Creativity in the Time of Covid–Dec. 5, 2021

Wow, Winter Wonderland!

The VPA’s season showcase, Winter Wonderland! delivered gifts aplenty to the patrons who witnessed the spectacular concert.

Hosted at the beautiful First Presbyterian Church near Payne Park, the concert featured a variety of works played in a number of styles, from orchestral to choral. Highlights included a frightening, macabre wind ensemble number about Krampus, the anti-Santa, a jazz number featuring mesmerizing dance performed by Yoshi Wilson and Giovanna Ihrig, and an orchestral performance of Vivaldi’s “Winter” featuring the dizzyingly impressive Danae Tran in solo.

Choral numbers ranged from “Carol of the Bells” to less familiar holiday treasures from around the world, all performed with gorgeous harmonies. Piano solos and duets were also highlights.

Support the Annual SMH Toy Drive

The VPA is participating in the annual Sarasota Memorial Hospital Toy Drive, which aims to provide toys for children in the hospital’s 32-bed pediatric unit. The Toy Drive was started by VPA mom Kelly Siciliano as a way of offering some light to families dealing with frightening pediatric diagnoses.

Siciliano has two VPA daughters: Hannah Marsh, who graduated in 2021, and current senior Bridget Marsh.

Siciliano’s daughter Hannah was diagnosed at the age of 5 with Hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH), a rare, life-threatening disease. Hannah, now 19, attends The University of Cincinnati, where she studies Health Sciences. Here’s Hannah’s story.

Please consider donating a toy to a child coping with a diagnosis. For these children, the receipt of a toy can alleviate stress, cause distractions from the persistent medical care, and create a pocket of joy at a time that feels bleak. The holiday drive ends on Dec. 15. You can drop off a toy in the box outside Ms. Abrahamson’s office, or call the school at (941) 355-2967, ext. 65244, for more information.

Please deliver new, unwrapped toys, games, and crafts. No stuffed animals, please. Help make a difference this holiday season by supporting the Sarasota Memorial Hospital Annual Toy Drive.

Upcoming Events!

Be sure to reserve seats for these incredible events!

Dec. 9-11 | 7 p.m. @ The Municipal Auditorium: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

The beloved musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice is sure to lift spirits. With a focus on family and togetherness, it’s a great treat for the entire family. 7 p.m. Dec. 9-11 at the Municipal Auditorium, 801 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota.

Dec. 17 | 5:30 p.m. @ Booker High: The Hermitage Presents “The Edge of Music”

The first in a series of events in partnership with The Hermitage Artist Retreat, renowned bassist Luke Stewart will perform at 5:30 on Dec. 17 at the Courtyard at BHS. The free concert will feature solo performance, storytelling, and a jam session featuring Booker band students.

Dec. 20 | 7 p.m. @ Booker High School: Rockin’ on Top of the World

A contemporary holiday concert sure to bring patrons joy, “Rockin’ on Top of the World” features VPA’s modern bands Category 5, Zephyr, and Cyclone.

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