Arts Updates, Interviews, Calendar, Calls for Artists and Volunteers, Auditions --- It's All Here in Arts Blast, Arts Blast on the Air, and on Facebook.

Supporting The Arts & Arts Councils Everywhere

Volume 4 No.12 | April 1, 2022

Notes from the Editor:

Yes, it's April Fool's Day. I'm not very good at pulling off a prank but am very gullible when they're played on me.Go ahead, give it your best shot.

Also, it's First Friday, and you know what that means: gallery strolls, art walks, opening receptions. Sometimes it also means grumpy weather at the very same time, so we'll keep an eye on things and hope for the best. I just heard from Lila Blakeslee with a First Friday Gallery Stroll update:

"The best news is we have cozy dry galleries to walk into instead of tents outside. We have only canceled due to an impending hurricane…thank goodness only once in 24 years!" Hooray!

And an email just now came in from Main Street Fort Pierce:

*** CANCELED *** April 1st Friday Fest - Next Friday Fest - May 6th 2022

Another Also: April 1 kicks off Jazz Appreciation Month, and I'm lining up lots of ways to appreciate the genre.

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Arts Blast on the Air with Willi Miller

This week on Arts Blast on the Air, hear Katherine Eppink, Ballet Vero Beach's resident ballerina, and Britt Bair, exhibiting her art at the Center for Spiritual Care in April. Listen to or download the podcast now or turn on the radio — 101.7FM ON THE TREASURE COAST — 7 p.m. Sundays.

Bookmark On the Calendar at for frequent updates. Calls for Artists, Auditions, & Volunteers are now online.Catch up with events at Willi Miller's Arts Blast on Facebook and pick up some laughs and interesting info on the Willi Miller's Arts Blast Extras page. And now there's a Facebook Arts Blast on the Air!

In This Issue


Jazz Appreciation Month

The Creek Art Disrict

Sergey at First Pres Sunday

Romancing the Arts at VAPA

VBO Scholarship Students in Concert

ELC update

ZAM!! in St. Lucie County

Treasure Coast Chorale

Plein Air at the Lighthouse

Paddington Bear

TIDBITS - Scroll All the Way Down

New from Countertenor Terry Barber

Martin Arts Update!

Miami Book Fair

Dance at Riverside Theatre

Art After Dark at the Norton

SLC Cultural Alliance Cabaret Series

US Coast Guard Band in April

Sunset Concerts April 12

Jazz Appreciation Month is Here

Music lovers around the world get to appreciate jazz for the entire month of April and Arts Blast plans to do its part. I asked old friend Dick Golden, a long-time producer of radio shows devoted to jazz and the great American songbook, to write out some thoughts on the musical phenomenon that is jazz and the month of celebration.

"This international tradition began in the early part of the 21st century when Dr. John Edward Hasse, now Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, believed we, as a country, should pause each April to reflect on this body of music, American jazz. This music is an artistic expression, created in 20th century America that continues to inspire a world-wide audience. April is also the birthday month for so many iconic jazz artists and on this week’s American Songbook program we will include April birthday artists Alberta Hunter, Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, and pianist Benny Green. National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Dave Brubeck talked about the power of jazz connecting with a Russian audience during the height of the 'Cold War' years and how jazz became one of America’s great cultural ambassadors." 

Golden quotes one of his favorites: "Music is life itself. What would this world be without good music? No matter what kind it is." Louis Armstrong

The Treasure Coast Jazz Society presents Memories of Louis Armstrong April 16. "Pianist Larry Brown leads one of the most accomplished straight-ahead jazz groups in the Mid-Atlantic area."

2022 Season concerts are at the Vero Beach Yacht Club at 12:30 p.m. Members are $40 each and Non Members are $45. Register in advance.

