USF College of The Arts Alumni, Faculty, and Staff Top Creative Loafing’s Best of the Bay Awards

Thursday, October 03, 2019

On Wednesday, September 25, Tampa’s alternative weekly newspaper Creative Loafing held its 2019 Best of The Bay Awards at the Mahaffey Theatre in St. Petersburg.

Several USF College of The Arts alumni, faculty, and staff represented USF as winners of the iconic local award. Their recognition marks important personal achievements and shows how the arts enrich the Tampa Bay community as a whole.

2019 Best of the Bay Winners: USF College of The Arts

“Best New Art Collective” – Critics’ Pick
Separate Checks, co-founded by USF art alumnus Adam Mathieu and USF mass communications alumna McKinna Anderson, provides a new outlet for artists to share their work. The collective, comprising many USF School of Art and Art History graduates, hosts an online gallery, a zine, and art exhibitions. USF School of Art and Art History alumni in the collective include Libbi Ponce, McKinna Anderson, Erika Schnur, Kristy Summerson, Anna Dunwoody, and Andres Ramirez. Follow the collective on Instagram @separate.checks

"Best Rebirth And Resurgence" – Critic’s Pick
Chuck Owen, distinguished professor of jazz studies at USF, debuted his new sextet, Resurgence, in August 2019. A departure from his big band The Jazz Surge and starring Owen on keyboards, the ensemble performed at the Mainstage Theatre at Hillsborough Community College in late August. Resurgence is releasing three demos recorded at the new Morrisound Recording studio space in Sulfur Springs, Tampa.

“Best Weird Fruit” – Critics’ Pick
Terroir 007: Digital Juice by Terroir New Music
USF music alumni Tyler Kline and Susanna Hancock, cofounders of the Tampa Bay concert series Terroir New Music, hosted an event last fall with electroacoustic duo Null-State for a night of live electronic music, live coding, and visuals paired with craft beer by Tampa’s Hidden Springs Ale Works. Terroir continues to bring contemporary classical music to new audiences by crafting new experiences with local restaurants and brewers.

“Best Cover Band (Still)” - Critic's Pick
Same Day Delivery Orchestra is an ensemble dedicated to performing arrangements of music by local Tampa Bay artists. USF alumni Melissa Grady (MA music education ’08) and Joe Grady (BS music education ’99) perform on cello and bass, respectively. They are joined by other local artists on violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, and drumset.

“Best Undersung Champion Of Composers’ Dreams” – Critics’ Pick
USF Professor of Percussion Robert McCormick continues to lead the percussion studio as an experienced mentor and advocate of experimental new music. In April, the USF Percussion Ensemble premiered music by composers Allessandro Annunziata (Italy), Eduardo Costa (Spain), and Emily Koh (USA) at the USF Music Concert Hall. Students also recorded as the McCormick Percussion group at the Springs Theatre in Tampa in the presence of the guest composers.

“Best Local Classical Musician” – Reader’s Pick
Cellist, composer, arranger, and music educator Tom Kersey maintains a busy schedule in Tampa Bay. He performs with the pop group Florida Bjorkestra, the Latin fusion ensemble House of Leros, the Celtic band Tarbolton, and KELP, his own band dedicated to his original experimental jazz, classical music, and progressive rock compositions. Kersey holds a bachelors degree in mus

“Best Stage Director” – Reader’s Pick
David Jenkins, PhD serves as the producing artistic director and co-founder of Jobsite Theatre, a Tampa nonprofit theatre in residence at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts. Jenkins’ recent productions as director include Jobsite’s Othello, Edgar & Emily, Hedwig and The Angry Inch, and Dancing at Lughnasa. Jenkins currently works as an instructor at the USF Judy Genshaft Honor’s College. He holds a BA in theatre performance from USF, an MFA in acting from UF, and a PhD in communication from USF.

“Best Local Up-And-Coming Radio Personality” – Reader’s Pick
Adam Bakst is a USF mass communications student who is no stranger to the arts. Bakst serves as Vice President of CAM Club at USF and works as a security and events assistant at the USF Contemporary Art Museum. He is the host and producer of “The Local Hour,” a Bulls Radio show on Tampa’s comedy and music scenes.