The Tampa Bay Symphony was founded in 1986 as a non-profit, tax-exempt corporation. The 90+ musicians, all of whom are volunteers, come from many walks of life and all ages. Teachers, lawyers, doctors, engineers, housewives, and of course, students and retirees are among those represented. The goals of the orchestra are to promote interest and education in music of high standards, to provide musicians of all ages an opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra and, thus, to enhance the cultural and artistic life of members of our community. There is an annual "Young Artist Competition" in which students compete to perform with the orchestra. Any profits go toward providing scholarships for the winners. The first winner of this competition is now an assistant professor of music at a major university. Students of all ages in the Greater Tampa Bay area are offered free admission tickets to performances. In order to provide the community with an opportunity to hear quality symphonic music at an affordable price, the Tampa Bay Symphony produces three major programs in each of the areas three orchestral venues. It also performs at local festivals and civic functions.
About St. Petersburg College: In 1927, St. Petersburg College (then known as St. Petersburg Junior College) became Florida's first private, non-profit, two-year school of higher learning located in downtown St. Petersburg. Full accreditation followed in 1931 and in 1948 SPC became a public college. In June 2001, SPJC officially became St. Petersburg College when Florida's governor signed legislation making it the first community college in Florida to offer four-year degrees. On Dec. 11, 2001, the college received the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools' accreditation to offer courses leading to bachelor's degrees. In 2002, St. Petersburg College began offering courses leading to bachelor's degrees in Education, Nursing and Technology Management. The college's commitment to its two-year curriculum, which has earned it wide recognition and annually wins it high national rankings, remains as strong as ever. Today, SPC has eight learning sites throughout Pinellas County and recently became the first college in Florida to offer a four-year degree in Dental Hygiene. This program's offerings augment its two-year program, which has been in operation since 1963. SPC added four-year degrees in Veterinary Technology, Public Safety Administration and Orthotics and Prosthetics in 2005. College Accreditation St. Petersburg College is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award associates degrees and to offer courses leading to bachelor's degrees in the following areas: Banking, Nursing, Business Administration, Orthotics & Prosthetics, Elementary/Secondary Education, Paralegal Studies. Educational Studies. Post-Baccalaureate Teacher Certification. Dental Hygiene. Public Safety Administration. Health Services Administration. Sustainability Management. International Business. Technology Management. Management & Organizational Leadership. Veterinary Technology.
SPC also offers access to junior and senior level courses for bachelors and graduate degrees at the University Partnership Center. The UPC partners with the University of South Florida, University of South Florida at St. Petersburg, Eckerd College, University of Florida, Florida State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, University of Central Florida, Florida International University, Florida A&M University, Saint Leo University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Florida Institute of Technology, Barry University, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, Indiana University, and St. Petersburg College.