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.
If you would like to make a contribution toward our Scholarship Fund, a remittance form is attached here.
In the past two years we have awarded $72,000 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 Lou Sasmor at firstname.lastname@example.org or 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. Since February 2014, we have held out meetings on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:00 p.m. The exceptions were November and December 2014, when Thanksgiving and Christmas fell on the fourth Thursday and alternate arrangements had to be made.
Meeting dates for the 2015-16 season beginning in the Fall are presently scheduled to be held on September 24th and October 22nd. However, because of Thanksgiving, the November meeting will be held on Thursday, November 19 at Eisenhower Recreation Center, and the December gathering will be on Friday, December 18th at the usual place.
"Showcase of Winners" Big Success
On Thursday, April 23rd, 2015, the Lincoln Theatre at the Laurel Manor Recreation Center was filled with the sound of music, as the winners of the 2015 Harold S. Schwartz Scholarships performed for the members of the Opera Club.
Leading off was Hannah Warner of The Villages Charter High School, who was the winner of the first annual Joanne Wimmer Encouragement Award in the amount of $1,000. This special award was donated by Bruce Felson in memory of his late wife. Hannah is a percussionist, and was a triple threat on this occasion in that she played selections on the marimba, snare drum, and the vibraphone.
Next up was Daniel Smith from Leesburg High School. Dan was the recipient of a $6,000 Harold S. Schwartz Scholarship. His instrument is the alto saxophone on which he performed expertly.
Our next performer was Victoria Wells who is graduating from Liberty Christian Academy in Ocala. Her virtuoso performance on the piano earned her a $10,000 Harold S. Schwartz Scholarship
Alexander Arbeiter is a senior at Lake Weir High School. He performed on the trombone and his Harold S. Schwartz Scholarship amounts to $8,000 which will be applied to his further education at Florida State University.
The photo on the right shows Alex accepting his award from Scholarship Chairperson Mary Boczkowswki.
To round out the evening, our top Harold S. Schwartz Scholarship winner, Harrison Ronald from Mount Dora High School, gave a stellar piano performance, using different genres including classical and jazz. His $12,000 Scholarship will be applied to his enrollment at Florida State University. The photo at right pictures him with Scholarship Chair Mary Boczkowski and Assistant Scholarship Chair Maggie Dick.
Our proud 2015 Harold S. Schwartz Scholarship winners: Harrison Ronald, Victoria Wells, Alexander Arbeiter, Daniel Smith, and Hannah Warner.
The Opera Club of The Villages would like to thank its members and friends for their generous donations, without which the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarships would not exist. We also thank the developer for generously donating the net receipts from the annual "Three Tenors Plus One" concerts, as well as all the Villagers and other supporters for attending not only this, but our other fundraising events. THANK YOU, THANK YOU!