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HSO 40th Anniversary Concert

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Four decades ago, a community arts institution was born in Hernando County via the formation of the Hernando Symphony Orchestra. Now, this Saturday, that orchestra will perform a very special anniversary concert. “The orchestra is thrilled to be celebrating our 40th season,” said Michele DiLuzio, HSO conductor. “This event on January 21st will be a special anniversary event.”

The 40th season celebration event will be conducted on Saturday, January 21st at 6 pm in Xavier Hall at St. Frances Cabrini. The doors will open at 5:30 pm, and the ticket price will include hors d’oeuvres, water, coffee, dessert, and a breathtaking concert by the orchestra. Refreshments will be sold, and a Chinese Auction will be offered as well.

“We will be performing music from the past 40 seasons in a more intimate setting,” said DiLuzio. “40 years is a long time, and we really wanted to do something a little special to celebrate with our audience.” The HSO will be performing songs from artists and movies such as Stevie Wonder, Italian Feast, Michael Jackson, Star Wars, Prince of Egypt, and more!

“As a volunteer community pops orchestra, we are thrilled to be celebrating 40 years of excellence in Hernando County,” said DiLuzio. “We are very grateful for our supportive patrons who are an important part of the Hernando Symphony family. Our demographic has reached several of the Tampa Bay area counties, as we have patrons and musicians who come from Citrus, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Ocala.”

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The Hernando Symphony Orchestra was formed in 1982 with a lineup of 13 musicians and a definite mission to promote community interest in music of high standards, provide musicians of all ages an opportunity to perform in a symphony orchestra, and provide scholarship funds to promote string education in Hernando County

The orchestra still includes one founding member and has planned programs aimed at presenting musical enjoyment for all ages. “Some of the finest musical talents in the area are members of the orchestra. Our orchestra consists of dedicated musicians who contribute their time and talents to make the Hernando Symphony a premier pops orchestra,” read information found at http://hernandosymphony.com/.

The orchestra performs regular seasonal concerts in the months of December, February, and April, in addition to special concerts that occur throughout the year. Ticket sales and contributions help support the orchestra’s mission.

This milestone celebration concert is being planned in addition to the symphony’s regular season concerts, which Michele DiLuzio says “will be continuing our celebration by performing music both old and new.”

Tickets for this performance will be $20 per person. Seating for this anniversary celebration will be limited; purchase tickets online by going to the website www.hernandosymphony.com. Go to the Ticket & Concert Info page and click on the ‘Click here to purchase General Admission Tickets’ button. Scroll down to the January 21, 2023, event to purchase tickets. You may also purchase tickets by calling our Ticket Manager, Frances, at 352-584-1210. All tickets for this special event must be purchased in advance.

“We look forward to another successful season as we celebrate 40 years and look to have many more seasons to come,” said DiLuzio.

The orchestra has received a number of Hernando County Fine Arts Council grants and maintains a Facebook page and a YouTube channel. In honor of the orchestra’s 40th anniversary, Michele DiLuzio, HSO conductor, has prepared a list of milestones to commemorate a long and celebrated musical legacy here in Hernando County:

*The orchestra started out playing for local events throughout Hernando County then moved to formal indoor concerts in 1991
*There have been nine conductors, including Michele DiLuzio
*The orchestra membership began with 13 musicians, and over the years there has been as many as 90 members
*The ages of the HSO musicians range from 14-90
*The orchestra has provided scholarship monies to musicians who have graduated high school and plan to attend college to major in music
*The HSO has provided monies for young violinists to take private lessons
*The HSO has been the recipient of the Hernando County Best Of award for the past 9 years
*The orchestra performed a special musical tribute in February of 2022, to all members of the orchestra who had passed away. They displayed each individual’s name and the instrument they played. This brought back a lot of memories for many of the members who had the pleasure of knowing and performing with these wonderful people.
*Implemented the “Gift of Music” program 9 years ago, which has been a huge success
*The HSO has provided string instructors to teach students in the string program that used to be part of Chocachatti Elementary School.
*The orchestra has partnered with many local businesses, schools, to provide music or musicians for community events, school musicals and business openings
*The HSO has donated music, instruments and other equipment to schools
*The HSO has performed concerts for students, and staff at various schools.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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