In choosing music for the Hernando Symphony Orchestra's 25th anniversary spring pops concert program, conductor Wayne Raymond decided to take a familiar path.
"We've done such a variety of music over the years that I thought it might be fun to take a few steps backward and mix up some things that audiences have told us they enjoy hearing," Raymond said. "We'll be covering a lot of ground."
The program will showcase the 65-member ensemble performing everything from Broadway show tunes to jazz classics.
As it has done often in the past, the orchestra will turn toward popular film score composers John Williams and James Horner for familiar themes. From Williams comes the vibrant score for the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark. Horner's work will be represented by the stirring opening sequence from Apollo 13.
Although jazz is not normally a part of the orchestra's calling, Raymond said he thought it might be fun to delve into a few classics with a medley called A Touch Of Jazz.
"I've been wanting to do this arrangement ever since I heard it," Raymond said of the piece that includes snippets of music by Duke Ellington, Dave Brubeck, Thelonious Monk and others.
Guests for the performances will include vocalists Jason Yungmann and Randi Hoidalen Olsen, who will perform selections from the Broadway musical Phantom of the Opera and the patriotic classic Let Freedom Ring. In addition, Olsen will perform Be Still from her forthcoming original musical, The Book Of Ruth.
Raymond, who is in his eighth year as orchestra conductor, said a recent influx of new members has helped the ensemble greatly this season. He hopes the trend will continue.
"It's interesting to see that we're now attracting musicians from outside the area," he said.
"If we continue to do that, we'll be looking forward to an even better next 25 years."
Logan Neill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1435.