Cheers to the hard work and dedication of the Tarpon Springs Outdoor Performance Ensemble!

These students had to overcome a lot of struggles and obstacles to get the opportunity to play at Bands of America Grand Nationals this year – where Tarpon Springs competed against 108 other bands from around the U.S. and earned awards as Class 2A Champions and 5th place overall.

Bands of America was founded in 1975 and is now part of the one of the largest and most influential national music education organizations – Music for All.

Bands of America events are recognized as the pinnacle of programs for high school instrumental music nationwide. Find out more at

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Art students at Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School were honored at Carnegie Hall on June 7. Christopher Velez was one of only 8 in the nation awarded a Gold Medal for his art portfolio and a $1000 scholarship.

The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are the nation’s longest-running and most prestigious recognition program for creative teens in grades 7-12.

Lakewood High School Jazz Ensemble was invited to participate in the 2018 New York City Jazz Festival, where the band performed at the Apollo Theatre.

The band previously won the Crescent City Musical Festival in New Orleans and have produced their first CD. The Jazz Ensemble performs frequently in Pinellas County.

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We’re proud of each and every student who’s practicing and growing as an artist in Pinellas County.

You can find out more and help us advocate for arts education here.

ACE Pinellas Committee

Lisa Lehmann (Chair)
PCS, Arts Integration Specialist
Ajori Spencer
PCS, PreK-12 Performing Arts Specialist
Jonathan Ogle
PCS, Pre-K-12 Visual Arts Specialist
Meghan Alfaro
PCS, Performing Arts Staff Developer
Karen Haraminac
PCS, Pinellas County Arts Education Association ~ President
Amber Turcott
PCS, Pinellas County Music Education Association ~ President
Jeanne Reynolds
Florida Music Education Association, Government Relations PCS, PreK-12 Performing Arts Specialist, Retired
Sue Castleman
League of Women Voters PCS, PreK-12 Visual Arts Specialist, Retired
Linda Lerner
Retired PCS School Board Member
Steve Beatty
Crosslin Technologies, Chief Executive Officer
Kimberly G. Jackson, esq.
Institute for Strategic Policy Solution, Executive Director (ISPS at SPC) Community and Parent Advocate
Maria Cantonis
Clearwater Arts Alliance, Board of Directors
Susan Bezter
The Florida Orchestra, Development Committee Chair
Michelle Painter
Florida Orchestra, Education and Community Engagement Director
Maria Athanasulis
Retired PCS Music Educator
Karen Dietz
Imagine Museum, Guest Services
Peter Tush
The Dalí Museum, Senior Curator
Sumaya Ayad
The Dalí Museum, School Programs Manager
Julie Henry-Matus
The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art, Director of Education and Public Programs
Nate Hettinger
The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay, Executive Director
Terry Marks
St. Petersburg Arts Alliance, Chief Executive Officer
Kimberlynn Martin
Director of Education and Engagement, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

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