Meet Melissa Petrescue

Melissa Petrescue credits SPC with opening doors for her educationally, musically and professionally. As an award-winning concert pianist, Petrescue has performed with the Florida Orchestra and at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay through connections she's made at SPC.

Her love for music started at an early age. Her mother was a piano teacher, so music students were coming in and out of their house all the time. Her first lessons began at age 5.

"I grew up in a very musical family," she said. "I used to fall asleep to the exhilarating sounds of Rachmaninoff as my brothers practiced at night." She started taking dual enrollment classes at SPC as a high school student in 2010 and earned her A.A. degree in 2013. During that time, she studied classical piano with SPC professor Dr. Xu Hui.

"I don't think I would be here today if it wasn't for getting linked up with Dr. Xu Hui," she said. "She is a professional instructor and brilliant pianist, who I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to study with and prepare for competitions."

After winning first place in the senior piano division of the Justine LeBaron Young Artists Competition, she was invited to play with the Florida Orchestra.

"Performing with the Florida Orchestra was surreal," said Petrescue. "It was like a childhood fantasy that I was living out. It was absolutely thrilling."

Name: Melissa Petrescue
Degree: A.A. Degree
Graduation Date: 2013