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Meet your Florida Orchestra members … Don Zegel, trombone

With the orchestra since: 1978

I'm originally from: Ashland, N.Y.

Age I started studying my instrument: 11

My favorite piece to play on my instrument: George of the Jungle

My iPod's usually playing: Alison Krauss or audio books.

I'm an expert at: Finding lost golf balls

But I'm really lousy at: Golf

Career path if I hadn't chosen music: Meteorology

Some little-known, yet interesting fact about me: Before I got paid to play trombone, I worked as a farm hand, a human pin setter at a bowling alley and a fish cutter.

Funniest concert moment: I would have to say it was the time a fight broke out in the audience at a performance of the Nutcracker ballet.

The question I'm asked most often about my instrument: "Why the trombone?" The Gillette March, from '50s TV commercials.

Music director Stefan Sanderling doesn't mess around. His first program of the 2011-12 season with the Florida Orchestra is taken up by one mighty work, Mahler's Symphony No 7. Its five movements chart a journey from night to day, and after a melancholy march-like opening, the three middle movements contain some of the composer's most brilliant music. The celebratory finale is one of the great tests for a conductor and orchestra, to bring coherence to its changing colors and tempos. Concerts, performed without intermission, are at 8 p.m. Saturday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg; and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $15, $30, $45; $10 for students, teachers and military. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free, 1-800-662-7286;

Meet your Florida Orchestra members … Don Zegel, trombone 10/26/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 26, 2011 3:53pm]
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