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.10 | March 18, 2022

Notes from the Editor:

Watching the wild weather from my office window last Saturday, I had no doubt that Under the Oaks in Vero Beach's Riverside Park had been blown away. The branches on my oak trees were dancing, leaves were flying (with luck, into somebody else's yard - shhh), and the rain was washing my windows and screens. I was as wrong as I could be, according to reports from artists and co-chair Alicia Quinn. It was a wonderfully successful event!

Four Children at Kravis, a panel discussion at Backus — food for thought as spring approaches.

Don't forget to keep checking the Arts Blast calendar for event updates. Thanks to an alert tech support guy, it's back online after most of a week of frustration. It's always something.

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Arts Blast on the Air with Willi Miller

This week on Arts Blast on the Air, hear Ballet Vero Beach founder Adam Schnell explain how the new, innovative BVB/IRSC/Learning Alliance collaboration offers an incredible opportunity for four students. Then Jean-Hugues Feray talk about his Paris Ballet and Dance School and this weekend's performance at Kravis Center. Listen to or download the podcast now or listen on the radio — 101.7FM ON THE TREASURE COAST —Sunday evening at 7.

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


When the Spirit Moves You at Backus

Under the Oaks

Four Children at Kravis

A Cultural Excursion with Martin Arts

Ballet Vero Beach Update

Jean-Hugues Feray's Back Story

Vero Beach Opera Vocal Competition

Concert for the Gifford Youth Orchestra

TIDBITS - Scroll All the Way Down

Terry Barber's Back

The Symphonia & Leading Lasses

Rock & Roll Revue in Cocoa

US Coast Guard Band

BCA at Titusville Playhouse

Surfside Theatre

Orlando Gay Chorus

Delray Beach Historical Society

A.C.T. Theatre

At the Norton

Moved by the Spirit at Backus

The A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery will present Tuned to the Spirit: Photographs from the Sacred Steel Community opened last week at The A.E. Backus Museum and Gallery in Fort Pierce, with the opening reception scheduled for March 18, from 6:00-8:00 pm, with remarks at 6:30 p.m. Special musical guests will be Elder Elton Noble, pastor of House of God No. 2 in Fort Pierce, and family musicians presenting the joyful sounds of this rich tradition. Members are admitted free; $20 for Not-Yet Members (or join at the door).

On Saturday, March 19 at 4:00 pm, the Backus Museum will convene a panel discussion, “When the Spirit Moves: Appreciating a Unique American Steel Guitar Tradition” with guests Dr. Eric Lewis Williams, Curator of Religion, Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture; Elder Elton Noble, steel guitarist and pastor of Fort Pierce House of God No. 2; and Robert L. Stone, folklorist and photographer. The program will illuminate this dynamic cultural tradition, with live music demonstration. Tickets are $5 with Limited Seating and available at Attendees are asked to please observe all public health guidance.

This traveling exhibition that highlights more than twenty years of "Sacred Steel" photography has a notable Fort Pierce connection.

In the late 1930s, two related African American Holiness-Pentecostal churches began incorporating a novel, modern instrument into worship services – the electric steel guitar. The expressive and energetic music rendered on the instrument soon became essential to the spirited worship services. Today, with more than fifty congregations throughout the state, Florida is a stronghold for the House of God and Church of the Living God, where musicians have passed down the unique musical tradition known as “sacred steel” for generations. Two of these churches (House of God No. 1 and House of God No. 2) are located in the City of Fort Pierce. 

Photo courtesy of photographer Robert L. Stone (b.1944) and Backus Museum and Gallery. Willie Easton

Ballet Vero Beach Update

Oh, to be young again! And a budding dancer! The new Ballet Vero Beach fellowship program sounds too good to be true but it's really there, waiting to be grabbed by four lucky students this year.

Ballet Vero Beach Fellowships for Graduating Seniors and Recent High School Graduates

Ballet Vero Beach has unveiled a brand-new fellowship program for dancers. This initiative will be free for all applicants with Florida residency. Earn your Associate Degree from IRSC - Indian River State College, perform with Ballet Vero Beach, and receive ancillary training from The Learning Alliance. Visit (under the Community Engagement tab) to learn more. Hear Adam Schnell, BVB CEO, talking about it on this week's Arts Blast on the Air.

