After being forced to cancel last year’s event due to the pandemic, UCF Celebrates the Arts returned with gusto April 2–10 to showcase creativity, innovation and collaboration at Dr. Phillips Center in downtown Orlando. The annual event, which started in 2015, brings together UCF musicians, theatre practitioners and visual artists from the UCF campus to the Orlando community in an array of offerings.
This year’s festival featured both in-person and virtual events that provided UCF students a chance to showcase their incredible talent and ingenuity.
A Knight of Dance was held in Dr. Phillips Center’s Walt Disney Theater and featured 17 original dances from genres such as tap, ballet, Pointe, contemporary, lyrical and jazz. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Student production manager and theatre major Emma Carbone works behind the scenes in the audio booth. (Photo by Tony Firriolo) The Flying Horse Big Band, which is under the direction of saxophonist and American jazz musician Jeff Rupert, performs at festivals and concert halls regionally and nationally. (Photo by Hannah Estes ’17) Theatre students Lucas Laguer and Andre Braza during a production of The Grumpiest Boy in the World. UCF’s Theatre for Young Audiences Program launched in 2004 and has become one of the top programs in the country. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Theatre student Karlo Buxo performs during A Knight to Shine: A Musical Theatre Showcase. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Hannah White performed in A Knight of Opera, which featured children’s opera Carmenella followed by scenes from famous operas. (Photo by Tony Firriolo) Theatre student Gerald Kitt (center) defies gravity during A Knight of Dance. (Photo by Tony Firriolo) The virtual “Arts On” event was hosted by Justin Matthew Sargent ’08 and featured fellow theatre alumni Damian Barray ’14, Austin Palmer ’17 and Jerusha Cavazos ’14. Music performance student and member of the UCF Wind Ensemble Justin McKinney plays the tuba. (Photo by Hannah Estes ’17) At Creative Clash, artists from the School of Visual Arts and Design participate in a speed-drawing event to create art on a given theme. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Attendees of Creative Clash vote once the time limit has been reached to help choose a winner. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Theatre student Esmeralda Nazario gives a cabaret-style performance during A Knight to Shine: A Musical Theatre Showcase, which included songs from popular Broadway musicals including Waitress, Chicago, Wicked, West Side Story and more. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) This year’s festival was mostly held outdoors on the lawn in front of downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Lauren Ray and Isaac Borge prepare to take the stage as part of the UCF Symphony Orchestra on the final evening of Celebrates the Arts. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Health sciences student Radjeanny Bouzi warms up her violin ahead of the symphony orchestra performance. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) The audience gives Chung Park’s symphony orchestra a standing ovation following their stunning performance, which nearly was canceled due to inclement weather. But the show must go on, and the concert was instead was moved from outside to the Walt Disney Theatre with no stage lights or sound only an hour before their performance was planned to begin. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) A Knight of Dance showcased the incredible talents of student, alumni and faculty choreographers and dancers. (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) A Knight of Dance (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) A Knight of Dance (Photo by Nick Leyva ’15) Jacob Kight ’15 joined UCF Percussion to perform Inuksuit — a unique experience for both the performers and the audience. The musicians started at the stage and moved to surround the audience for an immersive sound experience. (Photo by Tony Firriolo) The chart-topping Flying Horse Big Band is composed of students in UCF’s jazz studies program. (Photo by Hannah Estes ’17)