Panama City Orchestra teaches master class to Bay District Schools students

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 9:37 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Panama City Symphony Orchestra held a vocal master class Friday helping young musicians get in tip-top shape.

Fine arts classes aren’t a requirement in Bay District Schools. In fact, the school’s principal gets to choose whether their school will have fine arts or stem programs. The decision is based on the overall needs of the students.

However, some local schools do offer music classes, which is why Friday was an extra special treat for some vocal students who are now taking their tunes to new heights with the help of professionals.

Sergey Bogza is the Music Director for the Panama City Symphony Orchestra. He says performers should always try to overcome fears.

“Hiding away and running away is not the answer. You take a deep breath and get into it,” Bogza said.

The master class was held at Bay and Rutherford High Schools.

” I heard some students today say that they didn’t even know that this town had a symphony, and how wonderful it is for them to now know and be proud that they live in a city that has a symphony,” Bogza said. “That has concerts selling out. That has wonderful artists from all over the world come here and work with the symphony and also take their talents and skills to the schools and to the community.”

Avery Boettcher is an opera singer and was the guest soloist. She led the event highlighting the importance of interactive breathing, posture, and overall vocal health.

“We talked a lot about a breathing exercise in a moment of anxiety and to be able to incorporate that into daily practice is so useful because it’s hard to be a teenager and life is challenging so to be able to take something like that and carry it with you past just a one of choir class discussion with an artist, I think it’s very special.

Bay High School Junior Jermienia Lucky got one-on-one coaching from the professional opera singer. She said she would be working on her breathing technique and projecting her voice.

“It was really good. I was nervous the whole time. I want to be a singer when I get older, so it means a lot,” Lucky said.

Bogza says he is looking forward to making master class lessons a recurring event at local schools.

“The orchestra plays a big part in the community. The orchestra plays a big part in the cultural life and in the musical life of the community,” he said.

Lucky will be performing in the Arts Alive fundraiser on May 6th.