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Making Music Together: Immigration, Culture and Social Entrepreneurship

January 11, 2017

The Gulf Coast Symphony is partnering with the Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU) Institute for Entrepreneurship to present a panel discussion, “Making Music Together: Immigration, Culture and Social Entrepreneurship,” on Saturday, January 14 at 11:00am at Lutgert Hall, Room 1201, on the campus of FGCU. The panel moderator is Dan Bevarly, FGCU Adjunct Professor, and panelists include Rosendo Chendy Leon, Percussionist, Sultans of String; Renata Ribeiro, Gulf Coast Symphony Musician; Sister Maureen Kelleher, Immigration Attorney with Legal Aid of Collier County; Sonia Messaoudi, Program Director, Hult Prize Competition for the Institute for Entrepreneurship; and Dr. Sandra Kauanui, Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship.

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MusicWorks! @ Deck the Halls

December 18, 2016

Well, now I can say I’ve performed on the stage of the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall! On Sunday afternoon, Dec. 11, the kids and I rehearse with the Gulf Coast Symphony and the Fort Myers Symphonic Mastersingers for that evening’s concert. Some of the kids in MusicWorks! were chosen to play in the orchestra side-by-side for a few Christmas songs. (I wasn’t picked because I’m not good enough and am just a beginner.) But I do get to sing onstage with a group of over a dozen kids, led by Miss Lois.

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Holiday Concert @ The Heights Center

December 14, 2016

The holiday concert at the Heights Center is a big deal for the kids, and a personal milestone for me, because I play an instrument in public with other musicians for the very first time! I’ve never played an instrument before, and have only been practicing on the cello for a couple months. The beginning orchestra goes first, playing a number of tunes pizzicato – which means plucking the strings. Mr. Greg conducts. They’re simple tunes, using variations of two different notes, but you can follow the melodies.

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musicworks

The Gulf Coast Symphony has created MusicWorks!, an El Sistema-inspired after-school program embedded in a larger, pre-existing program called School Success at The Heights Center in Harlem Heights. MusicWorks! provides string instruction Monday through Friday, totaling 7.5 hours per week during the school year. This program offers an innovative education and social initiative that provides opportunities for personal development to children through the study of music.

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