The Ilse Newell Fund for the Performing Arts

A 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization

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Artist Profiles

Classic Concerts

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The Tallahassee Bach Parley

Dec 8, 2019

A Baroque Christmas

The Tallahassee Bach Parley will delight listeners with a program of Baroque era Christmas music, including French Noëls by Michel Corrette and Marc-Antoine Charpentier, the beloved “Christmas Concerto” by Arcangelo Corelli, and a harmonically expressive violin sonata by Georg Muffat.

This holiday concert will be performed on period instruments with a fresh, dynamic sound for today’s audiences. Performers include: Valerie Arsenault, Music Director and violin; Minyoung Cho, violin; Melissa Brewer, viola; Kim Jones, cello; and Charles Brewer, harpsichord.

Photo courtesy of Victor Ramos

Bay Area Choral Society & Lauren Mullinax, Cello

Dec 13 & 15, 2019

Sing We Now of Christmas

Don’t miss this program of classic Christmas music, under the direction of Dana Langford. Performing with the Bay Area Choral Society is guest artist Lauren Mullinax, being featured with our pianist Janis Ramos in a cello/piano duet of “O Come, O Come, Emanuel”.

Vocal soloists include Leslie Wallace-Coon, Diane Peevy, Ed Grimes, and Mike,Giere, “Psallite Hodie”; Carla May, “In the Bleak Midwinter”; Neldys Crespo, “Sweet Little Jesus Boy”; and Tina Czepiel and Tamara Marsh, “Still, Still, Still/The First Noel”. The concert will finish with Frederic Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus”!

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Michelle Tabor/Pianist with Alfonso Lopez on violin

Jan 12, 2020 

Music from Europe and South America

Alfonso Lopez, violin, and Michelle Tabor, piano, have been playing together throughout the southeastern U.S. and Venezuela for 15 years. Lopez is one of the most prominent musicians in Venezuela, where he is concertmaster of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra and has twice been nominated for the Latin Grammy award.

Tabor spent her childhood in Carracas, Venezuela but now resides in Tallahassee. She travels extensively to perform recitals and do presentations and lectures at national and regional meetings of The College Music Society, American Musicological Society and the International Conference on Latin American music.

Their program will feature works of European and South American composers including Arcangelo Corelli, Cesar Franck, Henri Wieniawski, Ernesto Halffter, Manuel Ponce, Ernesto Lecuona, Cruz Felipe Iriarte, and a Merengue composition by Alfonso Lopez Chollett.

Jazz/Pop Concerts at Rio Carrabelle

The FAMU Jazz Quartet

Friday, January 17

They’re one of the leading collegiate jazz ensembles in the country! Enjoy their diversity of music in a performance of Jazz Standards, Blues, and Bebop.




Tocamos Mas

Saturday, January 25

South of the border meets the Forgotten Coast when traditional Latin and Cuban music fills the stage. Tap your toes to favorite Mambo, Merengue, Bolero, and Cha Cha tunes.



FAMU Faculty Valentine Jam

Friday, February 14

This is the way to enjoy Valentine’s Day, in the intimate setting of Rio Carrabelle with a concert of Jazz Standards and Romantic Ballads. Bring your own champagne!




Saturday, February 22


Trumpeter Longineu Parsons joins with an assortment of players to bring an exciting mix of contemporary Blues, Jazz, Funk, and World music.



Leon Anderson Jazz Trio

Thursday, February 27

Leon Anderson, Bill Peterson, piano and Brian Hall, bass are one of the Forgotten Coast’s favorite trios. This will be another jam-packed concert of Jazz, Blues and Bebop played in their unique style.



The Rachel Hillman Band

Friday, March 6

A great way to wrap up the season with music that spans Jazz, Blues, and Current Pop plus the band’s own original music. It’s music that everyone will enjoy!

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Benjamin Sung, Violinist and David Kalhous, Pianist

Jan 26, 2020

Beethoven Sonatas

Pianist David Kalhous and violinist Benjamin Sung will be performing Beethoven’s Sonatos No. 4 and No. 5. The Sonata No. 4, sometimes called the Grand Sonata, was composed in 1796. The Sonata No. 5 was composed between 1796 and 1798, and was dedicated to Anna Margarete von Browne, the wife of one of Beethoven’s patrons, a Russian diplomat stationed in Vienna.

