Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Music & Shows

Hernando Symphony's 'Cinema' features music from movies

SPRING HILL — The themes to Mission Impossible and Star Wars are just two examples of how some of the most recognized and memorable musical scores come from some of Hollywood's greatest movies. Arguably, it can be said that the music helps make good movies great.

And it's the music that the Hernando Symphony Orchestra has chosen to wrap up its 2012-13 season. The orchestra will perform three concerts titled "The Cinema," this weekend at Stage West Community Playhouse.

"Some of the most notable scores come from the cinema," said orchestra conductor Wayne Raymond.

Along with the aforementioned themes, the concert will include pieces from hit films such as Chicago, The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and The Prince of Egypt.

The featured soloist will be Julia Rifino, 18, who sang with the orchestra last April. She will sing the Impossible Dream, a medley from Les Misérables and 007 (the James Bond theme). She will also sing O, America from Celtic Woman to an arrangement Raymond wrote specifically with Rifino in mind.

"I wanted to use her beautiful voice one more time before she left for college," Raymond said. "O, America is a beautiful, beautiful piece, and Julia has the perfect voice for it."

Also singing a duet will be members of the orchestra's first violin section, Mariah Dixon and concertmistress Janel Zapendenko. They will sing May it Be, a song composed by Irish musician Enya for Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.

While the young women's skills on the violin have been known for several years, Raymond admits, "I didn't know they had such nice voices, too."

Zapendenko will also perform a violin solo on Ashokan Farewell from the Civil War miniseries.

"It's a beautiful piece that has been used in countless different productions," Raymond said.

As the orchestra's season comes to an end, Raymond said the partnership with Stage West this year worked out well.

"It is just wonderful," Raymond said, though he acknowledged some early issues. "But we now have the lighting and sound correct, and everything is going a lot smoother. We have a home. … No question about it, we're in it for the long haul."

After this weekend's concert, the orchestra will present its popular "Tunes at Twilight" at the Hernando Beach Club on April 14. The outdoor concert, now in its fourth year, will include some of the pieces from this weekend's concerts, as well as Americana, big band and "water-related" music. Rifino and Lorri Hafer will lend their voices to the show.

"(Hafer) was such a hit with the audience," Raymond said, when she sang at the orchestra's "Salute to the Big Bands" concert in February.

Raymond said last year's outdoor concert drew more than 300 people.

"It's very popular. We've been very lucky the last three years with gorgeous sunsets," he said. "We're hoping for the same this year."

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