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Botanical Gardens HSO Concert

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When breezing through a bountiful mecca of rich florals and lush greenery, those who visit the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens on February 11, will enjoy their tours against the melodic, vibrant setting of professionally produced symphonic music. This is an element that adds the perfect accent to any garden tour.

As a part of its monthly Nature Coast Botanical Garden concert series, the Hernando Symphony Orchestra Brass Quartet will be playing next at the gardens, 1489 Parker Avenue in Spring Hill, on Saturday, Feb 11, at 11 am.

“We don’t make a specific set list for these monthly performances, we just choose the songs as we go along,” said Michele DiLuzio, HSO conductor. “We have a big library of music ranging from Big Band, swing, patriotic, wedding and pop music. This group can play for any occasion thanks to the wide variety of music we have. The past few months we’ve played for a surprise 60th birthday party, several functions at St. Frances Cabrini, Mike Konrad’s tree planting memorial and now monthly at the Botanical Gardens.”

The members of the HSO Brass Quartet are Michele DiLuzio – Trumpet & Flugelhorn, Thomas Yagmin – French Horn, Greg Nowak – Trombone and Jason Mann – Tuba.

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The HSO botanical gardens concert series finds its origins in another popular garden event. “During our Holiday in the Gardens on December 3, the Hernando Symphony
sponsored a Christmas Tree,” explained Mary Wuest, garden manager at the Nature Coast Botanical Gardens. “They also wanted to know if their brass band could play music on that day. We thought it was a great idea. They played for about two hours, and volunteers, people decorating their trees, and visitors all enjoyed the music.”

Arising from this grand musical celebration was the concept for another; a monthly concert series that could be enjoyed throughout the year.

“Afterwards, Michele from the Hernando Symphony contacted me and said they were interested in continuing to play on Saturdays at the Gardens and asked for permission to do so,” said Wuest. “We agreed they could play as long as the particular Saturday was available.”

Wuest anticipates much more lovely orchestral music blooming throughout the borders of her beautiful ornamental garden, which also hosts permanent art displays of sculptures and murals.

“I have kept Michele up-to-date on the available Saturdays in January and February. They are scheduled next to play Saturday, February 11. We enjoy having them at the Gardens,” she said.

The HSO Brass Quartet debuted their garden concert series on January 14. “This group is a versatile group that can perform for any function and we can do so either as a trio, quartet or quintet. For these monthly performances, we will be performing as a quartet: Trumpet, Horn, Trombone and Tuba,” said DiLuzio. “We were the group that played for Mike Konrad’s Memorial Tree Planting at Tom Varn Park a few months ago. I get asked a lot for small ensemble music so, this group takes care of that need.”

Wuest agrees. “They are a wonderful band and play beautiful music.”

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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