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Performing Arts Faculty BIO

Oil painter and muralist April Sharpe-Shirk completed her bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Miami.  She has exhibited her own work for over two decades in festivals all over South Florida. Specific accolades include awards in the Painting Category for South Miami, Coconut Grove, Fairchild, and as the selected poster artist for the Cultural Council’s Art in the Park.  In addition to galleries and museums, Sharpe-Shirk’s work has been nationally featured (wine bottles for Justin Vineyards, Paso Robles) and locally utilized (promotional materials for Jazz by the Bay).  In addition to commissioned residential and commercial murals, April has numerous works of art in private collections.  Her large, vibrant wildlife landscapes are favorites with community initiatives like the Flor 500 project and Coconut Grove’s Hope Floats initiative.

Sharpe-Shirk is a Nationally Board Certified Teacher with over twenty years of experience.  She is currently the Academy Leader for the Visual & Performing Arts Magnet Program at Robert Morgan High School (RMEC).  She is a certified for MINT and Advanced Placement (AP) teacher mentoring, with a 95-100% passing rate for her own AP Studio Art teaching career. Sharpe-Shirk was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2002, and Beginning Teacher of the Year in 1998.  She was awarded by DAEA with the Skevy Ralis Art Education High School Education Award of Honor for the 2016-2017 school year.

Angelo Marchese is described by El Nuevo Herald as an “exquisite tenor with great expression and impeccable technical proficiency”.

Most recently, Angelo performed the role of Count Almaviva in Il barbiere di Siviglia with the Barcelona Opera Studio in Spain. He also originated the role of Mario Lanza in the world premiere of Lanza, a biographical musical produced by legendary producer Phil Ramone. He has also performed the roles of Alfred in Die Fledermaus, Camille in The Merry Widow, Gustavo in Los Gavilanes, Leon in Pasatieri’s Signor Deluso and Remendado in Carmen, to name a few.

Marchese’s rich timbre, purity of tone, and versatility make him a natural crossover performer, collaborating with artists such as Broadway singer Dave Clemmons and jazz superstar Arturo Sandoval, among many others. In 2011, he took second place in “Su Majestad, La Voz”, a singing competition segment of the widely popular Univision show, Sabado Gigante. In the United States, he has performed with Toledo Opera, Opera Naples, Opera Company of Brooklyn, Miami Lyric Opera, Gold Coast Opera, Pro Arte Grateli, Regina Opera, Chelsea Opera and Florida Grand Opera.

Alternative Performance Opportunities: How to get started (Click here for more info)
Day: Friday, January 12, 2018
Time: 2:45 PM – 3:45 PM
Venue: Tampa Convention Center

Jessica Amores-Diaz is in her 2nd year as Director of Instrumental Ensembles at Robert Morgan Educational Center. Ms. Amores is proud to be a graduate from Miami Coral Park where she served as Woodwind Captain and Equipment Manager of the Band of Gold. She received her high school degree in the year 2006.

Ms. Amores received her Bachelor in Music degree from the Florida International University with a Major in Music Education and a Minor in Italian Language in 2011. She was the drum major of the FIU Marching Band in its revival year of 2010. Her first teaching position was at Keys Gate Charter School, where she taught 6 & 7th grade beginning band and general music in her first year, and then 7-12 grade band classes in her second year. During her time at Keys Gate, she started a marching band program (including color guard), chartered the school’s first ever chapter of Tri-M Music Honor Society, participated in the school’s first ever FBA District 16 Music Performance Assessment, and helped create the Knights of Gold Band Parent Association. Ms. Amores was offered a Graduate Teaching Assistantship with the Florida International University Marching Band, and had to temporarily resign from the public school system. She is currently finishing her Master’s in Music Education thesis and is hoping to graduate in December 2016.

Ms. Amores has served as Treasurer for the Dade County Music Educator’s Association from 2012-2014. She is also part of the following associations: National Association for Music Education (NAfME), Florida Bandmasters Association (FBA), Florida Music Educators Association (FMEA), Dade County Music Educator’s Association (DCMEA), Sigma Sigma Sigma National Sorority (ΣΣΣ), Sigma Alpha Iota international Music Fraternity for Women (SAI), is an Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi National Honorary Band Fraternity (KKΨ), and is also part of the teacher’s union at Miami Dade County Public Schools (UTD).

