Make us your home page

Choral group to make debut with Hernando Symphony for holiday concerts

Times files

Times files

Shortly after wrapping up her second season as conductor of the Hernando Symphony Orchestra earlier this year, Michele DiLuzio thought about what she could introduce during the 2016-17 season that would be new and compelling to the orchestra and its patrons. Then it hit her.

"It was one of those brainstorm ideas that came to me in the middle of the night," DiLuzio said.

She asked her lead trumpeter, Mark George, for assistance, giving him a "job" to do over the summer.

As a result, the HSO Holiday Singers will make their debut this weekend at the orchestra's holiday concerts, "Sounds of the Season."

The newly formed group of 10 singers was recruited and fashioned by George, who is also a church choir director, and members include his friends and some family members.

"They are our very own choral group," DiLuzio said. "They are a part of us now. I'm very excited."

The Holiday Singers will perform four numbers, accompanied by the orchestra: Little Drummer Boy, Jingle All the Way (a medley of favorites), Believe and Sing We Now of Christmas.

In the past, prior to DiLuzio taking over as conductor, when singers performed with the orchestra, they sang along to orchestral arrangements. But thanks to the orchestra's Gift of Music, which DiLuzio introduced, allowing patrons to purchase new music for the orchestra, she has been able to order choral music, with the orchestra providing accompaniment.

On its own, the orchestra will perform a variety of holiday favorites, including Canadian Brass Christmas, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's Wizards in Winter, Once Upon a December (a Golden Globe-nominated piece from the animated film Anastasia), Hanukkah Festival and Tannenbaum Fantasia. The concert will also include a sing-along — always an audience favorite — as well as a special "treat" for children in the audience.

DiLuzio promises an exciting concert season that will include 17 new pieces. February's "Spectrum" concert will include a selection from a variety of musical genres, such as Moon River, Michael Jackson hits and the Who's Pinball Wizard. The final concert, "Kaleidoscope," will include selections such as When I Fall in Love and medleys from The Wizard of Oz and Cats.

"Thanks to the Gift of Music program participation, we are able to purchase so many awesome arrangements," DiLuzio said. "We have an amazing season."

>>if you go

Hernando Symphony Orchestra presents

"Sounds of the Season" holiday concerts

When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 16 and 17; 2 p.m. Dec. 18. Doors open 90 minutes prior to each concert, with an opportunity to meet and talk with the conductor and musicians.

Where: Central High School theater, 14075 Ken Austin Parkway, west of Brooksville

Admission: Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students; season tickets (three concerts) are $36.

Contact: For tickets or information, send email to [email protected] or call the box office at (352) 515-6993. Visit the website at

Choral group to make debut with Hernando Symphony for holiday concerts 12/13/16 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 14, 2016 4:25pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Seasoned cast scores an extra-base hit for St. Petersburg Opera with 'Faust'


    TAMPA — Charles Gounod's Faust sets the table early. The world-weary philosopher immortalized in a dramatic poem by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is in his study, lamenting his state of affairs. He's willing to give away everything he has to be young again, even his soul.

    The St. Petersburg Opera Company begins its season with Faust, in a production seemingly aligned with the original intent of French composer Charles Gounod and librettists Jules Barbier and Michel Carre. [St. Petersburg Opera Company]
  2. Blake High grad Taylor Trensch lands lead role in 'Dear Evan Hansen' on Broadway


    For those who saw Taylor Trensch grow up in Tampa, his rise from promising student to star is heartwarming and entirely predictable. In January, Trensch, 28, will be moving into the title role of Dear Evan Hansen on Broadway, one of the hottest tickets in theater.

    Taylor Trensch, a 2007 Blake High graduate, will play the title role in Broadway's Dear Evan Hansen. Courtesy of Frank Trensch.
  3. A scene from "Epiphany."
  4. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 22


    Clearwater Jazz Holiday: The Avett Brothers: The Avett Brothers, with their blend of folk, bluegrass and rock, lead the lineup. 1:30 p.m., Coachman Park, 301 Drew St., Clearwater. $16 per day, $45 reserved, $170 VIP. (727) 461-5200.

    AUSTIN, TX - MARCH 15:  (L-R)  Joe Kwon, Bob Crawford, Seth Avett, and Scott Avett of The Avett Brothers pose for a portrait at the "May It Last: A Portrait Of The Avett Brothers" Premiere - 2017 SXSW Conference and Festivals on March 15, 2017 in Austin, Texas.  (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images for SXSW)
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Oct. 21


    Conor Oberst: The Bright Eyes mastermind will be joined by opener, the Felice Brothers. 8 p.m., Capitol Theatre, 405 Cleveland St., Clearwater. $30.50-$36. (727) 791-7400.

    Handout photo of Conor Oberst, performing Oct. 21 at the State Theatre in St. Petersburg. Credit: Grandstand Media