Palm Coast students enjoy evening of dance theater

Guardine “Gerri” Wright-Gibson left student tickets and tickets for chaperones at Palm Harbor Academy, setting the stage for the performance of “Russian Seasons.” Wright-Gibson initiated the kids to go on a journey, the projectory of exposing them to opera and the dance theater.

The Daytona Beach Symphony Society recently launched the magnificent performance at the Peabody Auditorium.

Wright-Gibson, the first African-American president of the Daytona Beach Symphony Guild, ushers in funds to support the society, and provide for 2,500 school kids to see an annual performance at the Peabody without cost.

Given the experience of attending the mainstream dance theater, the kids were chaperoned by Daytona Times columnist Jeroline D. McCarthy, Dr. Betty Despenza Green, Adrienne Ellison, and Kay Norman (not shown). Choir Director Nathaniel Shropshire III stayed behind to prepare for other events.

Russian exposure
Palm Harbor Academy was a springboard for the school kids, who are choir members, to enjoy “the simplest, ancient Russian folk dances to neo-classical and modern styles of the Russian Seasons Dance Company.”

It was the cultural style of dance emerging from Ireland, Rumania, France, Argentina, and the world-famous Broadway stage among other renditions.

Nikolai Androsov is chief choreographer and the artistic director of 16 glorious dancers. He is one of the initiators, who, in 1991, founded the Russian Seasons Dance Company. And, despite what’s happening today with Russia in the political arena of the world stage, the Russian Seasons Dance Company was phenomenal!

Different cultures
The Rev. Dr. Gillard S. Glover, founder of Palm Harbor Academy, is also pastor of the First Church of Palm Coast. The charter school, an outgrowth of the pastor’s vision, was founded as a center of educational excellence and an alternative educational opportunity.

Students from the academy and Buddy Taylor Middle School geared up for the theater. All of the students are members of the First Church Youth Choir.

“Children are very impressionable and learn best by exposure and doing,” said chaperone Dr. Betty Despenza Green. “Therefore, they need to be exposed to symphony, opera, and all genres of dance and music.”

“It was a cultural experience, giving them exposure to different cultures,” said chaperone Adrienne Ellison, “and a start to developing an appreciation of music.”

The investment of funds for support to the symphony society enabled the kids to experience the mainstream dance theater for the first time.

Fish fry at First Church
Let a “fish fry” be your next destination for dining on March 17, 6 p.m., at the First Church of Palm Coast.

Enjoy two sides, a roll, tilapia or whiting – with or without the bone – and dessert for only $10. Fish sandwiches are available at $5.

First Church, at 91 Old Kings Road North in Palm Coast, can be reached at 386-446-5759.

‘Funraisers’ scheduled by AACHO
Members of the Afro-American Caribbean Heritage Organization (AACHO) are planning scholarship “funraisers,” updating community news, and offering informative speakers at the Meeting Room.

AACHO President Vivian Richardson announced that it’s a regular meeting on March 21, 5 p.m., at the Meeting Room – next door to Realty Exchange in the Island Walk Shopping Center of Palm Coast.

All are invited.

For further details, call 386-446-6935.

‘Motown Madness’ showcases March 25
An “Evening of Motown Madness” will showcase the tenacity of benefitting the George Washington Carver Community Center and sensationalize the Traces of Gold Band on March 25, 6 to 10 p.m., at the George Washington Carver Community Center, 201 Drain Street East, Bunnell.

It will be a mix of music, dancing, and dinner at $50 per person and will benefit the accomplishments of the George Washington Carver Foundation, a 501(c) (3) organization, designated to fundraise for the George Washington Carver Community Center.

“We’ve been quite successful in upgrading and expanding the facility, as well as providing academic, sports and other opportunities for the residents of Bunnell, Palm Coast, and the other surrounding communities,” said educator/mentor Dr. Betty Despenza Green, who’s known to fundraise for educational institutions.

“Last year was a blast. Friends must come prepared to dance and have fun,” she explained. “The foundation is comprised of professionals from the Flagler County School Board, Flagler County Board of Commissioners, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Department, Housing Authority, and community members and business representatives.”

For ticket purchase or other details, contact Cheryl Massaro of the George Washington Carver Community Governance Board. Her phone number is 386-437-7540 ext. 5101 or email

Shows will feature gospel favorites
Evangelist Mary King will take it to the top of her reign and showcase gospel talent.

“Mary’s Love for Gospel” will emanate from Frieda Zamba Recreational Complex, 339 Parkview Drive, located behind the Wadsworth Elementary School in Palm Coast.

Again, you will stand to your feet, swaying to the amazing gospel favorites on April 21 and 22, 5:30 p.m.

In 2007, Evangelist King began garnering my interest in the gospel shows, and the excitement has not let up!

The evangelist’s love for gospel music began as a child and continues to regenerate spectacular showstoppers.

The ticket price is $25 per person. Tickets can be reserved in advance by emailing, texting 386-237-516, or calling 386-445-9717. Tickets are also available to purchase at the door.


As always, remember our prayers for the sick, afflicted and bereaved.

Birthday wishes to Ronald Ambrose, March 16; Devin Price, Patrice Henderson, and Maxine Hicks on her 90th birthday, March 17; Myles Baker, March 18; Reggie Pincham, March 19; Christopher Robinson, March 21; and Mason Sword, Arthur Pete, and Rory Ragoonan, March 22.



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