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    Music in the Park series starts Friday

    Because the main entrance to Seminole City Park is closed, Ridge Road is suggested.

    By JULIANNE WU, Times Staff Writer
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published September 11, 2002


    SEMINOLE -- While music lovers will relish the sounds of the Florida Orchestra Brass Quintet on Friday in Seminole City Park, getting there will be a bit more complicated.

    The normal entrance of 74th Avenue N, just off 113th Street, is still closed. It has been under construction -- to install a reclaimed water line and repair a force main sanitary drain -- since May 16 and is about two months behind schedule.

    "We expected it to open on July 15, but it's not done," said Allen Godfrey, the city's public works director. He said county officials found at least seven leaks when they pressurized the pipes. That's the reason for the delay.

    This is the sixth year for the Music in the Park series, which will begin Friday and continue through Oct. 18. The free concerts are held from 7 to 9 p.m. in the City Park, 7464 Ridge Road. People can bring blankets or lawn chairs but no alcoholic beverages. Food will be for sale.

    "Due to construction on 74th Avenue, the preferred method to get there is to take Park Boulevard to Ridge Road," said Jim Sheets, the city's recreation director.

    "Most of the folks who attend the Music in the Park series are regulars and know how to get there," Sheets said. "As long as the weather is good, we'll be okay."

    In addition to the Ridge Road route, people can take 125th Street to Old Oakhurst Road, where they will be directed to free parking, or enter the area via 66th Avenue N off 113th Street and drive around the Tides Country Club.

    Pinellas County sheriff's deputies and Explorer Scouts will direct people to parking spots.

    The Florida Orchestra Brass quintet was formed in 1979 by the principal brass players of what was then the Florida Gulf Coast Symphony.

    Today's quintet consists of three founding members: Dwight Decker, Justine LeBaron and William Mickelsen, plus Robert Smith and Kenneth Brown.

    Decker has served as principal trombonist of the Florida Orchestra since 1973; LeBaron has played the French horn with the orchestra since 1974. She also serves on the faculty of Florida Southern College.

    Mickelsen has played principal tuba with the Florida Orchestra since 1979. He is from Colorado and has a master of music degree from Yale University.

    Smith, principal trumpeter with the orchestra, is from the Orlando area and received his training in Chicago. Brown joined the Florida Orchestra in 1996 as assistant principal trumpeter, a position he previously held with the Grand Rapids Symphony in Michigan. Originally from Florida, he attended the University of South Florida.

    Sponsoring Friday's concert will be the Freedom Square/Lake Seminole Square retirement complexes.

    Other concerts in the series will include Gypsy Wind, Sept. 20; the Molten Mike Band, Sept. 27; Sarasota Sunsets Big Band, Oct. 4; Blue Dice, Oct. 11; and the Barracudas, Oct. 18. For information on any of the concerts, call 391-8345.

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