Academics

Ensemble Directors

Mark Mannino Marc P. Mannino, jazz/pop guitar, is the director of jazz studies for music at SCF. He conducts SCF'S Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Combo and has expanded the music curriculum to include more offerings in the jazz, rock and pop genre. Mannino is a graduate of the Florida State University School of Music with degrees in both music performance and music education. He earned his educational specialist degree by applying existing music research to a real-life classroom setting, proving that music as a reinforcer has the ability to modify behavior. A lifelong music educator, Mannino has taught kindergarten through post secondary music. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force bands and has performed at major jazz and community festivals in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Memphis, Miami and Toronto, Canada.

Marc Mannino has been the guitarist for many Florida productions of Broadway shows including "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat," "Working," "The Last Five Years," "Altar Boyz," "Jesus Christ, Superstar," "Swing," and "Johnny Guitar." Mannino recently served as the guitarist for Broadway star Idina Menzel at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.

For the last several years, Mannino directed State College of Florida's jazz bands at the University of Central Florida and the University of North Texas Jazz festivals. He also serves as the jazz band liaison for the Florida Community College Activities Association Music Symposium.

Marc Mannino performs locally for many weddings and special events at distinctive venues such as The Ringling Museum, St. Armand's Circle, the Ritz Carlton and Selby Gardens.


Charles TuronCharles Turon, pianist, is coordinator of keyboard studies and serves as piano and music theory professor at SCF. In 2000, he earned a doctorate in piano pedagogy from the University of Oklahoma. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in piano performance from the University of North Texas.

Turon served as president of FSMTA from 2003-2005 and president of the Florida State Music Teachers Foundation from 2005-2007. He currently serves as chairman of the FSMTA College Council. As a member of FSMTA, he initiated the Gray Perry Young Collegiate Competition and instituted a standing committee on health issues of musicians and music students. In 1999, Turon was a panelist for the Symposium on Health Problems in the Arts, sponsored by the University of Florida Center for the Arts and Public Policy. He has presented numerous workshops for teachers at local, state and national conferences.

Since his debut with the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler, Charles Turon has performed extensively as soloist, chamber musician and guest artist throughout southwest Florida. In addition to teaching at SCF, Turon maintains a private piano studio and serves as adjudicator for various local and state festivals and competitions.

 


Robyn Wilkes Robyn Wilkes is the director of instrumental studies. She conducts the wind ensemble and orchestra and teaches classes in music appreciation, music history and music theory. In addition to her responsibilities at SCF, Wilkes is the conductor of the Sarasota Pops Orchestra, former conductor of the Sarasota Orchestra Youth Symphony, conductor of the Advanced Band for the Sarasota Orchestra Music Camp, and performs at area churches on trumpet and percussion. She received her Bachelor of Science in Music Education, Magna Cum Laude, from the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga in 1997 and attended the University of Tennessee, Knoxville as a graduate assistant for the "Pride of the Southland" Marching Band, earning a master's degree in instrumental conducting in 1999. She is currently a doctoral candidate in music education at Boston University with a research emphasis on popular music in secondary education.

Wilkes is a member of the Music Educators National Conference, Florida Music Educators Association, Florida Bandmasters Association, Florida Orchestra Association, Women Band Directors International and the National Band Association. She served as treasurer for the Seventh District of the Georgia Music Educators Association for five years and is currently president of the Women Band Directors International. She has received the Silver Baton Award from that organization and has been recognized by GMEA for her outstanding contributions to music education in 2004 and 2006. In 2007, Wilkes was awarded the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association in recognition of her band's performance at the University of Georgia's annual Janfest event.

Prior to coming to SCF, Wilkes was the band director at Ridgeland High School in Walker County, Georgia where her bands won numerous regional, state and national marching and concert band competitions. During the 2008-2009 school year, she served as instructor of music at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain, Georgia where she conducted the jazz band and chamber orchestra and taught classes in music history, music appreciation and symphonic literature.

Wilkes lives near downtown Bradenton and is active with the Realize Bradenton organization and is on the board of the Bradenton Runners Club. An avid runner, cyclist, kayaker, gardener, and part-time fisherwoman, Wilkes is known to enjoy all the outdoor activities that the great state of Florida has to offer.


Rex WillisRex Willis teaches Classical Guitar, Composition, Music Theory, Music History, Music Appreciation and Guitar Ensemble. He holds bachelor's and master's degrees in music composition from Florida State University and studied with world-renowned guitarists Bruce Holzman, Pepe Romero and Christopher Parkening. While attending FSU he participated in master classes with legendary composer Aaron Copland. He has been on the faculty of the Stetson International Guitar Workshop, Brno International Guitar Festival and taught at New College in Sarasota.

A published composer, Willis' music has been performed all over the world by many of the world's leading guitarists including the renowned virtuoso, Ana Vidovic, on her 2010-2011 world tour. She presented the New York City premiere of one of Willis' compositions, "Serenata del Mar," in March 2011. In June 2010 Vidovic performed this work in Austin, Texas at the Guitar Foundation of America's International Guitar Festival, the most prestigious guitar festival in the world. Willis' original music has been reviewed in the top classical guitar publications, Classical Guitar and Sound Board Magazine, as well as other publications and has been called "accessible...skillful...brilliant...powerful...seductive...an absolute gem of a piece...highly desirable...." Additionally, he has composed the film scores for several award winning independent movies, including two for One Day Films of Tampa. He has composed the score for the musical "¡Ybor!" and written the book, lyrics and music for a new and upcoming musical, "Something for Nothing." Willis has been commissioned to write a new guitar concerto and choral work, both with world premieres in 2012.

As a guitarist, Willis has been a featured performer with the Florida String Quartet (Sarasota Orchestra affiliation), Sarasota Pops, Artist Series of Sarasota, North Port Orchestra, Florida State Music Teachers Association State Convention, Miami International Guitar Festival, Brno International Guitar Festival (Czech), Gloria Musicae (professional chorus), the Gwinnett Philharmonic Association Concert Series (Atlanta), and in 2011 played solo mandolin with the Sarasota Orchestra. Willis also has released three CDs featuring his original classical guitar compositions.

Willis' guitar students frequently take top honors in the Florida Community College Music Symposium and the Florida State Music Teachers Association state-wide competitions. His students have won first place in these competitions on numerous occasions.

The SCF Guitar Ensemble, conducted by Willis, performed for the FSMTA Collegiate Convocation in 2008 at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa. He was commissioned to write a new work for the Convocation and featured Dr. Rene Gonzalez, professor of guitar at the University of Miami. The SCF Guitar Ensemble also has appeared in Guitar Sarasota's acclaimed concert series and the 2010 Florida State Music Teachers Association State Convention as well as many community events.

Willis' music directing and conducting credits include: "¡Ybor!," "The Gondoliers," "Amahl and the Night Visitors," "The Boy Friend," "Into the Woods," "Bye Bye Birdie," the guitar orchestras at The Stetson Guitar Workshop, the Brno International Guitar Festival and the Florida Community Music College Symposium where he was the site coordinator of the guitar ensemble division for two years.

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