Tenor-American and Venezuelan actor John W. Gomez finished his formal art studies at Miami Dade College obtaining his Associate Degree in Arts and opera studies at The Boston Conservatory at Berklee in Boston, Massachusetts, where he earned his Bachelor and Master Degree in Opera Performance. Mr.Gomez is a current DMA (ABD) Doctoral Degree candidate in Opera Performance and Literature minoring in Music Special Education from the Illinois University in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois. He is also pursuing his second Master Degree in Business Administration (Business Technology Informatics and Analytics) at The Florida International University in Miami, Florida. His numerous artistic presentations include various cities across the U.S. and Europe with a mastery of the romantic repertoire which has allowed him the interpretation of main operatic roles in productions such as: Rossini’s The Barber of Seville (Almaviva), Donizetti’s Elisir D’amore (Nemorino), Puccini’s La Boheme(Rodolfo), Verdi’s Rigoletto (Il Duca), Benjamin Britten’s Lysender in A Mid-Summer Night’s Dream, Kaspar in Amahl and The Nigh Visitors, Alfredo in La Traviata, Rinuccio in Gianni Schicchi by Giacomo Puccini, Alfredo in Die Fledermus by Johann Strauss, Don Jose in Carmen by Georges Bizet, Romeo in Gounod’s Romeo et Juliette. His Musical Theater experience include Oklahoma, Westside Story, Anything Goes, Candide, among other great artistic works. Mr. Gomez has worked as well for National and International Television-Radio Broadcasting including Univision, Telemundo, Canal 51, Venevision Internacional, Pangea FM. Mr. Gomez has participated as artist and studied with renowned singers, musicians, and composers such as Metropolitan Opera Italian Tenors Carlo Bergonzi, Marcello Giordani, Opera and Broadway Baritone Nathan Gunn, Grammy Nominated Baritone Sanford Silvan, Jazz Bass Jeff Berlin, William Gomez (Berklee College of Music), Latin Grammy Winner Raul Di Blasio, Broadway Composer Stephen Schwartz, Songwriter Ricky Ian Gordon, among many others. He is also a winner of The Regional National Competition of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City, Mario Lanza Competition, NATS, Arlington Concerto Competition, a recognition achieved with only 25 years old, this has been billed him as a talent of international level and for this reason is continually invited to perform with opera companies such as The Boston Lyric Opera, Opera Boston, Tel-Aviv Opera House in Israel, Tampa Opera House, Teresa Carreno, Fidenza Opera House in Italy, Amore Opera House and other venues such as Boston Symphony Hall, Krannert Art Center, Teatro Chacao, Jordan Hall in Boston, Berklee College of Music, and others. He has also performed on big stages which highlights the Carnegie Hall in New York City, Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. His involvement with the Orchestra Giuseppe Verdi in Busetto, Italy where he won rave reviews from the public. His recent performances include his artistic debut in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, and Chicago successfully presenting a recital in the city of Caracas and the “Misa Criolla” by Ariel Ramirez with The Orfeón San Juan Bautista and Grammy Winner Puerto Rican Group Tepeu. Mr. Gomez is proud to be collaborating with Robert Morgan Educational Center as a Teacher and Director for the program of Drama and Theater Department.

Tiffany Merritt-Brown, a native of Miami, Florida, holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2013, she was awarded a full scholarship to complete her dance degree at UW-Madison after transferring from Miami Dade’s Honors College. Tiffany has presented her work at the UW-Madison Dance H’Doubler and Kloepper concerts, the UW Undergraduate Research Symposium, Linebreaks Festival, the American College Dance Association Conference, informally at the American Dance Festival, the Detroit Dance City Festival, internationally at the WDA-A (World Dance Alliance-Americas Conference) in Puebla, Mexico and at Tanara Public School in Chepo, Panama. Tiffany was described by Isthmus Magazine as “a coolly elegant performer, her choreography reveals keen intelligence and maturity” Recently, Tiffany was selected as the 2016-2017 Leaps and Bounds Guest Artist in Residence at Miami Dade College. Her work “sistas, born out of sorrow” was presented in the Art of Dance Faculty Concert and selected to represent the dance department in the 2017 Southeast American College Dance Association Conference. Tiffany is the recipient of the 2016 Virginia Horne Henry Fund for Women’s Physical Education, the Anna Nassif Award, and the Jin-Wen Yu Award.