Venice Symphony 2014-15 Concert Season
Subscriptions for the 2014-15 Concert Season (4 or more concerts) are currently available. Order forms are available HERE or from the box office.
Save 10% on all 7 concerts
Save 5% on orders of 4, 5, or 6 concerts
No facility or per ticket fees
Priority for additional individual concert tickets
Individual tickets are available online on September 1.
Please call (941) 207-8822 for further information.
“A Musical Kaleidoscope”
Friday, Nov 21, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, Nov 22, 2014 – 3:30 and 7:30 PM
Begin the concert season with a variety of music styles and talents, includig a special guest conductor, Imre Pallo, guest vocalists from the Metropolitan Opera and opera choruses sung by Exsultate! Venice’s Chorale.
Friday, Dec. 19, 2014 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, Dec. 20, 2014 – 3:30 PM
Favorite traditional music to inspire your holiday season!
“The Great White Way”
Friday, January 23, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, January 24, 2015 – 3:30 and 7:30 PM
Celebrate the Best of Broadway with this lively and spectacular concert of well-loved show tunes, including selections from Annie, Grease, Carousel, Gypsy and The Music Man.
Friday, February 13, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, February 14, 2015 – 3:30 PM
This captivating and rhythmically powerful concert is a momentous collaboration of our orchestra and Exsultate!, Venice’s Chorale, performing Carl Orff’s cantata inspired by a collection of medieval student poetry.
“Unforgettable” – The Chun Sisters, Soloists
Friday, March 13, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 14, 2015 – 3:30 PM
A rare opportunity to see and hear Angela and Jennifer Chun, two radiant jewels of classical music. They will perform the violin concerto written for them by George Tsontakis that premiered at the Aspen Music Festival.
“Threefold” – Aleron Trio, Soloists
Friday, April 17, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2015 – 3:30 PM
An all-Beethoven concert with a compelling and masterful performance of Beethoven’s Triple Concerto with global appeal.
“Amo Venezia” – I Love Venice
Friday, May 1, 2015 – 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 2, 2015 – 3:30 PM
Commemorate the VPAC’s opening year with popular music, inlcuding the theme from the Godfather, O Sole Mio, Finiculi Finicula, and Come Back to Sorrento.
To Order Tickets
call (941) 207-8822 or
visit our Box Office at 230 S Tamiami Trail, Suite 3-A on Venice Island, Monday thru Friday 12 noon-4 PM (get directions)
Our 2014-15 Venue
Our concert venue for the 2014-15 Season is:
Venice Performing Arts Center | 1 Indian Ave, Venice
$28, $25, $20 All seats are reserved. Wheelchair accessible seating should be requested in advance.
Late Seating Policy
Venice Symphony Orchestra concerts begin promptly at the announced starting time. We recommend arriving 30 minutes prior to the concert start time in order to park and find your seat before the concert begins.
If you are unexpectedly delayed, in deference to our artists and the comfort and listening pleasure of the audience in the hall, late seating will take place during the first appropriate pause in the program, at the discretion of management. Reserved seats are not guaranteed after the performance starts. Latecomers may be seated in the back out of courtesy to the musicians and other patrons.
Certain programs are performed without intermission or without a late seating break before intermission; therefore, no late seating can be offered at those concerts. Patrons who leave the hall before or during a work will not be reseated until after the completion of the work. In fairness to the performers and fellow concertgoers, we ask that you remain in your seat until the concert has concluded.
History of The Venice Symphony
Founded in 1974, The Venice Symphony has become the pride of South Sarasota County by providing cultural enrichment for residents and visitors. The concert season includes classical, pops, and festival concerts performed from November through April and a variety of music education programs. Quality musical performance and educational opportunities that enrich the experiences of the community is the core mission of The Venice Symphony.
The Venice Symphony is funded through ticket sales, private and corporate contributions, grants, Tourist Development Council, Sarasota County Arts Council, Friends of the Symphony, and other philanthropic organizations. Management of orchestra personnel, music programs, the music library, concert production, marketing, and development are handled by dedicated individuals such that the publisher of a local newspaper has praised Venice Symphony as being one of the most exemplary models for efficiency in the arts.
