Chamber Musicians have ‘A Heart for Ukraine’  

news release

An hour southwest of Fort Worth, Texas, Dmitry Perevertailenko teaches clarinet at Tarleton University. Earlier this year, the Associate Professor watched in horror as events unfolded in his home country of Ukraine. When fighting became intense near his family’s home in Kharkiv, he brought his parents, sister and niece to live with him in Texas. Now, his family members wish to return to Ukraine and begin their life anew. Sponsored by the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra, a special benefit concert, A Heart for Ukraine will help Dmitry’s family with both current needs and relocation assistance back to Ukraine.

A Heart for Ukraine with Leslie Spotz and Dr. Dmitry Perevertailenko

The chamber concert, featuring Dmitry Perevertailenko on clarinet and prominent international pianist Leslie Spotz, will be held at 7:00 PM on Saturday, September 17 at First Presbyterian Church of Vero Beach, 520 Royal Palm Boulevard, 32960. A Heart for Ukraine will celebrate the rich cultural history of Ukraine, its indomitable spirit, and the generosity of those moved to lessen the suffering of the Ukrainian people. The program will feature the music of Ukranian composers including Verbytsky, Kashyrtsev, and Skoryk, along with popular works from Chopin, Verdi, and Beethoven. Spotz and Perevertailenko have been colleagues at Tarleton University for the better part of a decade, often performing together off and on campus.   A Heart for Ukraine is a free chamber concert. A donation of $25 per attendee is suggested. For more information, call (855) 252-7276.

A long-time friend of pianist Dr. Leslie Spotz, Sara Ann Conkling was touched when she heard about Dmitry’s family. After a little thought, the Titusville resident contacted the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra about the possibility of holding a benefit concert in Florida.

“I knew Aaron had a big heart, and we are very grateful to the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra for their sponsorship of this benefit concert,” said Conkling. “Many Americans have given generously to charities that are on the ground, helping many people in Ukraine. This is a chance to do something more personal.”

Ms. Conkling sums it up simply. “We can’t help every family in Ukraine, but we can help this family.”

For more information about the Space Coast Symphony 2022-23 season or the Symphony for Everyone ticket program, visit or call toll-free (855) 252-7276.

ABOUT Dmitry Perevertailenko —

Dmitry Perevertailenko is Associate Professor of Clarinet at Tarleton State University. He has performed throughout the United States and Europe, including ICA ClarinetFests in Knoxville, Ostend, Orlando, Lawrence, Madrid, and Baton Rouge;  the CMS conference in Vancouver;  and the TMEA conventions in San-Antonio.  He has performed the Copland Clarinet Concerto with both the Kharkiv Municipal Orchestra and the North Texas Symphony. From 2004 to 2007, he was principal clarinetist with the Las Colinas Symphony Orchestra. Dmitry has won multiple competitions including the International Competition for the 50th Anniversary of Israel and the North Texas Concerto Competition.  Prior to his position at TSU, Dr. Perevertailenko was an Adjunct Professor of Clarinet at Sam Houston State University. He also held a Development Associate position with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  Dmitry has obtained B.M. from the Moscow State Conservatoire, M.M. from the Sam Houston State University, and D.M.A. from the University of North Texas.

ABOUT Leslie Spotz —

Leslie Spotz, as Professor of Piano at Tarleton State University, received the 2017 Texas Music Teachers Association “Outstanding Collegiate Teaching Achievement” Award.  As winner of the 2017 TSU College of Liberal and Fine Arts Faculty Excellence in Research and Creative Activities Award, Spotz enjoys an international performing career that spans four continents and four decades, and has included solo performances in Moscow at Tchaikovsky Hall of Moscow University, South Bank Center of London, Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., the famed Academy of Music in Philadelphia, her highly acclaimed tours of Germany, concerts in Italy at the Lorenzo de’Medici Institute, solo recitals in Taiwan and Brazil, and her performance at the inaugural opening of Philadelphia’s magnificent performance venue, the Kimmel Center.  She performed remotely throughout the pandemic of 2020-2021, including MTNA Convention. Recent seasons included solo recitals throughout Texas, Rio de Janeiro and Il Encontro Internacional de Pianistas de Brazil and performances at the Music by Women Festival at Mississippi University for Women. In 2015 she performed solo recitals in New York City’s Tenri Cultural Institute, Indiana Wesleyan University, Dallas Public Library, and chamber music concerts in Dallas, TX, Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene, and Southern University in Baton Rouge, LA.  She returned to New York and the Tenri Cultural Institute for the Leschetizky Association Annual Living Composers Concert May, 2016.  She returned to Italy in June 2013 for performances at the Conservatorio di Milano and the Ambrosianeum Foundation.  Also, in June 2013 she performed in Buenes Aires, Argentina and returned to London in May 2011.   February 2010 included an all-Chopin Bicentennial recital in New York City.  December 2010 she returned to Germany in a solo recital at the Heilig–Kreuz–Kirche in Berlin. Hailed by the prestigious Süddeutsche Zeitung of Munich, Spotz’ Beethoven was described thus: “Stripped of veneer, revealing all the edges and corners, Spotz earnestly confronted Beethoven’s tempi and dynamic indications, leaving mediocrity and shallow beauty behind and bringing out truth.  In all, a concert of the highest critical standard, further proof of the high carat quality of this series.”  Spotz has performed extensively throughout the U.S. from coast to coast.  Concert highlights include her 2007 performance at Tarleton as soloist with the Fort Worth Symphony, performances of twenty Beethoven Sonatas at Rutgers University and her recitals for the Bach Festival of Philadelphia.

Receiving a full scholarship to the Curtis Institute of Music, Spotz studied for five years with the legendary, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, part of the heritage that is only three musicians-students-teachers away from Beethoven.  She completed her doctorate at Rutgers University in 2002.  Her appearances as soloist include the Mozart Society of Philadelphia, South Jersey Symphony, Curtis Symphony, Kinhaven Symphony in Vermont, the Piedmont Chamber Orchestra in North Carolina, the Old York Road Symphony in Abington, PA, and the Clear Lake Symphony in Texas.  March 2013 she was soloist with the University of Texas – San Antonio Symphony.

Spotz has become an advocate for women musicians through her performances, collaborating with flutist Adeline Tomasone on the critically acclaimed CD Fantasias, and women composers are featured on her solo CD, issued by Leonore Records in 1999.  Published recordings also include the three sets of 5 CDs each of solo piano literature, representing the repertoire for 13 graded levels, 2019-2021, 2016-2018 and 2010-2012 for the International Piano Performance Examination Committee (IPPEC) based in Taiwan and Southeast Asia.  She has collaborated with violinists: Maria Bachmann, Joseph Genualdi, and Mark Steinberg; flutist Laurel Zucker; David Wetherill, former co-principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra; Frank Kaderabek, former principal trumpet of the Philadelphia Orchestra; and Joseph Depasquale, who was longtime principal viola of the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Among the notable international singers for whom Spotz has accompanied are sopranos Amanda Squitieri, Julianne Baird, Gwendolyn Bradley and Donna Connolly, and tenors Martin Dillon and Robert Guarino. According to the The Philadelphia Inquirer, “Miss Spotz commands the resonant sound and the elegant gesture… playing of great color, boldness, and suavity… most engaging…”

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.

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. 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 nonprofit 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 by calling toll free (855) 252-7276.

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