October 5, 2016

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Pops in the Park Benefits VSU Music Scholarships

Don Zentz 

Gabby Ford

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Music Scholarship Alliance will host Pops in the Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 13. General admission tickets are $20 for adults; $15 for students, senior citizens, and military personnel; and free for children ages 12 and under.

Pops in the Park will feature entertaining performances by the Steel Drum Band, The Spotlighters, and faculty and student jazz ensembles, all from VSU, as well as special guests Don Zentz on saxophone and Gabby Ford on vocals. 

Zentz is in his second year at the Douglas Anderson School of the Arts in Jacksonville, Fla., where he serves as director of Jazz Studies and on the instrumental music faculty. He previously served 12 years as director of Fine and Performing Arts at The Bolles School, also in Jacksonville. He has held music professorships at the University of North Florida, Valdosta State University, and Florida Community College at Jacksonville. He graduated from VSU with a Bachelor of Music in 1984 and a Master of Music Education in 1990.

An in-demand player, adjudicator, and clinician in both traditional and jazz idioms, Zentz was a per service saxophonist with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra for over 20 years and works many of the off-Broadway shows that travel into Florida. He has performed in concert with Dave Brubeck, Ray Charles, Dizzy Gillespie, The New York Voices, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Doc Severinsen, The Manhattan Transfer, Diane Schuur, and more.

Gabrielle Ford graduated from VSU with a Bachelor of Arts in music in May 2016. She was a member of The Spotlighters for four years and plans to return to her alma mater in the summer to pursue a master’s degree.

Proceeds from Pops in the Park will benefit scholarships for students studying in the Department of Music at VSU.

Pops in the Park attendees are welcome to bring their outdoor folding chairs, picnic dinners, and blankets and enjoy an evening of musical performances at the Fine Arts Building Amphitheatre. Tables for up to eight can be reserved for $120. Catered meals featuring a selection of sandwiches, dips, chips, and picnic salads by Valdosta State University Catering are also available with advanced reservations.

Call the College of the Arts Outreach Office at (229) 333-2150 to purchase tickets or make a table reservation. Tickets will also be available at the door.

Call (229) 259-5510 no later than 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 6 to book Valdosta State University Catering.

Call (229) 333-5804 for more information.

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