Opera Club of The Villages

Our mission is to inspire lifelong interest and encouragement in opera and classical music, and to promote music education for students, including financial support.

Proud sponsor of the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Program

Meet The Opera Club

The Opera Club of The Villages was established to present live musical performances, operas, and concerts to Villagers. Meetings are held the fourth Thursday of each month at Laurel Manor Recreation Center from September through May. In 1997, the Opera Club founded the Harold S. Schwartz Music Scholarship Program to honor the founder of The Villages. The goal was to encourage and support students who plan a career in music by awarding scholarships to applicants in Marion, Lake and Sumter Counties. Over $600,000 in scholarship money has been awarded to 95 students. Our major source of income is our “Three Tenors Plus One” concert scheduled for February 11, 2023 to be presented at The Sharon Performing Arts Center.


During the school year, our Scholarship Committee sends applications to schools in the Tri-County area. Students applying must be seniors with a minimum grade point average of 3.0. They must be planning to major or minor in music education or performance in college. The student must complete the application and submit it with two letters of recommendation. In the past, qualified applicants were invited to audition in April at Laurel Manor. Scholarship auditions are adjudicated by professional judges.


In 2022, 4 Scholarships, valued at up to $12,000, $10,000, $8,000 and $4,000 were awarded. Four Study Grant awards of $1,000 each were also awarded. Listen to the winners HERE....


The Oscar Feliu Award is given annually to a student at The Villages Charter High School who consistently demonstrated outstanding contributions to and participation in the music program. The $3,000 award is in memory of Oscar Feliu, one of the founders of the Opera Club.


The Opera Club of the Villages is a 501(c)(3) Corporation

Mailing address : PO Box 1228, The Villages ,Fl 32158

Learn more by visiting our Support Us page.


Greetings From Our President

We have had a most successful Scholarship program and will be awarding major scholarships to four aspiring musicians from Mt. Dora, Forest High, in Ocala, East Ridge and The Villages Charter high school. Also receiving Encouragement Awards, now called “Study Grants” are students from Lake Minneola, Belleview, Umatilla and Tavares high schools. Marty Taylor, our Scholarship Chair, has coordinated this prestigious competition.

Thank you for all your help through the most enjoyable and productive 25 years, allowing us to assist more than 100 aspiring musicians to reach their goals. We are so proud to see them as band directors, music teachers, musicians, vocalists, opera singers, pianists, college professors and digital music directors. When reaching out to them, they all attribute their success to the encouragement the Harold Schwartz Music Scholarship gave them. What a joy it has been to help these individuals realize their dreams. Through the years, we have awarded $600,000.00. Imagine! Only possible through your generous contributions and support.

Regards,

Gerri Piscitelli, President

Opera Club of the Villages

2022 Harold S. Schwatz Scholarship Winners


1st - Saveyah Smith

$12,000

Virtual School, Mt. Dora - Piano

Sonato in B-flat major-mvmt #1 /Beethoven

2nd - Michael Jagiello

$10,000

Forest HS - Trumpet - Concert piece/Brandt

3rd - Wellarose Jimenez

$7,000

East Ridge HS - Violin - Concerto No 4/Mozart

3rd - Ryan Thurgaland

$7,000

Villages Charter HS - Tenor Sax - Fantaisie/Bedard

Study Grant Winners

Jared Fuentes

$1,000 - In Memory of Rudy Ruckert

Lake Minneola HS - Clarinet

Clarinet Concerto for B-Flat Clarinet/Mozart

Hunter Jones

$1,000 - In Memory of Pat Piscitelli

Tavares HS - Trombone - Misty/Arranged by Garner

Annika Hedrick

$1,000 - In Appreciation to Fernando Varela & Susan Williams Foundation

Home Schooled - Pipe Organ

Prelude and Fague in G Minor/Bach

Michelle Snow

$1,000 - Sponsored by Diana & Joe Alt

Belleview HS - Voice/Soprano - Burn/Miranda

Oscar Feliu Study Grant Winners

TBA