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Performing Art
Dirk Meyer. Courtesy photo.
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Sep. 7, 2011 6 years ago

Scene & Heard

by: Loren Mayo Black Tie Editor

+ Dirk Meyer named associate conductor
The Sarasota Orchestra has announced that Dirk Meyer will assume the role of associate conductor. During the organization’s transition and search period for a new music director, Meyer will focus on the professional orchestra.

Meyer, who joined the orchestra in 2006 as assistant conductor, earned his doctor of musical arts and master’s degree in orchestral conducting from Michigan State University, where he served as assistant conductor of the MSU Opera Theatre. He holds bachelor’s degrees in music and philosophy from Germany’s Folkwang Conservatory.

The orchestra also announced the appointment of two new youth orchestra conductors for its upcoming season. Robert Lambert will lead the Youth Philharmonic, the highest-level ensemble of the five ensembles in the program. Victor Fernandez, who previously led the youth orchestra’s Chamber Strings ensemble, will conduct the Youth Symphony.

Emily Suydam, who conducts the Electa Lee Middle School chamber orchestra, was named new conductor for the Chamber Strings.

Rounding out the faulty for the program will be returning conductors Susan Heinz, Cynthia Wiley and Beverly Boardman.

+ Animation students win Independents’ Film Festival
Ringling College of Art and Design 2011 graduates Avner Geller and Stevie Lewis received the Best Student Animation Award from the Tampa Bay Art and Education Network’s Independents’ Film Festival for their senior thesis film, “Defective Detective.”

According to Lucy Griggs, festival director, the film stood out in the student animation category because of its fast-paced action, attention to detail and good structure.

Last June, Geller and Lewis were also winners in the 38th annual Student Academy Awards competition — they won the bronze medal in the animation category. They were among only 15 students from more than 500 colleges and universities worldwide who were honored as winners.

+ Sarasota Chorus of the Keys seeks vocal men
No prior musical training required. Men of all ages are invited to attend a free vocal workshop sponsored by the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys and taught by Stephen Ditchfield, musical director of the Ditchfield Family Singers. The six-week series takes place at 7 p.m. Tuesday nights from Sept. 13 to Oct. 18, at First Baptist Church, 1661 Main St.

Men who enjoy singing and have an interest in a cappella music will learn easy-to-understand techniques for tuning, sychronization, artistic interpretation and maximizing vocal production. They will also learn showtunes performed by the Sarasota Chorus of the Keys. And an award-winning a cappella quartet will demonstrate four-part harmony.

For information, call 723-8821 or visit

+ Show your talent
Bring your batons, guitars, voices and dancing shoes to the “Sarasota’s Got Talent” competition. Applications and an entry fee of $25 per person or $50 for groups must be received by Sept. 9 at The Center for Musical Theatre at Julie Rohr Academy, 4466 Fruitville Road. Auditions will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17, at the Plymouth Harbor Auditorium, 700 John Ringling Blvd.

Finalists will compete Oct. 1, at Elevation Academy, 582 McIntosh Rd. The first-place winner in each category (age 12 and under; ages 13 to 17; ages 18 and up; and group) wins a $200 cash prize. For applications, visit or call 371-4979.

“You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown”: Charlie Brown, Lucy, Linus, Sally, Schroeder and Snoopy come to life on stage, living through a day of writing a school essay, learning about life and falling in love. The show is based on the comic strip “Peanuts,” by Charles Schulz. It runs Sept. 8 through Sept. 25. Tickets are $10 for students and $16 for adults. Call 488-1115 or visit

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