Jazz Jams at Port St. Lucie Botanical Gardens

April 6, April 20

May 4, May 18

June 1, June 15, June 29

July 13, July 27

​August 10. August 24

September 7, September 21

October 5, October 19

November 9, November 23

​December 7, December 21

From a random Internet search:

Jazz music is an enchanting blend of more than one ethnicity. It’s got the American and European interpretation of classical music that is spiced up with the influence of West African culture and folk songs. Jazz music has everything going for it — a melody that stays with you, the harmony that makes the notes sound fuller, a rhythm that beats with your heart, and the outstanding improvisations that set the genre apart.

It was first compiled by musicians in African-American communities in New Orleans, Louisiana, the United States by the late 19th century and early 20th century. Characterized by blues notes, jazz became the signature dancing music at nightclubs while inspiring improvisation to bring something newer and hipper every time as the music evolved.

JAM was initially funded by the Ella Fitzgerald Charitable Foundation. It encourages people every April to participate in jazz-related activities, sponsors jazz music releases, and appreciates jazz musicians of all ages. 

Golden's American Songbook on WQCS/WQCP has been a staple for fans of the genre since 1999 and "for over twenty years the month of April’s broadcasts have included portions that commemorate the annual celebration of Jazz Appreciation Month." This month is no exception. Listen Saturday evening at 8 p.m. Arts Blast will have more from Golden coming up.

The Treasure Coast Chorale is back with a special concert, You’ll Never Walk Alone, Sunday, April 3 at 4 p.m. It's at First Baptist Church, 2206 16th Ave, Vero Beach, free to the public, but a donation is requested.

On the program with a message of friendship and togetherness are Lean on Me, You’ve Got A Friend, Stand By Me, Thank You For Being A Friend, You Raise Me Up, O God Our Help, I’ll Be There,“You Will Be Found (from Dear Evan Hansen), That’s What Friends Are For, and We Are Family.

The TCC is under the direction of Dr. Michael Carter. Special guest musicians invited to share their talent for this musical performance include guitarists Dave Mundy and Patrick Gordon, drummer Richie Mola, the Festival Brass Quartet, and the Dolls, Vero’s popular oldies trio. Piano accompaniment will be provided by Judy Carter.


Sergey Belyavsky at First Pres This Weekend

Russian-born pianist Sergey Belyavsky will be back in Vero Beach this weekend after an absence of several years (yes, covid). He'll perform as part of the Chamber Music Series at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach.

From his bio:

Born in Moscow in 1993 into a family of musicians Sergey started playing piano at 5 and since then has dedicated his life to music. At the age of 10 he had his life debut solo recital and at the age of 11 – his first debut with the symphony orchestra. Since that his concert performances have spanned the globe. By age 25 Sergey has toured and performed in 28 different countries all over the world.

Sergey took a few minutes for an email Q&A for Arts Blast. Excerpts follow:

"First time I was in Vero in 2016 I believe, it was a great experience for me and I decided that I want to come back. But all this happened only because of John and Anne Tschinkel, who brought me to Vero the first time and always enormously helped to organize performances."

All the tension swirling around the Russia/Ukraine situation has touched Belyavsky "a little bit," he said. "For me there was a piano contest in Dublin, Ireland, where organisers decided to revoke everyone with the Russian citizenship from their competition, including myself among others. I think it is a wrong way of making it, because majority (can’t say for all) of the participants in that particular competition, who have Russian passport, have strongly and publicly condemned the aggression and the  war. Most are not even living in Russia."

He took it in stride, however. "But do I personally care about this cancellation? No, I do not. And think others should not. At the time of war while God knows how many people are being slaughtered because of one tyrant and his military, should we even care as much about music contests? I think not. I say, stop the war, then make competitions. But it’s not up to me."

In March 2022 Sergey participated in a very special event, Ukraine Peace Benefit Concert, held in St. Paulus Church in Frankfurt am Main, organised by that city and the International Piano Forum Frankfurt, condemning the Russian aggression in Ukraine. Listen to the livestream recording:

Listen to an Arts Blast on the Air conversation with the pianist and Christoph Seybold next week.

