SummerFest 2021

Summer virtual and in-person mallet keyboard festival
for middle & high school students!

Modern Marimba’s goals at SummerFest are to provide a safe, brave environment with learning opportunities for our students, especially those who are our primary focus: People of Color, Queer folx, Disabled folx, and Women.

SummerFest is a creative way to build skills, develop friendships, and help students explore their own artistic talents. The skills of listening, empathy, thinking creatively, and working together will help them thrive after their school years are over, and the world needs these skills now more than ever.

Thanks to Modern Marimba’s generous donors and the Equity and Access Grant cycle of the Community Foundation of Sarasota, SummerFest 2021 is free of charge and there is a free shuttle & lunch provided for the In-Person Festival hosted at Sarasota High School.

The Virtual Festival is free & open to the public!

This festival is geared towards middle and high school students wanting to discover more about the world of mallet keyboard percussion music. View the Teaching Artist schedule which includes guided practice sessions, marimba clinics, intro to composition clinics, intro to Thai classical music, jazz vibraphone clinics, and performances of guest artists streamed to the public on Facebook (a Facebook account is not required).

Register for the Free Virtual Festival on Zoom
July 6-9, 2021

The In-Person Festival at Sarasota High School is free for students in Sarasota & Manatee counties!

This festival is structured into two different groups: middle school and high school. This week is open to students with at least one year of experience in music and who want to discover more about the world of mallet keyboard percussion music. The topics include guided practice sessions, marimba clinics, intro to composition and improvisation clinics, art breaks, group projects, music histories of diverse people, and an end-of-week faculty and student concert on Friday at 5:30pm! Materials will be provided to all students, and dinner will be provided on the last day. There is a complimentary shuttle & vegetarian lunch provided for students commuting from Newtown.

Register for the Free In-Person Festival at Sarasota High School
July 13-16, 2021: 12-4pm EDT

2021 Co-Artistic Directors

Tihda Vongkoth (she/her/hers)

Tihda is the founder of Modern Marimba, a 501c3 nonprofit music organization. “I have been working with students in Sarasota County Schools as a contractor for ten (10) years. As a professional musician, I try to balance my artistic experiences performing with the Sarasota Orchestra, The Florida Orchestra, St. Pete Opera, the Key Chorale, and Artis Naples with my commitment to sharing the benefits of music with young people. Obviously, I end up learning and growing so much from my experiences with them, too.” Learn more about Tihda here.

Tihda will be present at all virtual classes July 6-9 and lead the in-person middle school classes from July 13-16.

Steph Davis (they/them/theirs)

Steph was raised in the suburbs of Orlando. Praised for their “communicative” playing and “hauntingly beautiful” compositions, they are an active marimbist, composer, and educator now residing in the homeland of the Massachusett tribal nation. Much of their work is inspired by Black and queer histories and seeks liberation through community building and authentic expression. Learn more about Steph here.

Steph will lead the in-person high school classes from July 13-16.

What other parents, teachers, and students have said about our summer educational programs

Tihda Vongkoth is just an outstanding teacher! Our Advanced Percussionists performed two pieces on marimba and the kids played by themselves without being conducted. I was impressed! So thankful that the kids have the opportunity to learn from world class people in this area!

― David Wing, Director of Bands at Venice High School

Awesome Percussion Camp Concert today! Great job by all of you! Thanks Ms V & Mr. A for a great week!

― Chris Johnson, parent of 7th grade student

You inspire me to play music from my culture.”

― James Koo, Student at Boston Conservatory at Berklee