Young South Florida Students Make Musical Debut at Arsht Center

March 24, 2012 — Coral Gables, FL — One of the youngest groups of musicians to ever perform at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami Dade County filled the lobby with beautiful music on Saturday afternoon, March 24.

Nine children from the University of Miami ‘s MusicTime program played their keyboards as a performance prelude to a family concert by The Cleveland Orchestra and Cuban musicians, Tiempo Libre. Most of the students, just seven or eight-years-old, are some of the youngest musicians to ever perform at the venue in Arsht Center history.

The students, led by UM MusicTime Coordinator and UM Frost School of Music lecturer, Dr. Joy Galliford, played their keyboards in unison. Musical selections included: Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy, Antonín Dvořák’s Largo, and Elton John’s I Just Can’t Wait to be King.

“To have children this young take the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is so impressive,” said Dr. Galliford. “The children have practiced their little hearts out for months. We are so proud of them,” she added.

The prelude performance was part of a family concert and journey of "musical crossings" pairing Tiempo Libre's high-voltage musicians, classically trained at Cuba's premiere conservatories, with The Cleveland Orchestra, one of the world's top orchestras, in a joyful, dance-inducing, hour-long concert for the entire family!

After their performance and the family concert, the UM MusicTime children took part in a special meet and greet with orchestra cellist, David Alan Harrell. “I think it’s just incredible some of them started at two-years-old and they have that foundation.”

“There were a lot of people watching us. I was nervous at first, but it was fun,” said 7-year-old Ethan Amor of Miami Springs, Florida. “I’m happy we did it!” added 7-year-old Victoria Montalvo of Cutler Bay.

The performers, who ranged in age from seven to eight years old, included: Ethan Amor of Miami Springs, Christ’Ella Francis of Kendall, Luis Eduardo González of Key Biscayne, Jasmine K of Miami, Victoria Montalvo of Cutler Bay, Danny and David Oro of Kendall, and Paco Ramirez and Alexandre Yazbek of Miami-Dade County.

UM’s MusicTime program gained statewide recognition, after Dr. Galliford was named the 2010 Florida College Music Educator of the Year at the Florida Music Educators Association Conference in Tampa. The College Music Educators designation is awarded to a college music educator who has served his/her students, community, and profession in an exemplary manner.

About UM MusicTime
UM MusicTime is a program of music learning and enjoyment for children birth through eight years of age. It offers a full and varied music curriculum including singing, listening, ear training, movement, playing instruments, and musical notation. For more information about the UM MusicTime program, please email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or visit

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Ivonne Amor, 305.299.2091, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Joy Galliford, 305-333-4901, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Media wishing a copy of event b-roll or images, should contact Ivonne Amor at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or at 305.299.2091

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UM MusicTime students and director Joy Galliford with Cleveland Orchestra cellist David Alan Harrell, far left, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts