Our 51st Year

Music Monday
Sarasota Series

Emilio and Cara Colón - cello

Emilio and Cara Colón, both cellists, are the creative force behind the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, an innovative new project that provides high impact cultural and artistic experiences for under-served communities in Puerto Rico and around the Caribbean. Both have performed around the world to critical acclaim and annually travel to Puerto Rico to provide free access to concerts, educational events and television programming for children. Emilio is a professor at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and Cara is Vice President of the American Cello Institute.


Jonathan Godfrey - guitar

Hailed as "invitingly poetic" by the Boston Globe and "a fine young guitarist and composer" by Soundboard Magazine, Jonathan Godfrey's diverse career in classical, jazz, and popular music has made him one of the most in-demand concert artists, session musicians, composers, and arrangers on Florida's Suncoast. A resident of Florida's Suncoast since 2012, his reputation for handling a diversity of fretted-instruments from banjo to mandolin and styles from jazz to country has allowed him to enjoy pursuing a diversity of musical interests. Godfrey currently serves on the faculty of the State College of Florida and Saint Leo University.


NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players - actors

Founded in 1974 by Albert Bergeret, the New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players has performed every G&S operetta to enthusiastic audiences around the country and abroad. Three of their star performers will showcase their talents for the Music Monday program - Laurelyn Watson Chase, Cameron Smith and David Macaluso.


Ann Morrison - award-winning actress

Hand-picked by Stephen Sondheim to appear on Broadway in Merrily We Roll Along, Ann Morrison enjoys a career as actress, writer, teacher and director. She has performed cabaret in major venues across the country and is co-founder of Kaleidoscope, a musical theatre workshop for persons with developmental disabilities, and co-founder/artistic director of SaraSolo Productions in Sarasota, dedicated to the development and presentation of solo performances.


Vijay Venkatesh - piano

Vijay Venkatesh, Indian-American pianist, has been recognized on three continents as a pianist with profound musicianship, sparkling pianism and an innate sense of partnership. An immersive and versatile soloist, Mr. Venkatesh has performed extensively across the United States, Europe and Asia. He has participated in the Sarasota Music Festival, performing the Saint-Saëns Second Piano Concerto to an enthusiastic audience at the Sarasota Opera House. Originally from California, Mr. Venkatesh earned an Artist Diploma at the Colburn School in Los Angeles.


Rachel Halvorson - viola

A native of San Antonio, TX, Rachel Halvorson joined the Sarasota Orchestra as principal violist in 2019. She also plays in the Sarasota String Quartet, a resident chamber ensemble for the orchestra. Rachel has performed with orchestras such as the Cincinnati, Houston, San Antonio, Akron, Syracuse Symphoria and New World symphonies. She is a passionate advocate for contemporary classical music, has performed with EnsembleNewSRQ and is a new faculty member at the Sarasota Music Conservatory.


Matthew Vickers - tenor

Internationally acclaimed tenor Matthew Vickers has been praised for his "brilliant and golden voice" (Die Kleine Zeitung), his "burnished sound and confident acting" (National Post), and hailed "a gutsy performer whose glowing tenor voice has interestingly dark, baritonal undertones" (Opera Now). He has performed in opera houses throughout the United States and first performed with the Sarasota Opera in 2016. He will perform again with the Sarasota Opera in Attila for the 2022 Winter Season.


Mary Jo Heath - Metropolitan Opera Radio Host

Mary Jo Heath just finished her sixth season as Radio Host of the Metropolitan Opera radio broadcasts, hosting both the Saturday matinees heard by almost eight million people worldwide each week and the evening broadcasts on the Met Opera Radio Channel on SiriusXM. She was also seen on the Met's "Live in HD" series of transmissions into movie theatres around the world interviewing artists. In her tenure at the Met, she's been part of 1,400+ broadcasts, more than any broadcaster in Met history.


Stephen Hamilton - organ

Stephen Hamilton, whose name has long been synonymous with "touring concert organist," has earned acclaim as a thoroughly engaging and popular personality and as a distinguished and much sought-after virtuoso for over forty years. Dr. Hamilton is Minister of Music Emeritus at the historic Church of the Holy Trinity (Episcopal) in New York City and has performed concerts throughout Europe and the United States, including recent performances at Notre Dame in Paris, Westminster Abbey and St. Paul's Cathedral in London.


Robyn Bell - conductor

Dr. Robyn L. Bell is the Music Program Manager, Director of Instrumental Studies, and Professor of Music at State College of Florida as well as the conductor and music director of the Pops Orchestra of Bradenton and Sarasota. She founded the highly popular Suncoast Culture Club podcast in 2020.


Thorwald Jørgensen - theremin

Thorwald Jørgensen, a Dutch musician, is known as one of the leading classical theremin players in the world, having established himself as one of the most prominent players of the instrument. Having a busy concert schedule, Thorwald has played to great reviews as a chamber musician, soloist and orchestral thereminist in Europe, both North and South America, Asia, Australia, Canada and Russia. The theremin is an electronic musical instrument controlled without physical contact by the thereminist (performer). It is named after its inventor, Leon Theremin, who patented the device in 1928.


Richard Sherman - flute

Richard Sherman is professor of flute at the Michigan State University College of Music. Active as a soloist, orchestral musician, and recitalist, Sherman is a dynamic performer of outstanding dramatic power. He is principal flute with the Chautauqua (New York) Symphony Orchestra, the International Chamber Orchestra of Puerto Rico, the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, and the Jackson Symphony Orchestra, and former principal flute with the Rochester (New York) Philharmonic Orchestra.