David Kalhous has gained prestige and recognition throughout Europe and the United States for his elegant musicianship and brilliant pianism. His piano repertoire spans three centuries of composers. He began his studies at the Prague Conservatory, and holds a Doctor of Music degree from Northwestern University. He resides in New York City and is an Associate Professor of Piano at Florida State University College of Music.

Benjamin Sung is an Associate Professor of violin at Florida State University and is Faculty Artist and violin coordinator at the Brevard Music Center where he is principal second violin of the orchestra. He has performed with numerous orchestras in locales as diverse as Cuba, Brazil, Seoul, Taiwan, and Canada. He is a past winner of the Starling Award of the Eastman School of Music, and is a recipient of an Aaron Copland Fund Recording Grant.


Aleksandra “ Sasha” Kasman, Pianist

Feb 9, 2019

Music of Franck/Medtner

& Rachmaninoff

Pianist Aleksandra Kasman was recently named the 2019/2020 Young Artist in Residence of NPR’s Performance Today, and is rapidly establishing an international performing career with appearances across the USA, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, France and Japan.

Kasman has taken first prize in numerous piano competitions including Premio Roberto Melini International, NFMC National Collegiate, Wildeman International, American Prize Competition, and the International Competition in Memory of Vladimir Horowitz.

She was born into a musical family from Moscow, made her piano performance debut at the age of thirteen, holds an M.M. degree from Juilliard, and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, Logan Skelton studio. She has appeared as a guest artist at many international festivals, with her most recent tour taking her to eleven venues in Italy where her performances received acclaim and praise from the music press for her technique and expressive playing.

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Mark Daniels & Rob Goodling

Feb 23, 2020 

The Lyric Tenor,
From Street Performer to Stage Star

Daniels and Goodling began their performance collaboration in 2017, and have been playing to sold-out audiences ever since at venues including the Rochester Opera Guild and Rochester Lyric Theatre. Their program includes music from operas, Italian street songs, and Broadway shows.

Mark Daniels is a native of Kennebunk, Maine who made his professional debut in Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon. His early studies were with David Goulet in Portland, Maine and were continued at the Eastman School of Music, where he made his opera debut at the Eastman Opera Theatre. He then went on to perform in Italy in the role of Ferrando in Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte. Great Lakes Productions created a show around Daniels called “A Tenor” which he performed for several years before “The Lyric Tenor” collaboration.

Rob Goodling’s professional career began as a violinist in the Elmira Symphony and Corning Philharmonic orchestras. But the larger part of his career has been as a coach, accompanist, and trainer of vocal musicians. For 28 years his students, the most famous of whom is opera star Renee Fleming, consistently won state and national honors, leading to performance tours in Austria, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Morroco, Spain, and the Czech Republic. He has received many awards for outstanding music educator, was affiliate Professor of Music Education at Eastman School of Music, and is the Music History instructor at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.

Bay Area Choral Society

What better time than spring for a concert of inspiration and reassurance! Conductor Paul Brown will lead this program, with collaborative pianist Jessica Beasley. It features the music of pianist, conductor, and arranger Moses Hogan. A native of New Orleans, Hogan was raised in a family that had a passion for music.

He was an accomplished pianist by the age of 9, enrolled in the Xavier University Junior School of Music when young, and was accepted into the New 

Orleans Center for Creative Arts high school before going onto the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and graduate studies at Juilliard School of Music in New York City.

Hogan’s compositions are recorded on EMI Virgin Records and have been performed by professional choral groups throughout the USA, including the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

Among the pieces being performed are “Battle of Jericho”, “Ezekiel Saw De Wheel”, and “Soon Ah Will Be Done”. Soprano soloist Neldys Crespo will be featured on “Deep River” and “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. This is music that brought people together during times of despair and tragedy and, although it has been more than a year since the hurricane brought despair and tragedy to our community, this is music that will inspire all of us to hope, build, and come together.

March 29, 2020 - Sunday
April 3, 2020 - Friday
Songs of Spirit:
Closing the Divide

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