On some of his visits to Florida, Belyavsky has played in other areas, but this time it's Vero Beach only. He'll go solo in the First Pres concert and join Christoph Seybold for a fundraising event for the Gifford Youth Orchestra April 9 at the Emerson Center, 1590 27th Ave., Vero Beach. The program will include "a variety of composers, including Brahms, Mozart, Sarasate, Tchaikovsky, Liszt, Gershwin among others and Scott Joplin’s music."

To watch videos of past performances by Messrs Belyavsky and Seybold, go to:

When he has a little leisure time, Belyavsky has "a certain personal routine, which includes reading, jogging, spending time with friends, watching movies as well. Lately I have to say I spend too much time following the world’s news from different sources. Which doesn’t bring any joy at all, to say the least. Hopefully the situation will change."

The Sunday concert at First Pres is at 4 p.m.

One More Week To Go! Riverside Weekends Return April 8!

Treasure Coast Arts & Mindfulness Fest returns as ZAM Fest (Zen, Arts, and Music) on April 23rd and 24th, 2022

St. Lucie Cultural Alliance and The City of Port St Lucie are coming together to present this distinctly different festival that combines the mind-opening benefits of art with the healing benefits of mindfulness during the day and multicultural musical performances from local and regional bands and national recording artists in the evening.

It combines a wide spectrum of art, and a multitude of Holistic products and services, with plenty of music and activities that are sure to get you moving.

What about the KIDS?

We won’t miss a beat! This family-friendly festival will provide various activities, including face painting, Eco- fun activities, Young Yogis, and Dance!

For the musical lineup and the full list of activities please visit

ZAM Fest starts at 11 AM both days

Plein Air at Lighthouse ArtCenter

You have through Saturday to join the excitement of this annual event for plein air painters and art lovers at the Lighthouse ArtCenter in Tequesta.

From Lighthouse ArtCenter:

This juried event brings 30 of the country’s top plein air painters to Tequesta for a week of outdoor painting. These artists, painting outdoors, or “en plein air,” are competing for more than $20,000 in cash and prizes. The week kicked off with a Paint Out Competition at the beautiful Ann Norton Sculpture Gardens in West Palm Beach.

See the entire list of participating artists on the Lighthouse website.

Check in at the Lighthouse ArtCenter Gallery to view and purchase the freshly painted work of the talented artists. Then check out the free plein air painting demonstrations at picturesque locations across the area. On Friday, April 1, add to your art collection at the Collectors’ Party & Sale. From curator Janeen Mason: "Mix and mingle with the artists and fellow art enthusiasts while feasting on Lighthouse ArtCenter’s signature hors d’ oeuvres. All pieces are available to purchase, including competition pieces. Finish out the week on Saturday with our Small Works Sale and our Live Painting Event at the ArtCenter Gallery. Learn from the masters and enroll in one of our Plein Air Workshops."

Photo: Artist Chris Kling

Vero Beach Opera's Piano Scholarship Students in Concert

Vero Beach Opera isn't only about vocal arts. They offer a scholarship program for piano students to study with Dr. Marcos Flores, director of worship arts at Christ by the Sea UMC in Vero Beach. Flores was kind enough to gather information from three of the four students in the concert April 2 at 2 p.m. in the church sanctuary. Missing is a response from Gabriel Knott, 15, a student at Indian River Charter High School. Flores said, "I have the incredible privilege to be the teacher of these talented kids who are also amazing human beings accomplished in many areas from music, academics, and sports."

Alena Yancy, an 11-year-old 6th grade, home-school student:

Alena has been playing piano since she was 5 years old and has been studying piano with Dr. Marcos Flores for the last 5 years. At the age of 8 she played at the competition for Vero Beach Opera House scholarship. She had to play piano music from the all musical eras and practice a lot.