Conductor Kenneth Bowermeister charms audiences with entertaining and informative comments about the compositions and their composers. Under his leadership and with the support of generous patrons, The Venice Symphony provides music for the community that represents the highest quality of musicianship and professionalism.
Maestro Bowermeister joined the Venice Symphony as Conductor/Music Director in 2009.
Maestro Bowermeister is a former conductor of Sarasota Pops, Florida West Coast Youth Symphony, the Florida West Coast Symphonic Strings and College Chamber Orchestra. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Florida West Coast Sympony Orchestra, The Florida Chamber Orchestra and the Festival Orchestra or Oxford, England. In 2002, he directed the Florida All-State Seventh and Eighth Grade Orchestra and has served as conductor for many All-County Honors Orchstras throughout Florida as well as the Florida State University Summer Music Camp Orchestras. 2011/2012 is his third season with Venice Symphony.
Mr. Bowermeister retired as Director of Orchestras at Pine View School for the Gifted in Sarasota at the close of the 1999-2000 school year. During his 30 years at Pine View he developed an award-winning string program which included more than 300 students in five orchestras. The Pine View Chamber Symphony received 16 consecutive years of Superior ratings at the annual Florida Orchestra State Festival.
The recipient of many honors, Mr. Bowermeister was selected as the Teacher of the Year at Pine View School on three occasions, was twice voted Sarasota County Music Educator of the Year, and in 1998 was chosen as the Sarasota County Middle School Teacher of the Year.In 1999, he was presented with the Sarasota County Arts Council Award for Outstanding Educational Leadership in the Arts.
Mr. Bowermeister perfomed for many years as a violinist with the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Assistant-Concertmaster for over 20 years. He is a pupil of the internationally renowned Hungarian violinist Kato Havas and is a well-known teacher of her exciting and revolutionary new approach to string playing. In addition to working with the students of his extensive private studio, Mr. Bowermeister has been the instructor for the Adult String Program of the Florida West Coast Symphony Music Education classes for the past six years.
A graduate of New College, the Honors College of the State of Florida, Mr. Bowermeister is a member the National Music Educators conference, the Florida Music Educators Association, the Florida Orchestra Association and the American String Teachers / National School Orchestra Association.
Mr. Kerr began his career with The Venice Symphony as their Development Director and was named its new Executive Director May 2012.
Doug Kerr is well known in the southwest region of Florida beginning with his leadership of the John & Mable Ringling Museum of Art Foundation during a major expansion era in the 1980’s and 1990’s. In the years since he has been closely involved in helping develop various arts and human services projects in this region grow and thrive, including being among the arts leaders who founded the Sarasota County Arts Council, now known as the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County.
Kerr had a long and successful tenure as Director of Development for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Sarasota County, Doug was part of the leadership team which resulted in Venice completing its 2nd Phase project of the new Robert and Joan Lee Boys & Girls Club in Venice, established in 2000. Doug and his wife Gee Dee have lived in Sarasota County since 1982 and raised their two daughters here.
Contact: [email protected]
Music Personnel Manager
Lorraine comes to The Venice Symphony with an extensive management background. She recently retired from the University of California at San Francisco as Clinical Supervisor of a 28 suite surgical unit.
In addition to managing surgeons and staff for regularly scheduled cases, Lorraine coordinated emergency cases and was a longtime member of the UCSF Liver Transplant Team.
She is also an accomplished cellist and member of our symphony! She has played in many orchestras coast-to-coast including the Florida West Coast Symphony (now the Sarasota Orchestra) as well as the Berkeley Symphony in California (under Maestro Kent Nagano).
Contact: [email protected]
Venice Symphony Board of Directors 2014-2015
President, Board of Directors
Vice-President, Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
“It has been my honor to serve as the Principal Flute with the Venice Symphony since 1999. I’ve seen so much growth and change, but one thing that has always been a joy is the enthusiasm of the Venice audience.”
