Teachers show their talents at Advent Lutheran Church’s ‘Melodies & Masterpieces’


The String Ensemble, bottom from left: Jessica Russell, Edgewood Junior/Senior High School; Amy Jevitt, private instructor; Anita Juilianna, Eastern Florida State College. Top: Paul Jackson, Astronaut High School/Madison Middle School; Michelle Fry, Melbourne High School, Betty Jo Couch, Advent Lutheran Church; Michael Sperr, Kennedy Middle School; Dana Beattie, Florida Institute of Technology; and Nancy Jackson, itinerant string consultant.

Photo by William Struth

Some of Brevard County’s most musically talented and artistically gifted teachers will take the stage during Advent Lutheran Church’s “Melodies & Masterpieces” Aug. 23 and 24.

Part of the church’s 2014- 15 concert series, the free musical event and art exhibit features 52 music instructors and 10 art teachers from 31 public and private schools, Eastern Florida State College and private teaching studios, series coordinator and Advent organist Betty Jo Couch said.

“We’re just thrilled,” Couch said of the number of participating teachers. “As I was contacting people and we were developing the program, I just had no idea how many we were actually incorporating until I think it was the end of that first rehearsal day. I looked at the list and I went, ‘Oh my gosh, there are over 50 taking part!’ So it’s really exciting.”

A 2 p.m. recital Aug. 23 at the Suntree church at 7550 N. Wickham Road will feature soloists and small ensembles doing selections from such composers as Schubert and Mahler, Couch said. Larger groups, including a 22-member brass choir and an 11-woman vocal ensemble, will perform such selections as Richard Strauss’ “Feierlicher Einzug” and Randall Stroope’s “Omnia Sol” during two shows at 3 and 6 p.m. Aug. 24.

Instructors’ artwork will be on display at no charge from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Aug. 22 through 27 in the church lobby.

Trombonist Veronica Curran is DeLaura’s band director.

Advent’s concert series came about following the success of a dedication recital for the church’s new A.E. Schlueter pipe organ in January 2013.

“People had to be turned away,” Couch said. “So at that point, we decided with that kind of interest from the community to develop a concert series featuring the organ.”

Couch, an accompanist with the school district who also volunteers, along with her husband, with the music resource teachers at school district administration offices and whose daughter is a music teacher, came up with the idea for a show starring music teachers.

“Teachers are so busy during the school year they don’t have time to perform,” she said. “We have a lot of talented, talented musicians. They’re really great teachers but they’re also really good musicians in their own right.”

Couch said the teachers are eager to perform.

“The teachers are so excited to do this, every single one,” she said. “I mean they’re just really excited to participate and happy that someone is doing this and is organizing something like this for them to be part of, because the community isn’t generally aware of this talent we have in the county.”

Free tickets are available at the church or by calling 321-259-8515, ext. 02260. For more information, go to  adventsuntree.com.