She has performed several times and she loves playing for large audience saying, “It makes me feel good knowing that people enjoyed hearing my music “ When Alena is not on the piano she loves to sing, dance, and play tennis. She is thankful for all of the opportunities she has had because of Dr. Flores and the Vero Beach Opera Scholorship.

Her dream is to continue to perform beautiful music and one day to become a piano teacher to spread the love of learning this wonderful instrument to many kids. For the concert on Saturday she will be playing Bach, Haydn, Mendelssohn, Chopin and Debussy.

Thomas Miller, 17, an 11th grade student at Vero Beach HS:

Thomas has two brothers,one sister, and two dogs. 

"Neither of my parents are musical but my 2 brothers are musicians. My brother Andrew plays piano and is studying piano performance at FSU.

"This is my 10th year studying piano, I started when I was seven

My brother made it into the (VBO Scholarship) program 2 years before me which is how I became aware of the scholarship. I was studying with Rochelle Sallee at the time, who prepared me well for the audition. I got into the program when I was finishing my 7th grade year."

He has been playing cello since the age of 12. When not making music, Thomas enjoys movies,

the gym, hanging out with friends, and playing video games.

"I plan to play in the college orchestra and am considering a minor in music. I will be playing Beethoven's third piano concerto 1st Movement in C minor.

Josiah Oostdyk, home educated, iin 8th grade. 

Josiah lives with his parents, an older brother, and a younger sister. "We do not have any pets, but we foster kittens and puppies through the local animal shelter and have fostered 30 animals so far. My mom has been giving me piano lessons (off and on) since I was 7, but I just started taking lessons with Dr. Flores one year ago." 

Josiah said the scholarship application and auditioning were

"a great experience and "the Board of Directors for the Vero Beach Opera were all very encouraging." 

Josiah likes listening to classical music, especially Debussy and Chopin. He plays violin with his church orchestra and enjoys graphic design. In his free time, he likes learning about video editing and creating special effects. Josiah would like to have a career in computer science, "but also be involved in music ministry at my church." 

He will play a few short pieces by Beethoven, Scarlatti, Kabelesky, and J.S. Bach in the concert

The Creek District in Stuart

It was in 2019 that artists and business people in Stuart got together to create The Creek District, Stuart's officially designated arts and entertainment area, and it continues to grow.

From the website:

Located just south of Confusion Corner and encompassing Colorado Avenue and surrounding streets, this charming section of Stuart is home to a lively music scene, monthly art walks, and a wonderful selection of shops and eateries.

With Colorado Avenue as the main corridor, The Creek District is easily-walkable. Frazier Creek (our namesake), with its plentiful mangroves, as well as scenic Bruner Pond, are a quick stroll or tram ride from Downtown Stuart. The area is peppered with fine art sculptures, a growing collection of murals, and more to come!

On the First Friday of each month, from 5-9 p.m., The Creek District Art Walk, invites the public to "a free event for all ages. Stroll the area and visit local businesses where you’ll find live performances and pop-up shops featuring a variety of vendors, including fine arts, crafts, and more!"

Visit the website for a list of the many artist members of The Creek District.

Sold Out at VAPA

This is one of those you-snooze-you-lose events but we'll know better the next time. Even though many of us won't be at Indian River Charter High School - Schumann School for the Visual Arts (VAPA) next week, Arts Blast readers should know what they're missing.

Every semester, not counting pandemic years, IRCHS offers to the public "a school-wide production in which every student is involved." The school curriculum this year focused on the Romantic Era, meaning every aspect of the performances, including the tea and dinner food service, are inspired by the Romantic Era.

"Romancing the Arts is the story of the French pointillist painter Georges Seurat, as he works on the painting A Sunday in the Park on the Island of La Grande Jatte. The actual 400 square foot painting is being recreated by the students under the leadership of sophomore Caleigh Pressley. There are over 140 performers in the production, led by David Callahan as Georges."

