We are pleased to share with you our distinguished panel of judges. You can learn about their backgrounds, musical endeavors and accolades below.
Judge #1 — Robert
Robert Navarro is a Grammy Award winning musician. Robert also enjoys teaching music at Willow where he focuses on singing, musical theory and guitar. He also offers individual lessons in guitar, piano, violin and music technology. Robert spends most of his time composing, producing, mixing and mastering recordings.
Born in New York City, Robert Navarro graduated from City College with a BFA in Music, later earning his masters from NYU. Navarro later studied jazz piano under Jackie Byrd, while simultaneously developing his skills as an arranger and producer. After forming the ensemble Grupo Fascinacion in 1982, Robert Navarro produced and arranged records for Charanga America and the Dominican artist Santiago Ceron. Navarro later recorded and co-produced a project for The Ballet Hispanico Puertorriqueno, working with the legendary bandleader Eddie Palmieri. In 2007, Navarro won a Grammy for his arrangement of a song with Bobby Cruz. Over his career, the multi-talented artist has toured with Celia Cruz, Ray Barreto, and Frankie Ruiz. When he’s not composing, producing, and mastering recordings, Navarro teaches guitar, piano, violin, and music technology to students in Port St. Lucie.
Judge #2 — Tania
A native Floridian, Tania was born into a world of music: her father an opera singer, and her mother an enthusiastic supporter of art and culture. Tania began singing as a small child, strapping a cassette tape recorder to herself to attend her father’s rehearsals, and then learning the parts later at home by listening, and imitating. As a teen, her life consisted of musical theatre, soccer, school and friends. And braces! Dr. George A. Barkett, the founder of SONGS FOR PEACE, was Tania’s orthodontist. In college, Tania focused her degree in the field of Communications and Broadcast Journalism with a minor in Theatre from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Her next move was to Manhattan to live for one year, where she was the right hand for one of the top executives at Columbia Records/Sony Music. While living in New York City, she took every opportunity to attend symphonies, operas, concerts, dance events and theatre. She returned to her hometown of Vero Beach and, along with a co-partner, opened and ran an advertising agency for 12 years before creating her own creative firm Chunky Monkey Advertising, Inc. in 2005 where she specializes in writing, photography, graphic design and marketing. Also in 2005, Tania began privately coaching vocal students. From the age of 19 up to this day, Tania performs as a featured regular soloist in local Sunday worship services, funerals, and as choir section leader. Currently some of her favorite styles of singing are jazz and standards, however she loves all music. She is frequently asked to sing the National Anthem at area events, including her most recent at the Vero Beach Air Show.
Judge #3 — Ray
Dr. Ray Adams earned a Bachelor of Music Science from Wittenberg University in 1977 and later earned a Master of Arts, Masters of Fine Arts, and Doctor of .Music Arts from the University of Iowa. He served as Director of Music and Organist at the Community Church of Vero Beach for 19 years, from 1983 to 2002.
Currently, Dr. Adams is Assistant Director for Artistic Development at the Indian River Charter High School, Schumann School for the Visual and Performing Arts, a school devoted to dance, drama, music, and the visual arts.
Dr. Adams is the founding director of both the Vero Beach (Florida) Choral Society and the Academy for the Performing Arts.