Dr. Sara Luciani
Concerto for Oboe and Strings - Dominico Cimarosa
Dr. Sara Luciani (née Diehl) is an international performer and active freelance oboist. Currently second oboe and English horn with the Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Sara was previously principal oboist with Palm Beach Pops. She has performed with other ensembles including: the Austin Symphony, San Angelo Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera, Palm Beach Symphony, and Treasure Coast Opera. A versatile player, she has been a soloist with the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony Orchestra and with the Polish jazz band, “Young at Hearts.” She has also performed with Frank Sinatra Jr., Broadway stars Idina Menzel and Lea Salonga, tenor Andrea Bocelli, producer David Foster, and jazz greats Ken Peplowski and John Pizzarelli, to name a few. Dr. Luciani has taught music classes from elementary through college and strives to be a full-time college professor in the future. She has been a guest clinician at music camps and workshops worldwide, including lecturing at the International Jazz Workshop in Puławy, Poland about performance-related injuries in musicians.
Originally from Vero Beach, Florida, Dr. Luciani received her Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern State University in Louisiana, her Master of Music degree from the University of Texas, and her Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Miami. Her principal teachers were Richard Foster, Tony Smith, Dr. Mark Ostoich, Bob Atherholt, and Robert Weiner. She currently resides in Miami, Florida with her husband, jazz trombonist Dante Luciani. After nearly a three-year hiatus due to Covid restrictions followed by a battle with breast cancer, Dr. Luciani is thrilled to return to the stage...cancer free!
Piano Concerto No 3 in C minor, OP 37 -Ludwig von Beethoven
Just a few months after her first piano lesson, Joana Gonzalez made her concert debut in 2005 at the age of ten. What was, by all outward appearances, a decidedly unremarkable student recital was, for young Joana, the opening to a new horizon. On that night, she knew of her future as a pianist as unmistakably as she knew her own name. The resolve she made on that night to work tirelessly toward that future did not go in vain. This was made clear in 2013 when Joana was invited to perform at Weill Recital Hall in Carnegie Hall as a winner of the American Protege International Piano Competition and clearer still in 2014 when Joana was invited to perform as a soloist with the New World Symphony after winning first prize in their Concerto Competition. She has gone on to perform as a soloist with numerous orchestras across the United States--including the Sequoia Symphony Orchestra, the Alhambra Orchestra, and the Imperial Symphony Orchestra--and has been invited as a recitalist by series across United States, in Puerto Rico, and in Spain.
As an undergraduate student, Joana conducted a school-wide survey to better understand why her non-musical peers were absent from the concert halls. After finding that most were open to classical music but found the live concert experience a bit stultifying, Joana set out on the development of a 'new take' on traditional performance practice using principles of behavioral psychology. Her vision was realized a year and a half later with The Unconventional Recital: An Experimental Series which featured five performances at Colleges, Conservatories, and High Schools throughout South Florida. The results were overwhelming. About them, Joana said in a recent interview, "I had no idea what it would feel like, after the first Unconventional Recital, when that first girl told me that my performance had completely changed their mind about classical music."
Fantaisie for Flute and Orchestra - Georges Hue
Judi played flute and piccolo with the Illinois Symphony for 20 years. She has her BA in Music from Bradley University and her Masters in Music Performance from Illinois State University. She has been a soloist with several orchestras in Illinois and North Carolina and has performed at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Orchestra Hall in Chicago, and at National Flute Conventions in Atlanta, Washington, DC, and New Orleans. She has played with several orchestras including the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the Asheville Symphony, the Greenville Symphony, and the Spartanburg Philharmonic Orchestra. She was a founding member of the Apollo Winds woodwind quintet and continues to be a featured soloist at the Biltmore Estate. Judi was the assistant professor of flute at University of North Carolina at Asheville for 20 years. She has performed internationally with the Metropolitan Flute Orchestra and the International Flute Orchestra. She currently teaches privately and at Primo School of the Performing Arts plus plays with the Vero Beach Chamber Orchestra, the Treasure Coast Flute Choir, and the Space Coast Flute Orchestra.
Marcos Daniel Flores
Piano Concerto No. 2 -Camille Saint-Saens
Marcos Daniel Flores was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He began his piano studies at the age of 16 with Rubén Malán and immediately entered the Bachelors Degree program in Music at the Conservatory of Music of Puerto Rico. There he studied piano performance with Luz N. Hutchinson (1990). Flores earned his Masters Degree in Piano Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music where he studied with Barry Snyder (1994), and later earned his Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Arizona State University where he studied piano solo performance with Caio Pagano (2004). Dr. Flores has participated at the Eastern Music Festival in North Carolina as well as in many master classes by renowned artists such as Nikolai Petrov, Harold F. Lewin, Mattias Fletzberger, and Samuel Pérez. His private instruction includes piano lessons with Nina Svetlanova, Natalya Antonova, Carmen Or, Robert Weirich and Randall Hodgkinson.
