Valencia President to Perform at Orlando Science Center

He may not be the next American Idol, but Valencia president Sandy Shugart will show off his guitar chops in an upcoming performance at the Orlando Science Center.

On Aug. 20, Shugart will perform some of his original songs at the Orlando Science Center, where the museum is currently hosting the traveling exhibit, “Guitar: The Instrument That Rocked the World.”

Shugart’s performance will be part of the science center’s quarterly Cocktails & Cosmos event.  The August event, “Where Science Meets Mystique,” offers adult guests a chance to experience Arabic culture – in celebration of the new big-screen film, “Arabia,” which is opening in the science center’s Dr. Phillips CineDome theater.

A published poet and songwriter, Shugart will be performing on a performance stage inside the “Guitar” exhibit. The event opens at 7 p.m.; Shugart performs at 8 p.m.

Shugart has performed in acoustic and folk-rock venues in California, Texas, the Midwest and Canada. In recent years, he has combined his musical life as a singer-songwriter with his speaking life as an academic, weaving songs and poems into his speeches.

Shugart has completed three recording projects over the past 10 years and has a fourth CD ready for release this fall, available through or direct from Flat Foot Records.

The Cocktails & Cosmos event will run from 7 to 11 p.m. and is only for those ages 18 and up. Admission is $13 per person and includes admission to the Guitar exhibit. Admission is free for science center members.

“GUITAR: The Instrument That Rocked the World,” explores the history and evolution of the guitar-from lutes and lyres to modern high-tech instruments-and show how the instrument became the cultural symbol it is today. It will be on display at the science center until Sept.  11.

And, in case there’s a quiz later, remember this: Shugart plays a Taylor Custom Concert Grand Auditorium guitar.

The Orlando Science Center is located at 777 East Princeton St., Orlando. For more information about Cocktails & Cosmos, contact Heide Evans at 407-514-2036 or visit


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