Fellowship Initiative for Dancers

is still accepting applicants. We will continue

to do so until the program is filled.

Announcing Ballet Vero Beach Opportunities for Young Dancers

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

Four Children - A Stage Reading at Kravis Center

Given what's happening in full view of the world in Europe, I was intrigued by a writeup of a stage reading coming to Kravis Center next weekend. Four Children, part of the Kravis Center's P.E.A.K. series, brings to life diary and memoir entries from "four budding young writers who lived during the Holocaust and genocides in Armenia, Cambodia and Sarajevo." The curator/playwright, Mark Edelman, took time for a Q&A for Arts Blast this week. Photos are of the four young actors: Sasha Arango, Matthew Salas, KimberlyLucien, and Brendan Eldom Byrne.

How did you research the material for this reading? I started out exploring diaries of young people who lived during the Holocaust. That journey took me, via Google, to the stories of kids who lived thru other genocides. Especially with what's happening to the Uighurs in China and now the Ukrainians, it's important that we remain vigilant to these tragedies, which we've learned, in the last three weeks, can happen anytime, anywhere."

Did you have access to actual diaries and memoirs and people who lived these stories? Yes, I contacted the publishers and/or authors of these three diaries and one memoir and asked if I could use the very words they wrote as they lived thru these horrific experiences. I also arranged with a woman who was an adult during the Rwandan genocide to describe that awful period, which I incorporate into the play. I'm not really the playwright-- more the compiler and curator of the words of these heroic diarists.

What inspired you to undertake this project several years ago? The international touring exhibit Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away, which is currently in Kansas City thru the end of this month, opened in KC last July. I'm on the board of a theater company whose home is in Union Station, where the Auschwitz exhibit has been displayed. The management of the Station asked us to produce a play that would reflect the themes and subject matter of the exhibit. This was in January, 2021, when theaters were closed due to Covid. I came up with FOUR CHILDREN-- a play in which the actors read from the diaries of these four teenagers-- in part to comply with the protocols in place at the time, including social distancing and vaccination requirements for all involved.

How long did it tour with the Auschwitz. Not Long Ago. Not Far Away exhibit it was commissioned for? FOUR CHILDREN played three weeks in Kansas City, alongside the Auschwitz exhibit. The exhibit goes to Malmo, Sweden in May for nine months. I believe it's returning to North America in Spring of 2023. We hope to produce the play alongside the exhibit in some of those future engagements.

Tell me about the separate life Four Children has found. Are you touring it nationally? Particularly with the horrible war going on in Ukraine now, it's more important than ever to witness the first person accounts of young people who lived thru these terrible genocides. I'm hoping that other forward-thinking performing arts centers like the Kravis Center will invite us to perform the work, especially for school groups, once students can return to the theater.

How do the young actors relate to the people they portray and their experiences? The original cast included several actors in their 70s-- the play can really be performed by anyone. For the Kravis Center production, our director wanted a cast closer in age to the diarists. I felt the younger actors were more compelling in the roles. I know the actors are very involved in their work--- tears were shed at the auditions!

With four different times and events portrayed in this reading, how do you and director John Rensenhouse keep the audience focused without being confused by the transitions? One thing that surprised me, as I was compiling the diaries, was how different incidents repeated themselves across their stories. People being herded into trains, leaders lying to their people, suspicions that neighbors were betraying them, eating the most wretched food, teachers calling out their students to leave school because they were "different"--- which happened to my Mother in 1936 Germany-- these were common occurrences across the diaries. Rather than confusing, the repetition of similar tales drives home how tragedies like these can happen anytime, anywhere.

What do you have planned for your next project? I'm afraid I'm too caught up watching the world come apart in Eastern European to be thinking about much else. And the tragedy of bombing a theater, a place of love and peace and community, in Mariupol-- that really hit home.

