Monday, November 20, 2017
Features and More

Dunedin conductor to go out with rousing farewell

RECOMMENDED READING


DUNEDIN — When he was 12 years old, little Lou was an accordion player in the St. Theodosius Russian Orthodox Cathedral dance band in Cleveland.

"Ah the accordion — every mother's dream, every son's nightmare," recalled Dr. Louis Alan Zagar, now 64. "Actually I enjoyed playing it and still have the instrument in our closet, where it shall remain."

His love for playing the accordion may have been short-lived, but his passion for music was not. He would become an instrumental music educator and a professional clarinetist and conductor.

Now the music man will sing his swan song. This Sunday he'll conduct his final show after six seasons as music director and conductor with the Dunedin Concert Band.

The Stars and Stripes Forever musical montage salutes the nation and those who have served. Concerts are tonight at 8 and Sunday at 3 p.m. in Edinburgh Hall at the Dunedin Community Center.

Zagar, who wrote the narration for this concert, included the touching story of his Russian grandparents' voyage to America and how they based their journey on the promise of a new life and freedom.

The concert opens with toe-tapping, thigh-slapping patriotic favorites such as When Johnny Comes Marching Home.

Richard Rodger's epic Victory at Sea will be performed with a video presentation showcasing important sea battles in World War II.

And what self-respecting patriotic gig would go on without The Armed Forces Salute and Lee Greenwood's God Bless the U.S.A.?

Vocal soloists Scott Tilson and Pamela Hood-Kooyenga will also perform.

When Zagar stepped up to take over in 2008, the band (formed in 1981) had only 27 members and was within a few days of being disbanded.

He brought gusto, talent and aplomb to the conductor's podium, growing the band from 27 to 84 musicians. Audiences have ballooned from a couple of hundred to a couple of thousand for the weekend presentations.

"He makes rehearsals fun and we've learned a lot from him," said flutist Debbie Langrock. "He gives us the background on each composer and each performance tells a story."

The band performs six pops-style concerts a year: two at Christmas, two in early spring and two in May. Get there early as the seats fill up fast and audiences usually spill out into in the hallway.

The concerts are free, with donations accepted. Zagar, who has served with no pay, leaves the band in good shape, with a rich library of materials and enough money to pay a new conductor.

As to who will pick up the baton, well, that has yet to be decided.

Zagar turns 65 in August and wants to have more time for travel with his wife, he said.

"I'm going to miss it," he said of the band. "I have such great affection for members of the band and the audience members. But there comes a time when you just say, 'I'm done.'"

Comments
Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s ‘Coco’ has a Dia de los Muertos theme and is, well, lifeless

Disney-Pixar’s Coco was more enjoyable three years ago when it was titled The Book of Life and came from Twentieth Century Fox.Both animated features spring from Mexico’s Dia de los Muertos celebration, the annual "day of the dead" when departed rela...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Della Reese, of TV’s ‘Touched by an Angel,’ has died at 86

Della Reese, of TV’s ‘Touched by an Angel,’ has died at 86

LOS ANGELES — Della Reese, the actress and gospel-influenced singer who in middle age found her greatest fame as Tess, the wise angel in the long-running television drama "Touched by an Angel," has died at age 86. Reese’s co-star on the series, Roma ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Most air travelers say taking off your shoes is okay. An etiquette expert disagrees

Most air travelers say taking off your shoes is okay. An etiquette expert disagrees

Unless you are ensconced in first class, sleeping on a plane is as intimate as dozing off in a waiting room on jury duty — everyone on the aircraft knows the decibel level of your snoring and the sad state of your socks.To gauge how passengers percei...
Updated: 7 hours ago
Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Tips for first-time Thanksgiving hosts (or really, any of us)

Take small bites.This may be the most crucial advice for Thanksgiving hosts who don’t have years of cooking and coordinating experience to provide the confidence that comes with leading the charge on the year’s biggest cooking day.It’s the first thin...
Updated: 10 hours ago
American wines red, white and sparkling for your Thanksgiving table

American wines red, white and sparkling for your Thanksgiving table

You’ve dusted off Grandma’s good crystal for the Thanksgiving table. Or you’ve pulled out all your mismatched stems to have enough for every place. Now what to pour?For this most American meal, based on foods native to America — turkey, pumpkin, corn...
Published: 11/20/17
Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Country artist Mel Tillis, who traced success to Plant City youth, dead at 85

Before Mel Tillis achieved stardom, writing songs recorded by hundreds of Nashville artists and embracing the stutter that became his trademark, he was a young man fresh out of the Air Force struggling to land a spot in a Plant City talent show.Eyes ...
Published: 11/19/17
How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

How to make a pie from scratch: filling ideas, decorating tips, crust recipes and more

Perfect your crust. Try new filling recipes. Learn some decorating tricks. And prepare for the biggest pie day of the year: Thanksgiving.   From apple to thyme You’ve got the crust down. Now it’s time to choose a filling for your holid...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

Thanksgiving 101: Everything you need to prepare for the big cooking day

From appetizers to pies and everything in between, we’re here to help you put together a low-stress Thanksgiving spread. Here are a few ideas, and be sure to check out our Thanksgiving special report for more tips on preparing for the big day. ...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape

Holiday-themed events dot the East Hillsborough landscape

East Hillsborough residents will have three holiday-themed events to help brighten the season this year.Christmas Lane, the long-time holiday celebration that started on an area farm, launches another season of festivities at its current spot, the Fl...
Published: 11/17/17
Updated: 11/19/17
Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

Christmas in downtown Tampa as Winter Village ice rink opens

TAMPAWhile her teenage daughter and 6-year-old son glided effortlessly across the outdoor ice rink at Curtis Hixon Park on Friday, Danielle Engram, 35, stood nervously on her rented blades.This would be the lifelong Tampa resident’s first time on the...
Published: 11/17/17