Seventeen years of building dreams will be celebrated March 7 at the Heritage Center as friends of the Gifford Youth Orchestra gather for their “Crystal Gazing” gala. The event will run from 7-9 p.m. and will feature performances by student soloists. Hollywood director Xaque Gruber will emcee.
“The dream we’ve been working toward has been to put our children in the mainstream of cultural life in Vero Beach,” says GYO Program Director Iva Powell. “And that has begun to happen. Now we’re looking forward to our next phase, finding a permanent home for our students and teachers. That’s what ‘Crystal Gazing’ is all about.”
The Gifford Youth Orchestra started in 2003 with 15 beginners. Today its student body is 61 string and piano students, with a waiting list. Its advanced students excel in the county’s middle and high school orchestras, and its graduates include a Broadway musical star among the teachers, nurses and others who have grown into adulthood.
“Our founder, Dr. Crystal Bujol, had little more than an idea at first,” remembers Powell. She went out and recruited students she found shopping with their parents. Before they knew it, they were sitting in a group with violins tucked under their chins.”
The March 7 event will honor Dr. Bujol for her leadership and commitment to the children of the Gifford Youth Orchestra. A community leader, she is the 2009 Cultural Council Laurel Award winner and has been nominated as the Junior League’s Woman of the Year. State Farm gave her its “Good Neighbor Award” And the Gifford Progressive Civic League its Special Services Award. She has also received the Book of Golden Deeds from the Exchange Club of Vero Beach .
Tickets to the “Crystal Gazing” event are $50 and may be purchased online at gyotigers.org. The Heritage Center is located at 2140 14th Ave. in Vero Beach.