Congratulations and kudos to those in charge of putting it all together:


Artistic Director & Technical Director ...............................................Michael Naffziger

Jazz Ensamble Director..............................................................................David Mundy

Choral Director............................................................................................Ethan Kinkle

Theatre Director....................................................................Fednike “Nikki” Nozistene

Orchestra Director................................................................................Andrew Gekoskie

Ballet Director........................................................................................Hedi Khursandi

Dance Director............................................................................................Blair Berrios

Communications & Program Design...................................................Amelia Strazzulla

Production & Design Instructors......................Suzanne Elder & “Miss Sue” Humanes

Ceramics & Drawing.............................................................................Brenda Donovan

Drawing & Painting.........................................................................................Tyler Evin

Photography.....................................................................................................Amy Saville

Student Production Leads:

Assistant Technical Director ...........................................................…Irene Crumbacker

Script Writer………….......................................….......................Katherine “Kat” Love

Stage Manager......................................................................................Lauren Frampton

Although this show is sold out, information on future productions is on the school website.

An Update from the Environmental Learning Center

Happy anniversary and congratulations to Barb Schlitt, ELC's executive director! It feels as though she arrived at this wonderful oasis just a little while ago but it's been three years already! I'm reprinting excerpts from her April newsletter here for those of us who haven't been keeping up with all she and her team have accomplished.

April Greetings from ELC

On April 1, I celebrate my three-year anniversary leading this important and dynamic organization! 

We have accomplished a lot together. 

We have built a strong team of staff, volunteers, donors, sponsors and Board Members. These fine folks are some of the most dedicated professionals I’ve ever had the privilege to work with. 

We gave this special campus a much deserved sprucing up. We replaced three roofs, two sets of stairs, and a raised boardwalk; renovated the Discovery Station and restrooms; removed a cottage that had black mold; and created a beautiful lagoon-side picnic area complete with a native plant walk and a mural fence around the maintenance area. We created the Sustainability Walk around the pond; added interpretive signage and outdoor art; replaced boardwalk planks and pressure cleaned and painted the entire east boardwalk and are just finishing the west (miles of boardwalk!). We replaced our signage on 510 and have many other new campus signs going up in the next few weeks. We rebuilt two osprey perches and added two live osprey cams. A generous donor provided us with a new commercial lawnmower! It takes a lot of hard work to keep this campus looking good for our guests and we love doing it. 

Our strong focused team created vision and culture statements, strategic plans, a business plan, a case for support, and a detailed employee handbook and operations manual to support our incredible Master Plan. Our preparedness was rewarded with a tremendous gift allowing us to build the first phase of our Master Plan which will be unveiled this month. The Thomas R. Schidel Education and Event Pavilion will be the site of a wide variety of community festivals, educational events, and entertainment experiences. 

Find a calendar of things to come at the Environmental Learning Center on the website along with the many ways to become involved.

  • Summer camp registration is filling up fast.
  • Tickets are still available for RESTORATION, the annual gala fundraiser, with the new pavilion unveiling this year
  • A performance-only matinee show happens April 24
  • The Eco-Action Society (adult program series) meets April 5, 6 p.m.

Where Paddington Bear Began - Borrowed from Facebook

In the late 1930s-1940s, Michael Bond, author of Paddington Bear, saw Jewish refugee children (Kindertransport children) walking through Reading Station, arriving in Britain escaping from the Nazi horrors of Europe. Mr. Bond, (so) touched by what he saw that he recalled those memories 20 years later when he began his story of Paddington Bear. One morning in 1958, he was searching for writing inspiration and simply wrote the words: “Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform…” 

“They all had a label round their neck with their name and address on and a little case or package containing all their treasured possessions,” Bond said in an interview with The Telegraph before his death in 2017. “So Paddington, in a sense, was a refugee, and I do think that there’s no sadder sight than refugees.”

Paddington Bear - known for his blue overcoat, bright red hat, and wearing a simple hand-written tag that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” Paddington embodies the appearance of many Kindertransport children. His suitcase is an emblem of his refugee status. 