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Vice President, Board of Directors
“Bringing the vision of The Venice Symphony to life as a gift to the community is an exciting opportunity for the Board, Staff, and Musicians…all for the love of music.”
Secretary, Board of Directors
Pam Johnson is the marketing and communications officer for the City of Venice. “I think it is phenomenal to have a quality orchestra in such a small town as Venice. I am thrilled to think of the new performing arts center opening in 2014. This was the impossible dream of some of the first people I met in Venice and to see it actually happening two decades later is extremely fulfilling.”
George A Carpenter
Treasurer, Board of Directors
“My involvement with the symphony is my contribution to promote and support the future of our community cultural jewel…The Venice Symphony. We are very excited with our move to the new Performing Arts Center this season!”
Board of Directors
“A Venice Symphony concert lifts the spirit.”
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Board of Directors
Janice Zarro Wood
Board of Directors
Musicians & Personnel
Throughout its history, the diversity of the musicians has made The Venice Symphony something special.
The orchestra was founded with volunteer musicians that included an 86 year old French horn player as well as an 8 year old violinist. Today’s symphony is composed of professional musicians ranging from age 18 to 82.
The orchestra is a unique blend of professional musicians, promising students, teachers, “retired” professional musicians, a research chemist, a professional photographer, a physician, and many other diverse talents.
Symphony musicians are graduates of the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, and others. Their music careers have spanned the globe and some have involved the Hartford Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, St. Paul Opera, U.S. Marine Band, and the Curacao Philharmonic Orchestra.
Symphony musicians have come from all over the United States and from Germany, France, Holland, England, Canada, former USSR, and Scotland.
A native of New Orleans, Sean O’Neil began violin studies at the age of five with Doris Ballard Hansen. He also studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Encore School for Strings, where he was a pupil of Robert Lipsett. Mr. O’Neil pursued the Bachelor of Music degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he studied with esteemed violinist Vartan Manoogian and chamber music under the Pro Arte Quartet as a fellowship member of the Strelow graduate string quartet. Upon graduation, he was awarded a full-time position in the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra of New Orleans, where he was a founding member of the Cypress String Quartet and an artist-in-residence at the New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts. During his tenure, he was a featured soloist with the LPO in the world premiere of Jay Weigel’s First Violin Concerto. After his time in New Orleans, Mr. O’Neil moved to Cleveland, OH where he performed with the Cleveland Pops, Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and as assistant concertmaster of both the Akron and Canton Symphonies. In the summers, Mr. O’Neil has taught and performed at the Breckenridge Music Festival, Western Slope Music Festival, and was on the faculty at Point Counterpoint Chamber Music Camp. Currently, he is Artistic Director of the Sarasota Music Academy and during the summer, he is director of orchestras at the Académie Internationale de Musique in Flaine, France. Since 2002, Sean has been a member of the Sarasota Opera, The Florida Orchestra, the Sarasota Orchestra, and this year he will be dividing his time between the Sarasota Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic and other professional musical organizations on the Gulf Coast of Florida. During the 2010-2011 season, he was a featured soloist with the Venice Symphony to critical acclaim with a performance of Mozart’s Fifth Violin Concerto.
Principal 2nd violinist
Donna Smith, originally from Allentown, PA, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a B.F.A in violin performance and a B.A. in music theory and composition with a minor in piano performance. She did graduate work at the University of Michigan in music composition and violin performance. She also earned a Masters degree in Information and Library Studies (M.I.L.S.) from the University of Michigan and a Masters in Management (M.S.M.) from Troy State University. Donna performs in Southwest Florida as a solo violinist and pianist and also performed in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia as part of Varna Tours International. She also performs with Palm Strings, Sun City Chamber Players, and Romanza Strings in addition to serving as Principal 2nd Violinist with The Venice Symphony. She has been a church musician for over 20 years and currently serves as music director for Lakeside Lutheran Church and as music director for Epiphany Cathedral’s Life Teen Mass, both located in Venice. Donna teaches private violin and piano lessons. She serves on the Board of Directors for Venice Symphony and also volunteers as an adoption counselor at St. Francis Animal Rescue in Venice.
