Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Seminole High senior ready for Juilliard School

The French horn wasn't Priscilla Rinehart's first pick.

She was thinking percussion. Or maybe even the trumpet.

"It wasn't like I really wanted to play it," said Rinehart, 18. "It was kind of chosen for me and I went with it."

It turns out that Chad Guess, her band teacher at Seminole Middle School, made the right decision.

After graduating from Seminole High School this month, Rinehart will attend the Juilliard School this fall on a full scholarship. Her instrument of choice at the prestigious New York music school will be the French horn that Guess persuaded her to play.

"The first time she picked it up, she made the most beautiful sound," Guess said. "It was the perfect French horn pitch. When I heard that, I definitely encouraged her to play the French horn."

Rinehart's mother couldn't be more pleased, even though her only child will be leaving her for New York.

"I'm happy for her and glad she has this opportunity," said Debby Rinehart. "I was a trumpet player but I love the French horn. It's a beautiful instrument."

Halfway through her sophomore year, while participating in the Bands of America National Honor Orchestra, Priscilla Rinehart realized the elegant snail-shaped instrument would be a part of her life forever.

"That's when I was like, this is what I want to do the rest of my life," Rinehart said. "You have that eye-opening moment, and it kept happening over and over. It was just me and the music and that was my moment."

It has been a rewarding partnership.

Rinehart received the 2008 Beverly Lauring Award by the Patel Conservatory Youth Orchestra. She competed in the Florida Orchestra Young Artist Competition for three years and has been a member of the Florida All-State Band and All-State Orchestra. This year, she was first chair for French horn with the All-State Band.

"It's a weird feeling because I've never been that star player," Rinehart said. "Being first chair at All-State was the biggest thing. I knew I had a potential but it taught me to go in expecting nothing and whatever you get, you feel pretty grateful."

Rinehart said she sees herself becoming much like her private instructor, Carolyn Wahl, who plays for an orchestra while teaching young musicians.

"I know the horn inside and out and I know the capability I have," Rinehart said. "The boundless area for improvement is what keeps me going. I will always have something to strive for and that's a really cool thing."

Demorris A. Lee can be reached at 445-4174 or

On the Cover: Priscilla Rinehart performs during her recital at Anona United Methodist Church in Largo.

Seminole High senior ready for Juilliard School 05/31/08 [Last modified: Saturday, May 31, 2008 4:32am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. In advertising, marketing diversity needs a boost in Tampa Bay, nationally


    TAMPA — Trimeka Benjamin was focused on a career in broadcast journalism when she entered Bethune-Cookman University.

    From left, Swim Digital marketing owner Trimeka Benjamin discusses the broad lack of diversity in advertising and marketing with 22 Squared copywriter Luke Sokolewicz, University of Tampa advertising/PR professor Jennifer Whelihan, Rumbo creative director George Zwierko and Nancy Vaughn of the White Book Agency. The group recently met at The Bunker in Ybor City.
  2. Kushner to testify before two intelligence committees


    WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner is set to make a second appearance on Capitol Hill — he will speak with the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday, one day after he is scheduled to speak with Senate Intelligence Committee investigators behind closed doors.

    White House senior adviser Jared Kushner is scheduled to testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee and the House Intelligence Committee. [Associated Press]
  3. Rays blow lead in ninth, lose in 10 to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Rays manager Kevin Cash liked the way Alex Cobb was competing Friday night. He liked the way the hard contact made by the Rangers batters went away after the second or third inning. So as the game headed toward the ninth, there was no doubt in Cash's mind that sending Cobb back to the mound was …

    Rays starter Alex Cobb can hardly believe what just happened as he leaves the game in the ninth after allowing a leadoff double then a tying two-run homer to the Rangers’ Shin-Soo Choo.
  4. Exhumation of Dalí's remains finds his mustache still intact


    FIGUERES, Spain — Forensic experts in Spain have removed hair, nails and two long bones from Salvador Dalí's embalmed remains to aid a court-ordered paternity test that may enable a woman who says she is the surrealist artist's daughter to claim part of Dalí's vast estate.

    Salvador Dal? died in 1989 leaving vast estate.
  5. Sessions discussed Trump campaign-related matters with Russian ambassador, U.S. intelligence intercepts show


    WASHINGTON — Russia's ambassador to Washington told his superiors in Moscow that he discussed campaign-related matters, including policy issues important to Moscow, with Jeff Sessions during the 2016 presidential race, contrary to public assertions by the embattled attorney general, current and former U.S. …

    Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from the Russia investigation after meetings with an ambassador were revealed.