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Grammy-nominated Seraphic Fire begins student composer-in-resident program


Voice of Experience

Seraphic Fire’s mission: High-quality performances with cultural significance.

Miami vocal ensemble Seraphic Fire, nominated for two Grammy awards, last year began a student composer-in-residence program with a graduate composition student from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music. In the program, a Frost student looking to gain experience writing vocal music spends time at the group’s rehearsals, then composes a piece for the group.

The student receives feedback along the way from Seraphic Fire members. The choral group then performs the student’s composition at one of its concerts.

Meanwhile, Seraphic Fire will debut a new composition it commissioned from Miami composer and guitarist Alvaro Bermudez. “Danzas del Silencio” will combine Bach’s orchestral structure with Colombian dance rhythms, performed by a guitar and the ensemble’s 13 voices. Seraphic Fire will debut the piece at the international gathering of choruses, the Chorus America Conference, in Miami Beach.

“We (often) pair new works of music with older works,” says Seraphic Fire Executive Director Rhett del Campo. “There’s a thread that connects the music, the new to the old.” That, he adds, makes it easier for an audience to accept and enjoy a new work.


  • Face-recognition company Kairos closed a $4-million investment, bringing its total funding to $17 million. The company also promoted Melissa Doval, who had been its interim CEO for six months, to CEO; Doval was Kairos’ CFO before taking on the interim role.
  • Accelerator program Google Launchpad Start held its first U.S. program outside of San Francisco in Miami, in partnership with venture fund/incubator/accelerator VentureCity.
  • Paris-based cyber-security and cloud technology distributor Exclusive Networks opened its U.S. sales headquarters and second U.S. location in Miami-Dade County in April.


  • Beginning this summer, Miami Dade College will become the first institution in the Southeastern U.S. to offer certificate training for Tesla service technicians. In its partnership with the school, the electric vehicle maker will provide vehicles, equipment, instructor, tools and curriculum for an intensive 12-week program. Students — the first class will accept up to 12 — are paid a stipend equivalent to $9.46 per hour. Only six colleges offer the program currently.


  • A University of Illinois report named Miami the No. 4 most corrupt city in the U.S., based on total federal corruption convictions between 1976 and 2017.


  • The county’s public-private economic development organization, the Beacon Council, launched Miami Community Ventures, which aims to connect unemployed residents with long-term jobs that pay a living wage.


  • Baptist Health South Florida and Virginia-based Interstate Hotels and Resorts opened the Hilton Miami Dadeland, which includes both regular rooms and suites designed for extended stays by patients or their families. It is on the campus of Baptist Hospital of Miami.


  • The coral disease that has been killing reefs in South Florida for the last four years has been named stony coral tissue loss disease. The disease’s source has not been identified. Key West has banned sunscreens containing oxybenzone or octinoxate, which studies show damage coral reefs.


  • New York-based New Era Cap plans to double its baseball-cap manufacturing capacity in Miami-Dade when it moves from Hialeah to Opa-locka this summer.


  • A 22,984-sq.-ft. waterfront home in Indian Creek Village set a record price for a single-family home in the county when it sold for $49.9 million. The buyer was not identified. The home previously sold in 2012, when a Russian buyer paid $47 million in cash.
  • Miami home developer Douglas Cox paid $25 million for 22 properties in Coconut Grove.
  • Hotel developer Urbanica plans to build a 220-room Hotel Urbanica in Miami’s Edgewater neighborhood.


  • The Miami Herald added publisher to Aminda Marqués González’s titles. She will remain executive editor of the Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald. The paper’s previous publisher, Alexandra Villoch, left for a senior position at Baptist Health.


  • Maryland-based Host Hotels & Resorts paid $610 million for the 429- room 1 Hotel South Beach from Miami Beach-based Starwood Capital Group and Miami-based LeFrak.
  • Tommy Hilfiger sold the 105-room Raleigh Hotel in South Beach for $103 million to an international investor group.
  • Hilton Worldwide opened the 200-room Baker’s Cay Resort, which replaced the Hilton Key Largo that was damaged by Hurricane Irma.


  • Miami International Airport saw a record 45 million passengers and 2.3 million tons of freight during 2018.
  • Virgin Trains USA — formerly Brightline — called off its planned IPO as it expands its passenger rail line from West Palm Beach to Orlando and then to Tampa.


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