MANATEE COUNTY — In Lynn Rasys’ experience, one key to success is never to assume anything.
So as the East County resident forges her way as the new development director for the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast, an independent non-profit that provides stability and financial aid to support a permanent winter residency program for the Perlman Music Program, she will take nothing for granted.
“That’s my mission — to communicate to our community what the program is,” Rasys said. “It’s important that people in our community are aware that the winter residency program is here and there is an education program here in Sarasota and Manatee. We’re reaching out and touching more than 3,000 students in both counties.”
Rasys is wasting no time jumping into her new post. The Perlman Music Program Sarasota Winter Residency runs Dec. 28 through Jan. 8. Internationally acclaimed violinist and conductor Itzhak Perlman and program faculty will teach students ages 12-20 from across the world in the violin, viola, cello, bass and piano during the two-week intensive in Sarasota. Many of the practices and rehearsals will be conducted outdoors at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee campus.
“I’ve attended rehearsals in past years,” Rasys said. “I didn’t know what to expect, and it was unbelievable to see those young students performing. They were incredible.”
Rasys has long been an enthusiast of the arts. With a daughter who studied dance since she was 6 years old, Rasys and her husband, Ed, regularly attended the ballet and symphony.
“It’s definitely a passion of ours,” she said.
Rasys spent five years as the executive director for the Florida Suncoast affiliate of the Susan G. Komen for the Cure, for which she oversaw fundraising, communications and marketing campaigns and even the organization’s grants program.
Although Rasys left the foundation to do marketing and other work for her husband’s company, she never lost her focus on non-profits, volunteering with Girls Inc., and the Life of Riley Foundation, which raises funds for pediatric brain cancer.
“Then, I started to volunteer with Cat Depot,” Rasys said. “I volunteered for a few months and then ended up on staff for a year.”
Through a friend from her days at Komen for the Cure, Rasys learned about a new opportunity with the Perlman Music Program/Suncoast.
“It was just an opportunity I couldn’t pass up,” she said, noting she still plans to volunteer at the Cat Depot. “I was very excited about it. It’s a huge challenge.”
As development director, Rasys will be spending much of the coming year getting to know supporters while also working to develop relationships with businesses and the community, raising awareness about the organization’s offerings and developing a strategic plan for the future.
“It’s a huge opportunity to expand and grow,” Rasys said, noting she plans to speak to clubs and groups and use other avenues to get the word about Perlman out.
As part of those efforts, Rasys said this year’s public performances will include a special Lakewood Ranch night Jan. 6 (see below).
The Perlman Music Program/Suncoast also has an education outreach program that brings in former Perlman Music Program students to perform and teach local orchestra students. This is the second season the curriculum-based program has been offered.
Contact Pam Eubanks at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 28: Works-in-progress student recital, 7 p.m.
Dec. 30: Orchestra rehearsal, 4:30 p.m.; works-in-progress student recital, 7 p.m.
Jan. 2: Chorus rehearsal, 5 p.m.; orchestra rehearsal, 7 p.m.
Jan. 3: Viola masterclass, 11 a.m.; chorus rehearsal, 5 p.m.; orchestra rehearsal, 7 p.m.
Jan. 4: Works-in-progress student recital, 7 p.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota
Jan. 5: Cello masterclass, 11 a.m.; chorus rehearsal, 5 p.m.; orchestra rehearsal, 7 p.m.
Jan. 6: Chorus rehearsal, 5 p.m.; works-in-progress student recital, 7 p.m.
Jan. 7: Chorus rehearsal, 5 p.m.; works-in-progress student recital, 7 p.m.
Jan. 8: Celebration concert, 5 p.m., Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple, Sarasota. Tickets are $35, $55 or $75.
* Tickets required to reserve seating, although not necessary. Reserve or purchase tickets by calling 366-8450, Ext. 1, or visit www.perlmanmusicprogramsuncoast.org.
* Jan. 6 is Lakewood Ranch Night. Residents are invited to a special reception at 6 p.m., in Selby Auditorium, prior to the 7 p.m. student rehearsal at USF’s campus. Reservations required by Dec. 22.
ABOUT THE EVENTS
Orchestra/chorus rehearsals — Audience members can watch as students work under Itzhak Perlman and Patrick Romano.
Masterclasses — Perlman faculty work with students.
Works-in-progress recitals — Students perform music studied in private lessons and chamber music coaching lessons.
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