Where We Serve
After more than a year of Covid travel restrictions, we are excited to welcome back our first overseas group, The Smiling String Orchestra from the Czech Republic. They are scheduled to arrive in Miami on December 1st and will spend two weeks performing around Florida. The orchestra was established in 2013 by Mr. Mikuláš Ježek, (b. 1982), an accomplished international violin and viola player and conductor. He is a graduate of the National Conservatory in Brno and received his Master of Music Degree in chamber music from the Academy of Music in Prague. The orchestra is a part of the ZUS Střezina, a School for the Arts in Hradec Králové, Czech Republic where Mr. Ježek is a teacher. The nucleus of the orchestra is a string quartet made of the lead students in the string department which recently received a special award for the best student chamber group in the national Young Talent Competition (high school category). The orchestra includes middle school and high school students selected from the school’s large string department, ages. The main portion of their repertoire consists of classical music, but the students also love to play film music and various popular tunes. The orchestra participated in the music festival, “Škroupovy Osice“ (named after the author of the Czech National Anthem). They performed in Prague for the members of the Czech Parliament and at the Foerster Music Festival in Libán in June 2018. In 2017 the orchestra published their first CD featuring the film music of the British composer, Rachel Portman, a winner of the Academy Award in the category of Best Musical or Comedy Score (for Emma in 1996) and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Music Composition for Bessie. Ms. Portman was delighted to give the students her personal permission to arrange her music for strings and record it. In 2017, the Czech violin virtuoso, Pavel Šporcl, selected the “Smiling Strings” for his special five-concert tour. In May 2018, the orchestra won the national competition of string orchestras in Olomouc in all age categories (even though their oldest students were only 16). The group was officially crowned “The Best Student String Orchestra in the Czech Republic.” The orchestra first toured in Canada and the USA in December 2019, performing together with a Czech-born American bass-baritone, Michael Šust and his family. The students are very excited about their second U.S. tour around the Sunshine State. For the Northern Europeans, the December Florida weather is like summer at home. TO BOOK A CHRISTMAS CONCERT (Florida, December 2-14, 2021), PLEASE SCROLL DOWN AND EMAIL US YOUR REQUEST. To see a video sample of the "Smiling Strings" please click below:
July 22, 2021
Pastor Michael will be teaching a vocal workshop at Calvary Church in Jupiter, 10180 W Indiantown Rd, Jupiter, FL 33478 from 5 to 7 p.m. In the first hour, he will give a crash course through his publication "The Seven Basic Lessons in the Art of Singing." The second hour will include some practical demonstrations of vocal technique and styles featuring some of his vocal students as well as random (brave) members of the audience who would like to to test their voices. This vocal workshop is free and open to anyone (you don't have to be a church member). Because of the well-known generosity of Calvary Church, dinner will be provided afterwards. To sign up, please email the Worship Pastor, Matthew Schallmo, or call the church during office hours at (561) 747-6367. Hope to see you there - stay for fellowship over a meal afterwards! If you are a high-school student seriously thinking about about college vocal auditions prep, this would be a perfect opportunity to meet pastor Michael and audition for his vocal studio!
July 24th, 2021
The Šusts will participate in a youth worship team workshop at the Calvary Chapel Boca Raton
(1551 W Camino Real, Boca Raton, FL 33486) where Christy Šust currently serves as a worship leader. Pastor Michael will be teaching on God's purposes in worship (John 4:21-38), and together with Colleen they will help Christy to work with the students to sharpen their music skills, taking them through practical steps in preparing a worship song as a team. This 3-hour workshop will start at
1 p.m. with fellowship and food. It is open to all middle school and high school students. If you are interested in participating, please email Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students, this will be a ton of fun and a great learning experience working with experienced leaders!