Monday, August 18, 2014

Koss Music Institute Holds Recital at Alez Haitian Cuisine and Cafe in Tampa

It was another lights, camera, and music and the spotlight was again on the Koss Kids at the Alez Haitian Cuisine & Cafe on East Fletcher Ave in Tampa on a rainy June evening. Never mind the drinks and food being served to a full house of patrons. The lights shone brightly on about 25 of the Koss Institute's students.
Alez Haitian Restaurant

As the ever dedicated and famous Tony Melia sang through dinner, the patrons were anxious to hear  the first act. Tony Melia is a childhood friend of the famed Frankie Vallie of the Four Seasons and has regularly appeared at the Koss Kids' concerts.

It was a pleasure to see the advancement in skills of the kids from just a few months at prior performances. The kids were focused, dedicated and ready for the spotlight. Whatever Koss is teaching his students it's working. Previously, some kids had stage fright and were a bit intimidated by the crowd. This time, they were ready, bold, prepared and relaxed. The Dickenson twins Chloe and McKayla stood out as they clearly enjoyed the stage.
Dickenson Twins
Here is a list of the participating students:
Sylvana Pesolo  - piano/guitar  - Age 13
Sidney Adams  -  trumpet - Age 17
TJ Shegog    -    drums     - Age 17
Tylor Button -  violin - Age 11
John Larsen -  sax - Age  12
Kathrine  Larsen - vocal - Age 14
Elisa Howell  -  vocal - Age   14
Nora Cloutier - flute    adult
McKayla Dickenson - piano/ vocal - Age  6
Chloe Dickenson  - piano/violin - Age 6
DeAndre Satchel - violin - Age 14
Austin Deal - guitar - Age 10
McKenna Yingling  - piano - Age  9
Summer Scott - guitar - Age 10
Gus Eberhard - trombone - Age 11
McKayla Phillips - guitar - Age 13
Reese Anderson - piano - Age 8
Sage Anderson - piano - Age 6
Joe Izzo - guitar - Age 10
Shawn Zupnic - sax - Age 13
Tony Rubelo - guitar/vocal - Age 15
Ariana Rubelo - cello - Age 13
Victoria Russian - violin - Age 12
Jacob Weyandt - drums - Age 15
Max Burton - drums - Age 6

Supporting the efforts of the Koss Institute at this event was Sheri Schwab, founder and member of the board of directors of the Florida Medical Clinic Foundation We thank the Foundation for their generous grant of $7,500.00.

The Koss Institute is happy to appear at one of your fundraisers or business events. A small donation to the Institute is always appreciated.

Koss Kids will be performing at the Pasco Hernando Hispanic Chamber's Business and Career Expo at the Wesley Chapel Toyota Showroom floor on October 17, 2014.

The Koss Kids will again be featured on December 9, 2014 at the Pebble Creek County Club in New Tampa.

Special thanks to the members of the Koss Institute's board of directors (Carla Adams, Nomi Ebb, Tim Stradford, and Andy Stefano), for their dedication and support.

Harland Henry, CEO of SunBiz Showcase Alliance assists with Marketing and Media support. For more information and images from the Koss Institute events, visit our website at

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Koss Kids Hold Another Recital in Tampa

On the evening of February 25th the Alez Haitian Cuisine in Tampa was transformed into a recital venue where several young and aspiring musicians and vocalists from the Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute thrilled the audience.

The Koss Kids, as they are fondly known, are trained at the renowned Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute in Lutz, Florida. The kids are mostly from the Pasco County area and are trained to read, write and play music by Executive Director Greg Koss and several other professional volunteers. The Alez Haitian Cuisine restaurant is located in the Fletcher Regency Plaza could well have been a specialty concert hall that night. To top it off, a buffet of Caribbean cuisine was served as patrons filled the large room. Click this link to see more Koss Kids in action.

Through collaboration with the Rotary, the Community Foundation and the Alez Haitian Cuisine, about 29 of the Institute's students ranging from five to nineteen years old performed for the audience. Students played the guitar, flute, piano, drums, trumpet, saxophone, violin and several other instruments. Others sang renditions of various popular songs including their own written and arranged tunes.

The audience loved it all as each artist performed their act. Although for many, this was their first public performance before a live audience, they demonstrated strong talent and bravery as they sang and played their instruments. All of the students were accompanied by at least one adult family member and they cheered their new found celebrities as they performed on stage.

The Executive Director, Greg Koss was elated. He said, "As I looked into the audience while the kids were performing, I could see how the parents' pride in their children was exploding as they watched their child perform. You could see the bond between parent and child strengthening. Two students, Mckayla and Chloe, two 6 year old twins, who sang the theme to the "Lion King" and also played the piano, enjoyed their experience so much that they just walked right up on stage an hour after they performed and asked if they could do it again! They did and they brought the house down!"  

Koss added, “What a great evening for all to watch and witness the abundance of humanity happening between families and new friendships." He was right. Parents who previously did not know each other were cheering each other’s kids and chatting in between sets.

All in all, it was a great evening and a wonderful occasion. Everyone was pleased with the results. The Alez Haitian Cuisine now has a new act added to its menu. The restaurant is located at 1428 E. Fletcher Ave., Tampa at the corner of 15th Street in the Fletcher Regency Plaza. They serve traditional Haitian dishes inspired by island flavors.

Special thanks to the members of the Rotary, Alez Haitian Cuisine, the volunteer staff and all who contributed to making this program a success. Ann Berg of the Community Foundation has been instrumental in supporting the Institute with new ideas and opportunities. For that, the Executive Director and his volunteer staff have always expressed their gratitude. The parents of all the children must also be commended for their support.
We hope that this will not be the last time that the Koss Kids will perform at the Alez Haitian Cuisine. Apart from being a perfect venue, it also serves as an inspiration to all kids to explore their musical talents.

Greg Koss can be contacted at 813-949-6881. You may email Greg Koss at Like us on Facebook at Koss Music and Cultural Arts Institute.

Contact Harland Henry at for media assistance.