Dr. Flores was the recipient of the Conservatory Piano Medal and the Arturo Somohano Leadership Medal among other awards, and he has performed recitals and concerts in both Puerto Rico and the United States.
Dr. Flores is currently the Organist/Pianist and Director of Worship Arts at Christ By The Sea United Methodist Church since October 2004. His ecumenical experience in church music includes conducting choirs, orchestras, and Christian-bands in several traditional and contemporary church denominations. Last year, Vero Beach Opera expanded its Scholarship Program to include piano scholarships for talented and committed young students with financial need to study under Dr. Marcos Daniel Flores.
Maestro Matthew Stott
Violin Concerto #3 in G Major, K216 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Matthew Stott began studying the violin at the age of 5. He continued his studies at Baylor University, School of Music, in Waco, Texas under Dr. Bruce Berg and Mr. Stephen Heyde. Mr. Stott accepted the position of Director of Orchestras in the Indian River County School System in the fall of 2001. He previously conducted orchestras at Gifford Middle School and Vero Beach High School. In 2010 Baylor University awarded him the 'Outstanding Music Educator Alumni.' In 2011 he was provided the opportunity to study conducting at the Juilliard School summer term. He was named the FLASTA school teacher of the year in 2014. Matt has guest conducted several orchestras throughout Florida and has performed extensively as well. Under his leadership he has taken the VBHS Orchestra to become the American String Teachers Association No. 1 High School Symphonic Orchestra in the United States. Their excellence earned them an invitation to perform at the J. F. Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, the Lincoln Center in New York, City, and most recently to perform an Ambassadorial Concert tour in Salzburg, Gatz, Innsbruck and Vienna Austria.
Dr. Jacob Craig
Piano Concerto in A minor - Edvard Grieg
Dr. Jacob Craig is the Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach. Jacob received his Bachelor of Music Education and Piano Performance degree from Shorter University in Rome, GA before moving on to Tallahassee, FL to receive his M.M. in Choral Conducting and Literature under Dr. Andre Thomas at Florida State University. As of 2019 Jacob completed his Doctorate of Sacred Music in Performance at the Graduate Theological Foundation and Oxford University. As Director of the Vero Beach Choral Society, ACTS Choristers, Sea Oaks Chorus, John’s Island Singers, and Silver Tones community choirs, Jacob is also a competitive highland Bagpipe player and Pipe Major of the Vero Beach Pipes and Drums.
Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major - Joseph Haydn
Joe Loehnis started playing cello at age eight. He attended Lawrence University in Appleton where he studied cello, graduating in 2006 with a degree in Music. Joe played with the Green Bay Symphony Orchestra from 2001-2006. Joe was principal cellist of the Vero Beach Chamber Orchestra from 2010-2011. During Season Five, Joe performed the Haydn Cello Concerto in D major. Joe is also a professional Golfer and is currently the Executive Director of "The First Tee" in Madison, Wisconsin.
Piano Concerto 21, in C Major, KV 467 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Michéle Witt grew up in Wilton, Connecticut and began her piano studies at the age of seven. She attended Washington University in St. Louis, studying with William Schatzkammer and then transferred to Mannes College of Music in Manhattan to study with Olga Stroumillo. After receiving a degree in languages from New York University, she and her husband Michael moved to England, where she ran the US Equities Sales Office for Donaldson Lufkin & Jenrette in London for 20 years. At the same time, she resumed her musical studies with Peter Bithell and gained a Perfomance Diploma from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London. Michele and Michael spend four months a year in Vero Beach.
Flute Concerto #1, mvt. 1 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Eric Willett graduated from Saint Edward’s School in Vero Beach, Florida in 2010. Eric first began performing on the flute at the age of 11. Since his introduction to the flute, Eric has studied with Vera Guimaraes of Vero Beach, Florida. Eric has participated in a number of musical programs including the Florida State University Summer Music Program and the New York Summer Music Festival. In addition, he has performed in master classes with renowned flutists such as Gary Schocker, Brad Garner of the Julliard School, and Walter Auer of the Vienna Philharmonic. In 2006 and 2008, he was recognized as an All-State musician. Eric has been a member of the Vero Beach Chamber Orchestra since its inception.