Four Children is at the Kravis Center March 25-27.

Chicago, Chicago, That Cultural Town

Tour the cultural side of Chicago with the Arts Foundation of Martin County in July.

The Martin Arts Cultural Excursion program heads for Chicago July 13-17 for five days and four nights at the Palmer House Hotel.

On the itinerary:

Art Institute of Chicago

Driehaus Museum

Chicago Contemporary Museum of Art

City Bus Tour

Dinner Cruise on Lake Michigan

Chinatown Food & Walking Tour

Architectural River Cruise

Guest lecturer and tour guide: Dr Marie Jureit-Beamish, Professor Emerita of Music from Principia College

Ballet at Kravis Center This Weekend

Jean-Hugues Feray, founder of the Paris Ballet and Dance school and Paris Ballet Conservatory in Jupiter, has had such a long and storied career in ballet that I won't even attempt to cover it here. Go to the website for his complete professional history.

After his guest appearance on Arts Blast on the Air this week, I wanted to know how he began in ballet at the age of 9. So, I asked.

"I grew up in a very happy household in Caen, Normandy, France. As a kid, I was attracted to anything that had to do with being on stage — singing, acting, etc. I would always put on shows for my birthdays, or whenever my parents had guests for dinner or other reasons. At some point I was going to come out in the living room to perform something in front of that audience of guests. I later had an actual stage curtain installed in my bedroom. Ballet came at 9 years of age when I went to watch a childhood friend's Spring Performance. I immediately asked my parents to enroll me in that very school for the Fall. The Director told my parents that I had potential and that I should audition for the Paris Opera Ballet school which I did, and succeeded.

I was always encouraged to pursue this career in dance by my entire family; they were my first fans and biggest supporters and still are to this day.

"My family had an artistic gene but were not artists as a profession. I am the youngest of 4 with 2 sisters and 1 brother. My sisters each took dance and my brother was a basketball Player. We had a big house with a lot of action, as we always had friends and cousins over, on many occasions adding mattresses on the floor so someone could spend the night."

Feray's father's physical therapy office was adjacent to the family's home, his paternal grandparents lived next door, and his mother's parents lived nearby. His father's mother had a severe form of Multiple Sclerosis but "having her grandchildren growing up near her helped her through it and it kept her going, as she said. Despite this very difficult illness, she lived until she was 88. She was so very proud of my ballet journey and she has taught me so much about resilience and positive attitude as she always was smiling despite being in bed and paralyzed for most of her life.  

"My friends and classmates were all very supportive and proud; there were not many children at the time who would leave their home this young to go to a major Ballet School to pursue such a career. So that was unheard of and they were intrigued while they were very encouraging."

Feray has performed many roles over the decades of his career, so picking the most memorable one was tricky. "I’d say Ben Stevenson’s Dracula, due to the acting and having to play an evil part which I had never done before. And also, dancing as a soloist at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow with the French National Ballet of Nancy. I performed Balanchine’s Harlequin Solo from his Ballet 'La Somnambule'. I remember stepping on stage, saw the audience, and thought to myself in my head as I began dancing: 'Oh my god I am performing at the Bolshoi Theater.' I have completely retired from performing with no regrets, as I feel so (complete) from my ballet career. They are incredible found memories to have worked with the best in the industry internationally and it’s now so rewarding to pass it all on to my students."

Feray shared a sadder note: "My mother passed away at age 60 from leukemia when I was 27. I was dancing with The French National Ballet of Marseille at the time and I was about to perform the lead in the Ballet Giselle. (which I did perform 3 days after she passed) I spoke to her on the phone the day before she passed and she told me how proud she was of all my accomplishments and that she was also proud that I was the Prince in Giselle that week. We were very close and she followed me every step of the way as her son and as a Dancer."

Feray's students will present the first of three performances at The Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts this season with Mixed Bill: An Evening of Ballet on Sunday, March 20 at 7:30 p.m. There’s another in May and one in June.


Paris Ballet and Dance and Paris Ballet Conservatory are in Jupiter, Florida.

