The Opera Club of The Villages encourages all lovers of good music who are residents of The Villages to attend our regular monthly meetings and the special performances scheduled. You do not have to sing or know all about opera - a love of good music is our only requirement. Members as well as visitors are welcome.
The main mission of the Opera Club is to collect donations from members and friends, or from special fund raising events, to fund the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarships, which are awarded to graduating high school seniors from Lake, Marion and Sumter Counties, who are planning to pursue music education in college.
In the past two years we have awarded $60,000 to deserving students.
In addition to checking the Recreation News of The Villages "Daily Sun," you may receive advance notice of upcoming events, as well as news about the club by signing up for email. To get on our mailing list or to change an exisiting email address, please contact Roy Ullrich at email@example.com.
Because we have outgrown the room in which our meetings have taken place for the past several years, we have switched to the Lincoln Theater of the Laurel Manor Recreation Center. Beginning in February 2014, we have held out meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. The exception will be November and December 2014, when Thanksgiving and Christmas fall on the fourth Thursday and alternate arrangements will be made.
Where are they now?
The year was 2008, and the top prize winner of our Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship was a Senior from South Lake High School who played the Alto Saxophone. His name is Ethan Tripp and he used his $7,000 scholarship to attend the University of Florida. Oddly enough, his plan was to major in Criminal Justice with a Music minor.
As part of his scholarship, Ethan was also awarded a trip to Italy to attend master classes and to be steeped in music. Lo and behold, upon his return he decided to switch to a Music major. Now, six years later, Ethan is married, working on his masters degree still at the University of Florida, and he is the Music and Media Producer and a Graduate Assistant of the Digital Worlds Institute at UF.
We had hoped to have Ethan perform at our December 2014 Opera Club meeting, but regrettably he is unable to do so, and here are excerpts from his e-mailed response to President Piscitelli's invitation:
I'm so sorry that I won't be available on the 19th as I will be traveling to the Smoky Mountains with my wife's family for a Christmas vacation as soon as I'm done with Final Exams. Perhaps we can catch up over the phone some time if you wish to relay my current endeavors and future plan to the Opera Club. Again, I'm very sorry that I'm not available to perform. I am still incredibly thankful for the opportunities the Opera Club gave me my first year of college. My trip to Italy played an integral role in shaping my musical future.