Welcome 2018! New Year, New Central Florida Vocal Arts!

Welcome 2018! New Year, New Central Florida Vocal Arts!

2018… that sounds so strange!  As I grow older and now that I’m a new mommy, time seems to pass quicker by the day and I cannot believe we are starting another new year.

I often say that Central Florida Vocal Arts was my first baby and as my “oldest” turned five this past fall, it offered an opportunity to reflect on the successes of the past and dreams for the future.  Some of my closest friendships and fondest memories are from various productions and events we’ve hosted over the past five seasons.  From singing for Michelle Obama and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in 2016, to singing the role of the Mother in Amahl and the Night Visitors with my then student Nicholas Bethencourt in 2012, to our first Summer Institute – The Wicked Wiz of Oz in 2013, so much of my life has revolved around this organization.  And happily so!  Central Florida Vocal Arts has tackled full professional productions, original shows, orchestra collaborations, Fringe Festivals, galas, sing alongs, holiday fundraisers, a cabaret series, youth scholarships, Summer Institutes and so much more. When we were selected for a State of Florida grant, one of the panelists even recognized and applauded the broad diversity of our activities in his grant review.
Like our five year anniversary, a new year also offers the opportunity to examine the direction of Central Florida Vocal Arts.  Last year, we took on Orlando Light Opera as part of our company, which has been both a challenge and a joy!  But with all the different programs we run and events we host, we were left asking ourselves, how do all of these programs further our mission and form a cohesive vision for the future of the organization?  Cue our awesome Artistic Director, Nishaa Carson, Director of Development, Keith Newhouse and Technical Director, Sean Duncan.  Over margaritas (which don’t all good ideas happen over margaritas?), the three pondered this dilemma and from this sprung an exciting renovation if you will of our mission statement and focus.  The three took the mission statements and vision statements I created five years ago and revised and concentrated them to better reflect what we currently do and what we hope to do.  And this was the brilliant result:

Central Florida Vocal Arts is a non-profit music advocacy organization, dedicated to providing the highest quality training to young artists, while also providing performance opportunities to currently emerging artists of all ages. We are creating a continuing life cycle for the vocal arts in Central Florida through a three step model. The first step, Education and Training introduces young artists to the arts. Through our educational initiatives, we develop students’ talent and passion. Our Mainstage Productions provide a transition period for students, ages 8-18, to emerge on the professional stage alongside of local, professional talent. Our life cycle culminates with Orlando Light Opera’s (OLO) Emerging Artist Program. For singers ages 18 and up, OLO’s Emerging Artist Program allows opportunities to cultivate talent in fully staged and orchestrated productions. Whether the final goal is performing locally or dreaming of their big break, through Education, Mentorship, and Performance, Central Florida Vocal Arts is training the young artists of today to re-imagine the future of vocal arts.

Powerful stuff, right?  When I think back to our most successful, celebrated and impactful events / productions, they almost always involve young artists – which makes sense since more than half of our Officers are music educators. Moreover, with three operatic companies in Central Florida, THIS is what sets us apart as the preeminent vocal arts education organization.
So what does this mission mean for our programming going forward?  Firstly, we will expand our youth training intiatives to include both a Winter and Spring Intensive and also  offer year round lessons through the Central Florida Vocal Arts Institute.  Through these programs, students will work with the highest caliber teaching artists in a nurturing and supportive but rigorous environment.
Secondly, all of our professional shows moving forward will be a PG-13 or below rated program so as to encourage our students to attend.  This will help them build an aesthetic appreciation for the arts and provide them with role models for a professional performing career. We will also attempt to include shows in our seasons that call for youth actors.  Finally, we provide a path to professional performance for these students as they mature through Orlando Light Opera productions.
In all we do, we will be training, entertaining, teaching and reaching the hearts of young artists to re-imagine the vocal arts landscape in our community and beyond.  We hope you are as excited as we are about the future of Central Florida Vocal Arts!  Happy New Year to all!
Theresa,
Founder & Chief Executive Director

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