Vero Beach pianist featured during ‘Fan Favorites’

arts & entertainment

Vero Beach pianist, Dr. Jacob Craig will perform works by Debussy, Mozart and Rachmaninoff when the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra presents ‘Fan Favorites, Part III.’

The Space Coast Symphony Orchestra reaches back through 11 performing seasons for the material in Fan Favorites: Part III at 3:00 PM on Sunday, May 23 at the Vero Beach High School Performing Arts Center, 1707 16th Street in Vero Beach, 32960.  The result of hundreds of requests, Fan Favorites is chock full of popular works by Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, Prokofiev, Verdi, Richard Strauss, and more. Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach, Dr. Jacob Craig will join the orchestra to perform three of the most beloved works for piano and orchestra, including Clair de Lune by Debussy, Rondo Alla Turca by Mozart, and “Variation 18” from Rachmaninoff’s single-movement concertante, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini. The advanced level students of the Space Coast Symphony Youth Orchestra will join the adult musicians on stage for the second half of the program, with featured performances by the grand champion winners of the orchestra’s last two youth concerto competitions. $30 advance tickets for adults are available through the orchestra website at SpaceCoastSymphony.org or at the beachside and mainland branches of Marine Bank & Trust. Tickets at the door are $35.  Online ticketing is encouraged, for optimum social distancing and capacity planning. The symphony’s Covid-19 safety measures will be in place for the indoor concert, with limited and spaced seating and mandatory mask-wearing for the duration of the event. The audience is asked not to arrive more than 30 minutes prior to show time.  Fan Favorites: Part III is free for those aged 18 and under or with a student ID. For more information, call toll free to 855-252-7276 or visit SpaceCoastSymphony.org. 

Space Coast Symphony Orchestra Conductor and Artistic Director, Aaron T. Collins knows Fan Favorites: Part III will only touch the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The concert material is selected from hundreds of audience suggestions and also will showcase the extremely popular Vero Beach pianist, Dr. Jacob Craig.

“We’ve tried hard to satisfy as many requests as possible with this really diverse program of great music,” said Collins. The wonderful pianist Jacob Craig from Vero Beach will play some of the most requested classical favorites. And we are beyond proud to share the stage with the extremely talented young musicians from our own Space Coast Symphony Youth Orchestra.”

During the Covid-19 pandemic, the symphony’s board of directors has chosen a slate of safety protocols consistent with other performing groups in Central Florida. The SCSO Covid-19 policy is available here: https://spacecoastsymphony.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/SCSO-Covid-Policy.pdf

Concertgoers aged 18 and under or with a college ID are admitted free to every SCSO concert. For more information about the Space Coast Symphony’s 2020-21 Season and to view Covid-19 protocols for each performance, please visit SpaceCoastSymphony.org or call toll-free (855) 252-7276.

ABOUT DR. JACOB CRAIG, PIANIST — Dr. Jacob Craig is the current Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach, Florida. Jacob moved to Vero Beach in 2012 and continues to delight churchgoers and crowds alike with his virtuosic skill on piano and organ. He is particularly talented at jazz piano, which he frequently performs during services.  Dean Andrew Galuska of the Treasure Coast Chapter of the American Guild of Organists, said of Craig, “Jacob Craig is an enthusiastic and multi-talented young musician who has not only revitalized the performance of sacred music in his own church, but has also had an exciting impact on music in our community at large. His success at working with and encouraging young musicians is unparalleled.”  As a result of his work with local youth, Craig was the most recent recipient of the Indian River County Cultural Council’s Laurel Award for Excellence in Education.  As the Director of Music and Arts at First Presbyterian, Jacob directs the Chancel Choir, Handbell Ensemble, Youth String Orchestra, Youth Choir, and more. In the community, Dr. Craig directs the Silver Tones, a seniors-only community choir sponsored by the Senior Resource Association, the ACTS Choir based out of Indian River Estates, the Sea Oaks Chorus, as well as the John’s Island Singers.  Jacob also maintains an active performing career and enthusiastically supports other local nonprofit organizations such as the Vero Vino Festival, Vero Beach Chamber Orchestra, Treasure Coast Wind Ensemble, Space Coast Symphony, and Treasure Coast Youth Orchestra.  Dr. Craig is also on the board of the Indian River Symphonic Association.

In addition to his skill at the keyboard, Jacob is a professional level bagpiper and the previous Pipe Major/founder of the Vero Beach Pipes and Drums.  Jacob received his Bachelor of Music Education and Piano Performance degree from Shorter University in Rome, GA before moving on to Tallahassee, FL to receive his M.M. in Choral Conducting and Literature under Dr. Andre Thomas at Florida State University. He received his Doctorate in Sacred Music from the Graduate Theological Foundation, a partner of Oxford University in England. As part of his post-doctorate study, he attended a summer sabbatical on-site at Oxford University in 2019, which resulted in a culminate and conferred degree.  In addition to his musical and artistic endeavors, Dr. Craig also trains regularly as a boxer, and is currently studying for his private pilot’s license.

ABOUT THE SPACE COAST SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA— The SCSO is a lively and passionate Central Florida orchestra comprised of professional musicians, music educators and mentored amateurs of exceptional ability.  The Orchestra was formed by Conductor and Artistic Director Aaron T. Collins with a two-fold mission: to provide mentoring and performance opportunities for Florida’s finest young musicians as well as to provide professional concerts at genuinely affordable prices.  The ultimate goal of the organization is to help ensure the symphonic tradition for the enjoyment of future generations.

37-year old Aaron T. Collins is garnering recognition for his achievements.  LEAD Brevard named the ambitious Collins one of their “4 under 40” Young Professionals, the youngest-ever recipient of the honor.  Space Coast Business magazine listed him as one of Brevard’s “100 Most Admired Businesspeople.” Collins is a past recipient of the Richard A. Stark Award for cultural leadership from the Cultural Council of Indian River County.  Through his personal involvement with more than a dozen performing arts groups, pioneering reciprocal ad program and social media cross promotions, Collins has gained a reputation for generosity; championing other arts organizations throughout Central Florida for the cultural enrichment of the community. 

School-aged children 18 years and under are admitted free of charge, as are college students with a valid ID.  In keeping with their mission, the symphony provides a unique Symphony for Everyone ticketing program, a “pay-what-you-can” option designed to provide substantially discounted admission to any Space Coast Symphony concert (PLEASE NOTE: availability may vary during Covid pandemic). Relying on a non-traditional orchestra model and a slim budget, the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra is one of only 19 U.S. orchestras to perform year-round. In addition to maintaining the Space Coast Symphony JAZZ Orchestra and Space Coast Symphony Wind Orchestra, the non-profit organization also has a youth orchestra and provides numerous separate and free ensemble performances. More information about the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra’s upcoming concerts, ticket sales, venues, directions and sponsorship opportunities is available at SpaceCoastSymphony.org by calling toll free (855) 252-7276.

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