New Youth Winds & Percussion Ensemble to give first concert

arts & entertainment

An Inaugural Concert featuring the Youth Winds and Percussion Ensemble will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Sunday, December 5, 2021, at 4:00pm. This holiday-themed performance will take place in the sanctuary at 520 Royal Palm Boulevard in Vero Beach. Admission is free to the community; a $10 donation is suggested to benefit all First Presbyterian Church Youth Music Programs.

The Music and Arts Department at First Presbyterian Church has been on an exciting mission to bring quality youth music programs to the Treasure Coast. Following the successful implementation of their award-winning Youth String Orchestra in 2017, this endeavor has resulted in several new performing groups; a Handbell Ensemble, Choir, and a Winds and Percussion Ensemble. The newly-formed Youth Winds and Percussion Ensemble features instrumental musicians from Oslo Middle School, Gifford Middle School, and Vero Beach High School.

The ensemble’s director, Jessica Russell, holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from Ohio State University, where she studied oboe performance with Robert Sorton. She also holds a Master of Music Education degree from Florida State University, with special study in the area of secondary jazz education. Ms. Russell is a member of the Florida Music Educators’ Association and Florida Bandmasters’ Association. She became the Associate Director of Bands at Vero Beach High School in the summer of 2019. Her responsibilities at Vero Beach High School include team teaching the Symphonic Bands, Fighting Indians Marching Band, and Jazz Bands. 

When members of this group are combined with the Youth String Orchestra, they form the first-ever First Presbyterian Church Youth Symphonic Orchestra. This group performs for special concerts and events including the Mass in A Major: A Christmas Celebration, a large-scale collaborative performance featuring several community ensembles. Those performances will be held on Friday, December 17, 2021 at 7:00pm, and Sunday, December 19, 2021, at 4:00pm.      

All three performances are free to the community, and a suggested donation of $10 will be accepted. Those who are fully vaccinated need not wear masks. Per church policy, it is requested that those who are unvaccinated or at risk continue to wear masks and practice social distancing for safety.

For more information, please contact Ginger Lagemann, Music and Arts Administrator, at (772) 562-9088 or

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