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Suncoast Music Scholarships Competition Awards $12,000 to Talented Area High School Students

Donna Fisk | April 26, 2023

May 13 concert will feature performances by scholarship winners.

(SARASOTA, Fla., April 25, 2023) Suncoast Music Scholarships awarded $12,000 to seven talented young musicians from Sarasota and Manatee counties to be used for music education expenses. The scholarship program, funded and managed through a partnership between Sarasota Music Club and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, has awarded over $123,000 to young music students.

Winners will perform on May 13 at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, in a concert that is offered free of charge and is open to the public.

The 10th grade students selected for Suncoast Music Scholarship awards are: Matrick Thorpe, cello, 1st place, $1000; and Taltos Fuszfas, flute, 2nd place, $500. The 11th grade students selected to receive scholarship awards are: Caleb Horner, piano, 1st place, $1,000; and Cory Coyner, voice, 2nd place, $500.

The 12th grade students selected to receive scholarships are: 1st place, Danae Tran, violin, $4,000 ; 2nd place, Cole Laudenslager, flute, $3,000; and 3rd place – Katie Evans, French horn, $2,000.

The 17 students who submitted scholarship applications came from 10 area schools. Auditions were held on April 22 at the First Presbyterian Church of Sarasota.

Distinguished judges for this year’s competition were: for 12th grade auditions – Gail Berenson, Joy McIntyre and Linda Cerone, and for 10th and 11th grade auditions – Gayle Williams and Agnes Poltorak-Lewis.

Suncoast Music Scholarship program is co-chaired by Susan Hicks and Lee Dougherty Ross.


Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Announces Winners of its Statewide Classical Vocal Competition

Donna Fisk | March 24, 2023

SARASOTA, FL (March 24, 2023) – Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota recently held a statewide classical vocal competition for students between the ages of 17 and 22. Twenty-seven applicants from 13 schools participated, with students from Stetson University taking the top three prizes. The first-place prize ($2,000) went to bass-baritone Justice Miguel Yates of DeLand, FL; second place ($1,500) was awarded to soprano Kaylan Hernandez from Miami, FL; and soprano Grace Lauther of Naples, FL took third place ($1,000).

Participants were required to submit a video which included a performance of a classical art song; an American or British art song; and an operatic or oratorio aria, or a song from musical theater. The judging criteria included tone quality, pitch, rhythm accuracy, technique, interpretation, and presentation.

The judges were Phyllis Lowitt, a performer, teacher, and opera lecturer; Joy McIntyre, who was a leading soprano with major opera houses in Europe; and Detlef Scholz, who performed extensively as a concert singer in Europe, Colombia, and the United States.

McIntyre stated, “It was gratifying to hear the talented young singers in the Artist Series Concerts statewide vocal competition. There are beautiful new voices emerging in Florida, with skilled teaching to guide their musical paths. My congratulations to both students and teachers.”

Part of the mission of Artist Series Concerts is to support young musicians in as many ways as possible. This recent statewide classical vocal competition was an important process for participants to prepare repertoire and present it for judging. In addition to performance competitions, Artist Series Concerts offers awards to assist with tuition and instrument repair and to purchase instruments.

For more information about Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, visit or call (941) 306-1200.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota Features Harp, Cello, and Guitar in April

Donna Fisk | March 7, 2023

SARASOTA, Fla. (March 7, 2023) – Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota presents three programs featuring harp, cello, and guitar in April: Cheryl Losey Feder, harp, and Abraham Feder, cello, perform at Temple Sinai on April 9; award-winning guitarist JIJI brings her adventurous style to Marie Selby Botanical Gardens on April 20; and rising star Cameron Crozman, cello, joined by Meagan Milatz, piano, present a Lunch and Listen concert at Sarasota Yacht Club on April 27. For more information and tickets, visit or call (941) 306-1202.

Feder Duo – Cheryl Losey Feder, harp, and Abraham Feder, cello – will present a program which includes their own transcriptions of music by Bach and Johann Strauss, Jr. on April 9, 4:00 p.m. at Temple Sinai. The couple met when they began their orchestral careers on the same day in 2008 as they assumed principal positions in the Sarasota Orchestra. He is now assistant principal cellist of the Detroit Symphony and she a sought-after soloist, chamber musician and recording artist.

Guitarist JIJI was selected by the Washington Post as “one of the 21 composers/performers who sound like tomorrow.” Her virtuosic performances of music range from traditional classical to free improvisation, played on both acoustic and electric guitar. The first guitarist to win the Concert Artist Guild competition first prize in 30 years, JIJI has performed at Lincoln Center, Carnegie Hall, and the Kennedy Center, and has been featured on PBS and NPR. She performs on April 20, 5:30 p.m., outdoors at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens.

Cameron Crozman, named “Canada's next big cello star” by CBC Music, is making a name for himself as the next superstar of the classical music world. He will be joined by pianist Meagan Milatz in a program titled “Wanderlust,” which features music inspired by composers’ vacation trips. Crozman and Milatz perform at the Sarasota Yacht Club on April 27; the 11:00 a.m. performance is followed by lunch.

For tickets and more information, visit or call (941) 306-1202.

Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota, Inc.’s 2022-2023 season is supported in part by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County; Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council of Arts and Culture and the State of Florida (Section 286.25 Florida Statutes); The Exchange; Gulf Coast Community Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax Revenues; and the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation.


Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota was formed in 1996 as Artist Series of Sarasota. The non-profit organization promotes excellence in live musical performances by presenting acknowledged stars of the next generation to audiences of Florida’s Gulf Coast. The organization also seeks to spark a lifelong love of the musical arts by providing young people with interactive music experiences via performance-based outreach programs in area schools, thereby creating unique learning opportunities for hundreds of students and educators each year. In addition, Artist Series Concerts has awarded over $375,000 to 141 gifted young musicians from Sarasota and Manatee counties and around the country. Past winners have gone on to study at leading music conservatories and pursue successful music careers. For more information, visit