Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Hernando All County Band is the ultimate supergroup

BROOKSVILLE — The directors of the four high school bands in Hernando County had an inspiration: If each of their bands is good, imagine how terrific an all-county band could be?

During a planning session in August, the directors — Mike Miller of Weeki Wachee, Rick Dasher of Springstead, Josh Autrey of Hernando High and Denise Virgadamo of Nature Coast Technical — kicked the idea around.

Then the school year began and the directors each got busy with teaching and events and the idea slipped to the back burner.

In January, Miller and Dasher met again, this time at the Florida Music Educators Association January conference and reignited the idea.

The teachers handpicked students and sent them to Weeki Wachee High School on Jan. 29 for clinics and rehearsals, starting with a 31/2 hour rehearsal.

The clinics were run by three local music teachers — Powell Middle School's David Pletinceks and Amanda Mole and West Hernando Middle School's Cristina Ledford — and six University of Florida music graduate students — Rickie Santiago, Valery Neiberger, Margaret Dixon, Anna Paulsma, Stephen Salsem and Matthew Boeggeman.

These nine volunteers each led three-hour sessions on individual instruments.

After a lunch break of pizza supplied by band parents, there was another rehearsal, this one for 21/2 hours. The result was a concert in the Weeki Wachee auditeria for parents, teachers and Hernando superintendent of schools Bryan Blavatt.

The All County Band, made up of 80 students from four high schools, played four songs, Fanfare Prelude on Ode to Joy, Air for Band, Gettysburg the Third Day, and Our Director. Each of the band directors stepped up to conduct one selection.

Miller hopes to continue this newly revived band activity. He said he would like to make it bigger and better and include middle school students. He also hopes a collegiate musician, perhaps a university director of bands, could be enticed to participate.

Hernando All County Band is the ultimate supergroup 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 2:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. FBI: Florida man sympathized with IS, wanted to bomb mall


    MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man who described himself as a sympathizer of the Islamic State extremist group faces terrorism-related charges stemming from a purported plot to bomb a Miami-area shopping mall, according to court documents filed Monday.

    An undated file image posted on an extremist website on Jan. 14, 2014, shows fighters from the Islamic State group marching in Raqqa, Syria. The group champions a hyper-religious lifestyle grounded in a self-proclaimed caliphate, but most recruits have a superficial understanding of religion and are largely ignorant in the laws of Islam. [Militant photo, via Associated Press]
  2. Frog Pond restaurant opens new location in downtown St. Petersburg


    There's a new option for breakfast and lunch in downtown St. Petersburg.

    Frog Pond's original location, seen here in 2006, has been open in North Redington Beach for 35 years. A new Frog Pond restaurant opened in St. Petersburg this week.
  3. Estuary wins pier design contest for the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway extension

    Real Estate

    TAMPA — And the winner is… Estuary.

    Voters overwhelmingly supported a pier design called Estuary for the $200-million extension of the Lee Roy Selmon Expressway in Tampa.
[Courtesy of AECOM]
  4. What to watch and listen to this week: Halloween offerings, best spooky podcasts


    Halloween is all about scary stories. The holiday itself is based on a compilation of creepy tales from history going back thousands of years.

    The Halloween kids classic The Nightmare Before Christmas airs this week on Freeform.
  5. Fennelly: Would you take Jameis Winston over Cam Newton?


    Factoring out futures, it wouldn't be a short list if I picked NFL quarterbacks I'd take right now over Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston.

    Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston (3) calls a play during the first half of Sunday's game. [LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times]