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Ormond Beach Observer Sunday, Dec. 13, 2015 3 years ago

Music school more than triples in size

Elite Academy recital fills the Anderson-Price building.
by: Wayne Grant Real Estate Editor
Melanie Nordstrom plays a duet with her student, Andreya Bridger.

Andreya Bridger said sometimes she gets nervous before a recital, but once she starts playing her violin, she enjoys it.

There was a big crowd awaiting her performance and others on Dec. 13, as supporters filled the auditorium of the Anderson-Price Memorial Building for the annual recital by the Elite Academy of Music and Motion.

Damian Bonazzoli, owner of the private school for the arts, remarked how it was quite a change from last year, when they had their first recital in their studio at 142 E. Granada Blvd., Unit 2B. The school has grown from 25 to 90 students in the past year and expanded their space in the Fountain Square Shoppes from 850 to 1,800 square feet.

Bonazzoli said the school has grown organically and by word of mouth, pointing to Andreya’s teacher, Melanie Nordstrom, who joined the staff after seeing an Observer article a year ago.

The school emphasizes creativity and improvisation, often having student “jam sessions.”

Bonazzoli said it’s important for students to express themselves and play “without limitations.”

“What I feel good about, is that we’re teaching them something that will be with them their whole life,” Damian Bonazzoli, owner of Elite Academy

“What I feel good about, is that we’re teaching them something that will be with them their whole life,” he said.

The school includes instruction for all ages on a variety of instruments, as well as voice, dance, painting and more. The recital consisted mostly of children, but there are also adults, who are learning an instrument after reaching a point in their life when they have time.

Andreya’s grandparents, Rob and Maureen, attending with her mother, Erin, said they believe music helps Andreya’s poise and self esteem. They said she’s also a gymnast, and enjoys the competition.

The recital was an informal affair, but it was still a performance before a large crowd. Before it started, one instructor told her student, “if something happens just keep going.” 

Bonazzoli told the group to enjoy themselves, because just being there means they have done something brilliant.

“Congratulations on being here,” he said. 

Yara Nasr sings “Climb Every Mountain.”


David Tafur plays piano as Damian Bonazzoli looks on.

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