinet since the sixth grade, putting in countless hours of practices, rehearsals, and performances.

“He is always there to help and mentor other students and to help make the music program the best it can be,” Modia said in a release. “Bruno has achieved much success for himself, for his school, and for his community.”

At Bay Harbor K-8, Jasmine and Alejandro were nominated for their awards by music educator Onil Rodriguez. Jasmine has been the school’s top violist for the last three years. Alejandro has performed with guitar ensemble, the vocal group, and plays double bass in the string orchestra.

“Jasmine is a leader who has mentored other aspiring musicians,” Rodriguez said in a release. Alejandro, who also volunteers as a mentor to other students, “has been a wonderful asset to our music program.”

The winners are presented with information about the award’s history, trophies, certificates, and a $100 scholarship check from 1308 Productions. Their names are inscribed on permanent records, and on the 1308 Productions website, www.1308productions.org, where you can learn more and donate if you wish.

Rodriguez also selected two other Bay Harbor K-8 students, Izabella Perez and Matthew Haber, for their talent and future with music education. They were given $25 gift certificates.

Attorney Paul Novack, son of Bob Novack and representative of 1308 Productions, participates in the ceremonies and speaks to the students each year about their potential.

“The Novack family is such a great friend to our schools and its students, they are amazing,” Rodriguez said. “Their service to others is really appreciated. 1308 Productions, created by Jason Novack and Allison Novack, does so much for music programs and for the character and success of so many students in our public schools. I’m very proud of Jason and Allison, who are both graduates of our school.”

Free skate over art

Join in free summer roller-dancing events called Second Sundays inside the Faena District Miami Beach’s 43,000-square-foot Faena Forum where guests of all ages can “groove into the week” while gliding over works of art.

No need to bring your own skates. There are plenty available for you and your friends. Small bites and beverages also are available. Open to the public, the next two summer happenings are noon to 10 p.m., July 9 and Aug. 13 at 3300-3398 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Faena Art hosts these interactive events for the community as part of the mission to maintain culture at the heart of Faena District.

The first of three Second Sundays was June 11 hosted “to celebrate the communities of Miami Beach with ángeles veloces arcanos fugaces, a participatory art installation by assume vivid astro focus that re-imagines a roller dancing rink.”

More than 1,300 adults and children visited to enjoy the roller dancing, art, video projections and music. The roller disco rink featured Miami performance artist duo the TM Sisters with the Miami Quad Squad. The musical experience, curated by Paperwater, included special guest DJs and performers including Paperwater, Coffinbeats, Bonnie Beats, Voila Snow, JP Abascal and Wet Paper B2B.

“In Buenos Aires and in Miami Beach, we have redefined the way we live in cities by building a strong community anchored in art and culture,” said Alan Faena in a release. “The Forum is envisioned as a space for a multiplicity of voices and is the heart of the Faena District Miami Beach. I am proud to offer Miami a new environment for cultural experiences that encourages experimentation and creativity across fields.”

To see photos and plan your experience at the upcoming Second Sunday events, visit www.faenaart.org/.

Meet your neighbors

Expand your horizons and check out the New Neighbors Club of South Dade. The club’s mission is to meet new “neighbors and develop community awareness while enjoying fun events.” The next luncheon is set for 11:30 a.m. July 12 at 11771 Sherri Lane in the Town and Country Mall in Kendall.

The luncheon will feature magician Yuri Esteves, who was born in Cuba in 1999.

“I used to be a clown when I was 5 years old, but magic is what I have been doing for almost the last 5 years,” Esteves said in email. “I started doing a few card tricks for my friends, and their reactions motivated me to pursue new and more powerful illusions. I got addicted to the human smile, and today I still work towards making people happy, even if it is only for a few seconds.”

The event cost is $24 by check and reservations are required. Contact Charlene Richards at 305-251-3074 or her email at erinsmom623@yahoo.com by 6 p.m. July 7. Learn more at http://newneighborssouthdade.webs.com/ and get out there to make new friends.

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at christinammayo@gmail.com.

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