Creativity in the Time of Covid–April 10, 2022
Zaine Lodhi Wins Big
Wow! VPA Art alum Zaine Lodhi’s meteoric rise to prominence has surpassed another milestone. He was one of seven artists selected to be honored in Hollywood for the Illustrators of the Future award ceremony. The international contest attracts the best fantasy illustrators in the world.
Zaine’s illustrations for the sci-fi book, “Agatha’s Monsters,” earned him the Golden Brush Award, the top prize of the contest. The award is worth $5,000 and a whole lotta bragging rights. Congratulations to Zaine!
Zaine traveled to Hollywood last week, where he received red-carpet treatment and was celebrated for his outstanding illustrations. Read more about his journey here. To see more of his award-winning artwork, check out his artist website here.
Music Students Witness Grammy-Award Winning Guitarist
The La Musica International Chamber Music Festival is back! With it comes a host of world-class musicians, including Grammy Award-winner classical guitarist Jason Vieaux.
Mr. Thomas Koch’s guitar classes traveled to The Sarasota Opera House on April 8 to observe a rehearsal for Vieaux. It was an opportunity for students to behold mastery of the artform and see where discipline and practice can take a player.
Vieux has an extensive discography and has been celebrated around the world. NPR called him “perhaps the most precise and soulful classical guitarist of his generation.”
VPA Orchestra Student Performs Pre-show for La Musica
VPA Violinist Larah Pereira was selected to perform a pre-show set for the La Musica concert at The Sarasota Opera House on April 6. She will also perform on April 13 for that concert.
Girrrrl Power: VPA Film Alum Selected for SFF Shorts Showing
VPA Film alum Hali Gardella (c/o 2007) created a film that was selected to be screened in the “Female-Led Shorts” event for the Sarasota Film Festival.
Hali’s film, “Sirens of the Swamp,” is a contemporary satire of Homer’s “The Odyssey.” The film follows two sisters living in a ramshackle cabin in The Everglades. Each time their security cameras broadcast images of unsuspecting passersby (think good ol’ boys out for a fishing trip), they stage an elaborate concert. You guessed it: the sounds of their irresistible harmonies lure the travelers. Upon showing up for the “concert,” they are killed and left to be alligator feed. Meanwhile, the sisters empty their cars and pockets of valuables.
The film was one of six from across the state selected for this important screening. The event celebrates the female experience in narrative film.
VPA Jazz Sweep it up at Solo and Ensemble
Congratulations to the VPA Jazz 1 group and FOURcast jazz combo! Both groups earned Superior rankings at the Jazz Solo and Ensemble MPA. Ms. Ellen Saxton directs Jazz 1 (the beginning jazz group), and Mr. Tim Eaton directs FOURcast.
A Superior rating is the highest achievement a performance group can earn, and this year has been more difficult than most. The pandemic presented many challenges for band performance classes–online instruction is nearly impossible, and the aerosols ejected through brass instruments posed dangers. Band programs generally declined in virtuosity. These awards signal enormous effort and a move in the right direction.
Infinite: Music Showcase
April 29-30 | 7 p.m. @ BHS Campus
In our final music showcase of the season, we take to the skies in INFINITE. Featuring music from Lynyrd Skynyrd, John Williams, along with original compositions, arrangements and songs from Booker VPA Music and Staff. our musical selections will create an aura of the air, the sky, and flight, where you will truly feel infinite.
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
May 6-7 | 8 p.m. @ The Sarasota Opera House
Hang on to your tunics! This madcap farcical tale of a slave attempting to win his freedom by helping his master woo the girl next door is a hilarious adventure of epic proportion. Forum is one of Sondheim’s most celebrated and popular musicals, winning several Tony awards and enjoying numerous revivals and screen remakes.
Reel Life: Annual Film & Animation Showcase
May 17 | 7 p.m. @ Burns Court Cinema
The VPA Film & Animation Annual Showcase will entertain and edify with screen stories that shine a light on life as our students see it. They will also offer a glimpse of the day-to-day process students use to bring their art to life. The showcase is a mix of live-action, animated shorts, and documentary work. This screening opportunity is made possible thanks to The Sarasota Film Society.