“I am so blessed to be able to perform and spend time with the incredible musicians and leadership of this symphony. The talent of this group is amazing and the friendliness and caring of the individuals gives Venice Symphony the feel of family.”
Karen comes from a family of musicians so it is only natural that she began playing violin at seven years of age. She performed as a violinist in Florida All-State orchestra and as a violist with the Florida West Coast Symphony in the early 1980’s. She was a founding member of The Venice Symphony and their principal 2nd violinist for many years.
Karen currently serves as the Venice Symphony’s principal violist, teaches both violin and viola, and is an active chamber music performer.
Ms. Martin started playing with Venice Symphony in 2003, and took over as principal in 2006. She received her BS in music education from the State University of NY at Potsdam, and took lessons with cellist Bruce Rogers of the Beaux Arts String Quartet. Having received a scholarship from the State University of NY at Geneseo, she earned an MS degree in Special Education, and taught children with special needs for 34 years. She played with the Ft Collins Symphony Orchestra in CO for 24 years, including assistant principal cellist for 6 years, as well as acting principal for 1/2 year. She also played with the Cheyenne (WY) Symphony Orchestra for 14 years. During her years living in Colorado, she played with the Greeley Philharmonic, Ft Collins Opera Orchestra, Larimer Chorale Orchestra, Canyon Concert Ballet, Loveland Chamber Orchestra, Loveland Chorale Society, Bellacordia String Quartet, and was a soloist for the Loveland Friends of Chamber Music. Linda also currently plays with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.
“I enjoy being a part of The Venice Symphony because it is a big family that cares for its members.”
Principal Flute, Board of Directors
Gayle Williams, a Florida native born in Orlando, fled her sunny home after high school to study with William Hebert, the famed piccolo of the Cleveland Orchestra. Graduating with a degree in music (and business and German) from Baldwin-Wallace College, a severe case of cold feet led her away from the orchestra audition circuit and into a job at the Cleveland Council on World Affairs. For the next 15 years or so the flute was kept in the closet. When she returned to Florida as the marketing director for the Florida West Coast Symphony (now Sarasota Orchestra) the flute came out again and she found herself playing with the FWCS when needed. When Wes Schumacher offered her a chance to perform as a soloist with The Venice Symphony, she was thrilled. She has played flute in Venice since 1999.
In addition to wielding her flute on stage, Gayle owns Vision Marketing, a Sarasota business specializing in inbound marketing strategies, as well as AnythingArts.com, an online community and E-newsletter about the arts in southwest Florida. And finally, when not busy with all of the above, she attends concerts as a music critic for the Herald Tribune Media Group.
“Creating music together builds a unique bond among musicians. My musician colleagues are like family and I miss them terribly over the summer when we are not performing. We hope the audience feels the same way.”
Leslie Jones started playing with the Venice Symphony over 20 years ago. She is an active orchestral musician in our region and has served as principal oboe in the Sarasota Pops, Anna Maria Island Orchestra, Sarasota Concert Band and many pick-up orchestra for local events. Previously she served and played in the U.S. Marine Band in Quantico, VA, and performed with the Aspen Music Festival Orchestra. She was a student of Patricia Stenberg, former principal oboe of the Florida West Coast Symphony. Leslie holds a B.A. in Music from the University of Central Florida, B.S. in Elementary Education, and an M.S. in Science Education from NOVA University. When not performing, Leslie teaches fourth grade at Stewart Elementary School in Bradenton.
Principal French Horn
In addition to performing extensively in chamber ensembles and as a soloist, French horn player, Robert Moore, has performed with many of the major orchestras in both Germany and France, including tours with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in Europe and the West German Radio Orchestra in Japan. In 1978 he was appointed solo horn with the Orchestra der Beethovenhalle in Bonn, Germany, and from 1988-1998 was solo horn with the Orchestre Philharmonique in Nice, France. Moore received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music from Florida State University School of Music. Currently he performs with the Sarasota Orchestra, the Sarasota Pops, Venice Symphony, and numerous other ensembles in the Southwest Florida area. Moore is also teaching music at Palma Sola Elementary School in Bradenton where he resides with his wife, Martine. They have two children, Laura and Jonathan.