Under the Oaks 2022

All the crossed fingers did the trick last weekend as thousands of art lovers made their way through the gates at Vero Beach Art Club's 2022 Under the Oaks in Riverside Park.

A spot in the annual Under the Oaks juried event is one of the most sought after every winter for artists from across the country and even across the sea.

Co-chair Alicia Quinn reported in after the event:

It went very well. Artists were happy, patrons were happy, we are happy to have presented such a diverse group of creative and talented artists.  

Saturday storm was fierce but short-lived. We suffered no damage of any kind.   

Artists closed tents around 1 when heavy rains began and reopened an hour later to finish out the last 3 hours of our show day. All 3 days were banner days with large crowds and great weather other than the fast movnig front on Saturday. 

Brevard County artist Michiel Bullock said it wasn't too bad. "About a 20 (minute) storm, then it was over. Maybe 25 or 30 mph winds." This Bullock painting wasn't finished before Under the Oaks but it has an after-the-storm air about it!

Photos courtesy of Vero Beach Art Club

From Top: Joan Earnhart won The Excellence in Art Award

Suro Kim's booth - 2nd place acrylic /oil

Michiel Bullock WIP

John Costin's booth (3rd place graphics /pastels /printmaking /Watercolor

Vero Beach Opera's Rising Stars Vocal Competition and Concert

From Vero Beach Opera:

Please join us at our 2022 Rising Stars Vocal Competition, Wednesday, March 23, and Thursday, March 24, at 2:00 p.m. at the VBHS Performing Arts Center. Featured will be 2021 - 2022 Metropolitan Opera Auditions Winners competing for top prizes. A two-day pass for $20 is available.

Enjoy these talented young opera singers as they perform in formal attire in our Rising Stars Concert on Friday, March 25 at 7:00 p.m. Prizes and Awards will be announced and presented at the end of the Concert. Tickets are $30, $40 and $50.

Call VBO at (772) 569-6993 for information. Online ticketing at

Gifford Youth Orchestra's Concert Fundraiser

A benefit concert featuring Russian virtuoso pianist Sergey Belyavsky alongside violinist Christoph Seybold, sponsored by John and Anne Tschinkel, will be held April 9 at 7 p.m. at The Emerson Center, 1590 27th Ave, Vero Beach. This benefit concert is to benefit The Gifford Youth Orchestra (GYO). The GYO mission is to provide education, experience, and training in various cultural and performing arts, including music, drama, dance, and the vocal arts for the youth of Gifford as well as neighboring Indian River County communities with a core focus on mastering stringed instruments. This concert is open to the community; a suggested donation of $10 will be accepted at the door.

Sergey Belyavsky is an award-winning pianist from Moscow, Russia. He has been a soloist with the Moscow State and Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestras. He has also performed throughout the world in major concert halls such as Carnegie Hall, and Tchaikovsky Hall in Moscow.

Christoph Seybold, born in Germany, is an internationally acclaimed solo violinist who performs regularly in major concert halls in Europe, America and Asia. Recent performances have taken him to the Schauspielhaus Berlin, Herkulessaal Munich, Leiszhalle Hamburg, Liederhalle Stuttgart, Frankfurt, and Opera City Tokyo, among many others.

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



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

Learn more about the Brevard Cultural Alliance at the Titusville Playhouse March 25 Dreamgirls performance. It's at the Historic Emma Parrish Theatre.

The SYMPHONIA, South Florida’s premier chamber orchestra, will feature two leading ladies of classical music when it presents its third concert of the season, ‘Music in Bloom,’ on Sunday, March 27 at 3 p.m. Roberts theater at Saint Andrew's School, Boca Raton.

She Loves Me, directed by Bryan Bergeron, is at Surfside Playhouse, 301 Ramp Rd., Cocoa Beach through March 27.

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

'Til Death Do Us Part, written and performed by Peter Fogel, has a one-weekend run, March 24-27, at ACT Studio Theatre, Cedar Pointe Plaza, Stuart.

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.

March 18, 5-10 p.m. Art After Dark at the Norton

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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