Audiences at Hernando Symphony Orchestra concerts typically see Wayne Raymond on the podium as the orchestra's conductor.
Patrons who attend the ensemble's spring series of concerts, however, will see — and hear — Raymond doing something besides waving his baton.
During the "Hooray for Broadway" concerts Saturday night, Sunday afternoon and Tuesday night Raymond will join several other vocalists — Julie and Chris Fickley, Randi Hoidalen-Olsen, Briana Suojanen and Jason Yungmann — to perform songs from Fiddler on the Roof and Guys and Dolls.
"I've sung with the Richey Community Orchestra," Raymond said. "But this is the first time singing (with the Hernando orchestra). … I decided, what the heck. We needed another singer, and I'm familiar with the parts and the shows."
Raymond has delighted local audiences before. In a review of the 2008 Stage West Community Playhouse production of 1776, a St. Petersburg Times critic wrote of his portrayal of John Adams: "For decades, Raymond has labored unseen in the orchestra pit, but after this performance he may be in demand even more on the stage."
For the orchestra concerts, Raymond will sing Sit Down, You're Rockin' the Boat, and will join Chris Fickley and Jason Yungmann in Fugue for Tinhorns, both from Guys and Dolls.
Other songs in the concert include Matchmaker, sung by Julie Fickley, Randi Hoidalen-Olsen and Briana Suojanen; If I Were a Rich Man, by Chris Fickley; Adelaide's Lament, by Julie Fickley; I've Never Been in Love Before, by Yungmann and Hoidalen-Olsen; and Luck Be a Lady, by Yungmann.
The concerts will include just two orchestral arrangements: West Side Story and A Chorus Line.
"This will not be a hodgepodge," Raymond said, explaining that vocal pieces will be sung in the order of each Broadway show's program.
Another highlight of the spring concerts will be solo performances by the winners of the orchestra's annual Young Artists Competition: Julianne Brown will perform Csardas on violin; Katie Brown, who plays the viola with the orchestra, will perform Mozart's Fantasy in D Minor on piano; Zachary Holung will perform Beelzebub on the tuba; and Vone Gonzales will perform Concerto for Bass Trombone on the trombone.
Raymond said rehearsals have been busy. Performing original Broadway scores is not something the orchestra typically does.
The hard work should pay off, Raymond said.
"The audience will really love this show," he predicted. "Everyone loves listening to the soloists, and they really love the kids."