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Fresh-faced finish

Young musicians will take the stage with the Hernando Symphony Orchestra for the final shows of the season.

By JOY DAVIS-PLATT, Times Staff Writer
© St. Petersburg Times
published April 11, 2003

For its final concert series of the season, the Hernando Symphony Orchestra will share the stage with some of the county's top young musicians.

"With all three youth numbers, it's going to be very enjoyable," said orchestra conductor Wayne Raymond. "They are all very gifted musicians."

Jonathan Johnson, 12, is one of four young people scheduled to perform when he and friend Joel Brown, 13, play Allegro Moderato by Bach.

"I've just known him for a really long time," said Jonathan, who began playing violin at the age of 7. "We started violin together from his mom, and we've known each other forever."

Because the boys have knowneach other for such a long time, both on and off stage, Jonathan said they have an advantage when it comes to the exacting art of the duet.

"You have to get timing together and the intonation together and tune every note exactly together," he said. "We have a lot of fun playing with each other musically and otherwise."

In fact, the pair's exploits on the basketball court nearly cost them the chance to perform in the concert series, which begins Saturday night, when Joel broke two fingers.

"It swelled up and turned purple. Our teachers went crazy," Jonathan said with a laugh. "They said no more playing until after the concert."

But his friend has caught up amazingly well, Jonathan said, and will be more than ready to perform.

"I've had a lot of audience members come up to me and say they just love watching those two boys," said Raymond. "They're quite a pair."

Raymond said the Kabelevsky violin concerto that 13-year-old Christina Adams has chosen is an excellent showcase for her natural talent.

"She plays just beautifully," he said. "She is going places. She really is. It's a difficult piece, and she plays it impeccably."

Ben DeAngelis, 11, will play Beautiful Colorado, a piece Raymond says is well beyond his years.

When the sixth-grader played the euphonium piece for a recent competition, Raymond said, it left the judges flabbergasted.

"They just sat there with their mouths open. They had never heard anyone his age play this piece of music," Raymond said. "He's so young that I don't really know if he knows how good he is."

The first half of the concert, titled "Dance and Solo," will feature Mozart's Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter) and Reinhold Giliere's Russian Sailors Dance.

This will mark the symphony's first performance of a full symphony, Raymond said, rather than selected movements.

"I think we're finally at a point where we can handle that, and the musicians are doing it," he said.

Local dancers Jeff and Wahnita Dow will perform with the orchestra on several of the dance numbers on the program.

At a glance

WHAT: Hernando Symphony Orchestra "Dance and Solo" concerts

WHEN/WHERE: Saturday, and also April 22 and 27. The Saturday concert will be at 7:30 p.m. at the Hernando High School Performing Arts Center, 700 Bell Ave., Brooksville; 799-8507. The April 22 concert is at 7:30 p.m. at Springstead High School, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill; 686-5334. The April 27 concert is at 2 p.m. at Springstead High School; 686-7716.

ADMISSION: Reserved seats are $9.

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