Principal Tuba, Board of Directors
Following graduation from Jordan College of Music, Butler University, Wendall taught public school music in Indiana for 10 years. His teaching career continued in the Chicago suburbs where he served as Director of Bands and Music Department Chair at Glenbard North High School in Glen Ellyn, Illinois for 26 years. He received a Master of Music degree from Western Michigan University and completed advanced studies at the University of Illinois and Vandercook College of Music.
Wendall has been a member of the Venice Symphony and Symphony Brass Quintet since 1999.
I am in my 23rd year with the VSO. I am also beginning my 23rd year with the Sarasota Pops Orchestra, and my 22nd year with the Suncoast Brass Quintet. I am currently head of music studies and administrative ombudsman at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton, teaching music in grades Pre-K through 12.
“I hold the Venice Symphony in the highest regard. The orchestra has maintained an excellent musical standard over the years while retaining a family atmosphere. Its members are warm, caring, articulate people who gather each season to make beautiful music together. I am honored to be a part of the ensemble.”
Conductor, Performer, Business Owner, Education Software Developer, and Teacher, Joe Martinez began his music career in the mid 60’s. Growing up in the heart of Miami, Mr. Martinez built a strong background in Latin music. He continued his studies with Broadway a show trumpeter, Jack Pinto. Mr. Pinto helped to build the musical and show music background that was to be an important part of Mr. Martinez’s career. With his performing career continuing to build in Miami and Miami Beach including appearances with the Miami Symphony, Mr. Martinez moved to Tallahassee to continue his classical trumpet studies with professor of music Bryan Goff at Florida State University.
His Sarasota performing career includes eighteen years with the Sarasota Orchestra, almost thirty years with the Venice Symphony and Sarasota Concert Band as principal trumpet. He continues to perform with the Sarasota Brass Quintet and Venice Brass Quintet.
“I enjoy working with the Venice Symphony because it provides a non-critical environment for musicians who must maintain a second job and still be able to provide top quality performances for the public.”
Principal Percussionist for 20 Years
Jeff has been teaching private lessons and school music camps all over the Eastern half of the U.S. and Canada since 1972. He is considered a Marching Band and Drum and Bugle corps expert since his involvement in the outdoor competitive music activity spans 5 decades and he has won numerous state, national and international championships. Jeff holds a B.S. in Music Management, a double Major program combining Music Performance and Business Management from The College of Saint Rose, Albany, N.Y. He took private lessons in Percussion and Music Theory at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. and currently teaches General Music at Meadow Park Elementary School in Port Charlotte, Fl. to students from K – 5th grade. He has a very large Chorus program. Jeff is a Marching Band Consultant at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda, FL., and he can be found performing at numerous churches, with choral groups, in the orchestras for many theatre groups as well as local bands. (rock, blues, country, jazz etc… ) He has been a member of the Venice Symphony for over 20 years.
“The Venice Symphony is like a large family, with all of the emotions, all the friendships and close relationships you should expect in a family setting.”
Tasha Robinson recently moved to Florida from the Midwest. She is currently Principal Resident Harpist with the Venice, Ocala and South Shore Symphonies. Tasha has performed concertos with local orchestras and is also the principal harpist for the Sun City Chamber Ensemble. Tasha has a varied background as both working with orchestras, choral and chamber ensembles.
Tasha has been a teacher for both the Royal Conservatory Method and was an instructor of harp at the Gulf Coast Youth Harp Festival in 2010. She has created harp ensembles for youth to adult and is recently working with local churches and elementary schools to create harp programs within their musical ensembles and lessons. Tasha is an extremely varied performer, having been a harpist for the Four Points Hotel to cruise lines as well. She will also be offering piano study at her golden harp studio near Venice Florida and can be reached at [email protected]
“I love the Venice Symphony because of the incredible support I receive from both my fellow musicians, the stage hands, administration and conductor. The Venice Symphony is a family of growth and support for me.”