Early this semester, music students from Polk State College were honored at the Florida State College System Activities Association Winter Music Symposium in Boca Raton. Among the highlights were an Award of Distinction for Polk State saxophonist Zoe Weatherby and soloist honors for pianist Anthony Stillabower and tenor vocalist Sergio Perez.
According to John Anderson, Polk State College coordinator of music, “These honors are a tremendous reflection on the talents and hard work of our students and an endorsement of Polk State’s commitment to excellence in everything we do.”
The symposium was hosted at Florida Atlantic University, January 27-29, 2011, with thirty-six students from the Polk State College music department participating in numerous ensembles and competitions specific to their musical discipline.
Weatherby’s Award of Distinction was given for his performance in the State Student Artist Competition. The Lakeland native was also selected to perform with the Symposium Jazz Band.
Stillabower, from Winter Haven, was selected as one of only 2 pianists for a solo performance in the final Symposium concert. He performed the “First Arabesque” by Claude Debussey and was joined in the piano master class by Polk State students Diana Lusk, Derek Swearengin and Robert Price.
Polk State jazz guitarists Andrew McDaniel and Jake Gibbons were featured in the symposium’s inaugural Jazz Guitar Ensemble, while Kat Lord and Nick Herbert performed with the Classical Guitar Ensemble.
Perez was joined in the Symposium Concert Choir by Marquita Bailey, Jordan Bontrager, Jamaul Broomfield, Jacklyn Bullock, Jessica Eastridge, Cameron Hayes, Ashlyn Kerns, Brian Kraus, Theodore Kraus, Jacklyn Massey, Jacob McKnight, Jeff Peacock, Xylon Salmon, Morgan Snipe, Christine Tholen, Dirk van Cleif and Kyree Waldon.
Symposium Wind Ensemble participants were Britonni Bowen, Jennifer Dyal, Kristian Gonzalez, Britney Gotsch, Christopher Larson, Robert Luster; Emily Rodgers, Mystique Schneider and Phillip Spangler. The ensemble members attended master classes on their specific instruments and had the opportunity to meet Dr. Stuart Glazer, composer of one of the pieces they performed.
Anderson was clearly delighted by the results: “It truly was a great weekend for our young musicians. We are very proud of them and of the recognition they have received statewide. They are outstanding young men and women who are becoming fine musicians and representatives of Polk State and the communities we serve. They made Polk County proud.”
Polk State’s music program boasts an enrollment of over 200 students, including 68 majors. For more information on music at your state college, visit https://www.polk.edu.