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Meet your Florida Orchestra members… Sarah Shellman, principal second violin

Age: 35

With the orchestra since: 2002

Where you are originally from: Green Bay, Wis.

Education: Oberlin Conservatory of Music, University of Houston

Age I started studying my instrument: 3

If I weren't doing this, I'd be: a chef or a mixologist

Favorite date night place to eat out: Ciro's

I'm an expert at: making lists

But I'm really lousy at: sticking to them

Dream vacation: Trekking into the Western Egyptian desert, which I hope to do for my 40th birthday.

Hobbies and interests: All things food and cooking, mixology, wine. And sweating it all off. I mostly take boxing classes at the Fight Factory in Tampa with Peter Fernandez and run (sometimes for fun, sometimes competitively). I pride myself on being able to lift as much as some guys (not the big ones, though!).

Some little-known, yet interesting fact about you: I have a fledgling jam-making business, Daisy B's Fanciful Preserves.

Funniest concert moment: A few years back I had a stand partner who was deathly afraid of bugs. We were performing a concert at Al Lopez Park when a giant flying roach of sorts landed near his feet; he immediately stopped playing mid-phrase, grabbed a nearby box of ear-plugs, and proceeded to whack the thing to death on stage. He then calmly picked up his violin and carried on as if nothing had happened.

The question you're asked most often about your instrument: "How much is it worth?" Answer (demurely): "Asking a musician the price of her instrument is like asking a woman clearly past 30 her age." Always said with a sweet smile, of course.

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. Florida Orchestra

• Sarah Shellman is the soloist in the Florida Orchestra's performance of Thomas Ades' Violin Concerto, Concentric Paths, written in 2005. As the title suggests, the 20-minute work is concerned with circular forms, as in the middle movement, a chaconne "built from two large, and very many small, independent cycles, which overlap and clash, sometimes violently, in their motion towards resolution,'' according to Ades. Shellman is well suited for such a modernist piece, since she spends summers playing in the orchestra of California's Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

• Alexander Mickelthwate, music director of the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, is on the podium for this weekend's program, which also includes Elgar's Enigma Variations and Haydn's Symphony No. 59. Concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday at Ferguson Hall of the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Tampa, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater. $20-$67. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286;

Meet your Florida Orchestra members… Sarah Shellman, principal second violin 03/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, March 23, 2011 4:30am]
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