“We took in some Jewish children who often sat in front of the fire every evening, quietly crying because they had no idea what had happened to their parents, and neither did we at the time. It’s the reason why Paddington arrived with the label around his neck”. -- Michael Bond

Michael Bond died at 91 in 2017, the epitaph on his gravestone reads "Please look after this bear. Thank you."

A tribute to the displaced, the lost, the frightened and hurting.


From MartinArts:

"Last week, was a historic moment for our arts community. The Martin County School Board vote (5-0 in favor) of our intent to lease agreement, allows us to move forward with contracts to plan the future arts center at the iconic Stuart High School. Already the architects are on site taking detailed measurements and we are launching a planning study for the campaign. During this preparatory phase, the due diligence we are conducting creates a foundation for success for the capital campaign. If you’d like to support our financial needs during this phase, please reach out to me, or visit the website to make a contribution." 

The United States Coast Guard Band will be pleased to present a FREE concert at the Maxwell C. King Center for the Performing Arts in Melbourne, FL on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 PM. This event is part of the “Southern Connections” concert tour, a two-week mission traveling through Coast Guard Sectors Charleston, Jacksonville, Miami, and St. Petersburg

The Riverside Dance Festival is now accepting applicants (age 10-college) for Summer 2022. This year's invited company is Chicago Dance Crash.

Legends of Pop: Music from the 70’s to Today with the Apollo Vega Experience

April 7, 2022

Doors open at 6:30 PM

The concert starts at 7:30 PM

500 Orange Event Center

500 Orange Ave., Fort Pierce

The Cultural Alliance Cabaret Series is a one-of-a-kind cabaret club-style experience in the gorgeously renovated 500 Orange Event Center, complete with a full liquor cash bar from Bonner Mobile Bar and small plates a la carte by True Roots Catering.

Rock & Roll Revue, an ensemble of the Melbourne Municipal Band (MMB), will present an up-tempo, golden oldies concert on Friday, April 1, 2022, beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Cocoa Village Playhouse, 300 Brevard Ave., Cocoa.

The Orlando Gay Chorus will be at Surfside Playhouse in Cocoa Beach April 2, 8 p.m.

Art After Dark at the Norton

Friday, April 1 / 5-10pm

Admission: Adults & Seniors $10, Students $5, Members free

Join us for a screening and panel discussion of The Commons: 15 Artists 15 Spaces, documenting The City of West Palm Beach’s ArtLife Committee Covid-19 Artists Relief Initiative. A colorful Open Studio and an insightful Artist Tour will be led by artists featured in this project. And a Jazz Friday performance by Charles Goold, hailing from New York City, blending, and juxtaposing traditional Haitian and Afro Caribbean rhythms with hard bop, modern jazz, and hip hop.

Sunset Concerts | April 12: “Spring Concert“ Stuart School of Music directed by Cindy Kessler

Tuesday, April 12

5:30 - 6:30 pm

80 SE Ocean Blvd.


Countertenor Terry Barber returns to Florida with a new venture, EleMenTrio — April 21 at the Lyric Theatre in Stuart and April 22 at Aventura Arts & Cultural Center, Avenua.

The Vero Beach Choral Society will premiere a concert entitled A Little Night Music on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at 4:00 pm in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free; the suggested donation is $10.

Delray Beach Historical Society's fundraiser, Twilight in the Garden, is scheduled for April 22, 6 p.m.

At the Norton:

A Remarkable Gathering: The Fisher Family Collection runs through Sept. 11.

Also opening for the same run is Dürer, Rembrandt, and Piasso: Three Masters of the Print.

Bookmark On the Calendar at for frequent updates. Calls for Artists, Auditions, & Volunteers are now online.

Catch up with events at Willi Miller's Arts Blast on Facebook and pick up some laughs and interesting info on the Willi Miller's Arts Blast Extras page. And now there's a Facebook Arts Blast on the Air!


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