Sunday, December 22, 2013

Koss and Kids Warmed Up the Mall in Wesley Chapel For Christmas

It was a chilly night at the Wiregrass Mall in Wesley Chapel, Florida on December 12th. Several students from the Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute bravely performed on stage in front of a crowd of about 250 spectators who eagerly cheered them on.
Greg Koss and Drummer Eddie Slivka

Many of the spectators were family members who vigorously clapped and whistled after each individual performance. The students showed their versatility when several played more than one instrument during the performance.

The kids ranging from 5 to 15 years old played the guitar, drums, violin, piano, and other instruments while some displayed their vocal skills. The string ensemble included the following students:

  • Tony Rubelo
  • Arianna Rubelo
  • Evan Hernandez
  • Tyler Button
  • Matt Lewendowski
  • Tori Russion
  • Deandre Schatshel
The band Eyes of a Child Band was formed by the students and teachers and is made up of: Troy Button, Tyler Button, Chris Calco, Deandre Schatchel, Nora Cloutier, Robbie Morito, Sylvana Pesola, and Eddie Slivka.

Solo performances were performed by:

  • Evan Thoby - piano
  • Shirly Thoby - piano
  • Karin Warren - Flute
  • Marrissa Mohammed - flute
  • Ascmit Rama - drums
  • Aditi Rama - piano
  • Gus Eberhard - piano
  • Kathrine Larson - vocal
  • Tylor Button - violin
  • Tont Rubelo - guitar/vocal
  • Alex Aponte - guitar
  • Matt Lewendowski - violin
  • Elisa Howell - vocal
  • Jessica Ahmen - piano
  • McKenna Yingling - piano
  • McCabe Yingling - drums
  • Mikayla Santiago - drums
  • Nadya Lopez - piano
  • Mikayla Phillips - vocal

Family members seemed proud as they watched their little ones perform on stage. It was quite remarkable. None of the them appeared to have stage fright. Each were eager to perform as their turn came. Maestro and CEO of the Koss Institute Greg Koss was the chief cheerleader. An inspiration to the kids, he coached and cheered as they performed. One was oblivious to any mistakes made because Koss and the spectators made them feel welcomed and accomplished.

The highlight of the evening was a check from the President of the Tampa Latin West Rotary Club, Luis Aponte to the Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute.
Even though the evening was chilly, the students warmed the hearts of the spectators and their comrades with great music.

Special thanks to Ann Berg and the Community Foundation of Tampa for her continued support and belief in the mission of the Institute. You too can support the Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute by donating your time, money or instruments to the Institute.  Contact the Institute by calling 813.949.6881.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

They Were Jamming In The Rain

It is Thursday, July 18th, Greg Koss and Kids are scheduled to appear on stage at the Wiregrass Mall in Wesley Chapel, Florida at 7:00pm. Suddenly, the skies turned dark, and the rain started falling - pouring. Damper! Most of us would think, this is it - but not the Koss kids. They were eager to get on stage and neither rain, wind, or inclement weather was going to stop them from performing.

I arrived just in time to hear the young, talented Michaela belting out one of her own songs. Michaela is already a recording artist at 16 and has her fan base. Her talent precedes her.

As she sang and played the piano, her proud parents in the audience as well as her many classmates were singing along, chanting, and smiling in approval. It is that type of support and encouragement that allows these kids to succeed and, no one is more passionate about that than Greg Koss. Koss holds class every afternoon without fail. He is determined that by bringing out the talent in the kids under his tutorledge, he can save a generation.

In his acknowledgement and appreciation of the audience as they stood in the rain, Koss told them, "Thanks so much to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay and especially Ann Berg for their continued support. I would like you all you to know that I could not teach these kids without organizations like this providing support."  The Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute depends on financial donations and the professional time of many supporters. Grants, donations and the commitment of professional support is crucial to the survival of the Institute.

Many of the kids performed their own solos while others cheered them on. The kids displayed great camaraderie and admiration for each others talents. This is an attribute that Koss instills in his students. All the students display a high level of confidence and pride in his or her own ability.  It was evident that the parents of the students who were present were overly proud as they watched their kids confidently sing, perform solos, and jam with their colleagues. Take Tylor who is 10years old. He dresses the part and plays the violin like he is enjoying his favorite meal. Other instrumentalists were equally showing their talent.

The band wrapped up their set for the evening with "America The Beautiful" but not before jamming around the stage with "Tequila."
Other kids performing were: Sylvana 12yrs-piano/guitar, Matt  12 yrs - violin,  Tony 14 yrs-guitar/vocals, Johnathan 12 yrs-  guitar, Jennifer 13yrs -guitar/piano, James 16 yrs -piano, Jennifer 13yrs -guitar/piano, Katherine 14yrs-vocal, Dencie 17yrs-vocal, Gus 9yrs-trombone, Arianna11yrs- cello, Dante 12 yrs- trumpet,  Timothy 10 yrs- trumpet, Sidney 17 yrs. -trumpet, Christopher 16 yrs-guitar, and Lannie 17yrs-drums.

Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute became a 501 C-3 organization in 2010  and since then been providing opportunities for youth who want to have music in their lives. The Institute is located at 1922 Oak Grove Blvd, Lutz. If you would like to support the Institute, please contact Greg Koss at telephone number 813.949.6881. You may also email Koss at kmcaigreg@gmail.

Monday, May 27, 2013

The Koss Kids March On

Greg Koss has been a musician almost all his life, but the joy dearest to his heart is teaching young people the gift of music.

Koss and kids
Every afternoon, dozens of kids and their parents file through the door of the studio to learn and practice on a new instrument or learn a new tune. The kids light up as they arrive, excited to begin their new lesson. It is about this time that Greg also come alive with energy. He loves the kids as his own and he and his associates assist the 5 to17 year olds in playing their favorite instruments.

It is enlightening to see the results of months of tutoring. The confidence, the grace and maturity in these young kids is unbelievable. At a recent grand opening of a business in Wesley Chapel, the entertainer on the piano was a Koss kid James Williams.
James Williams
His mom and dad were proudly at his side listening and encouraging him as he played many popular tunes for the audience.A few weeks before, the Koss kids were invited to the WMNF 88.5 FM studios where they had the opportunity to perform live.

The Koss Music Institute  is always proud to showcase the talents of these young musicians who continue to improve week after week. The Koss Music Institute was recently awarded a grant of $7,500 by the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay.

You too can help Greg continue to teach the kids with your financial support. Contact the studio at 813-949-6881 or email Greg at