Weekend: The strings of spring

The Findlay High School Symphony Orchestra and the Findlay High School Chamber Orchestra will present a final spring concert on Monday, May 19, at 7:30 p.m. in the R.L. Heminger Auditorium at Findlay High School.
The Chamber Orchestra will begin the concert by performing three selections: “Irish Suite,” “Allegro from Symphony No. 12 in G” and “Gregorian Rhapsody.” The Chamber Orchestra, founded in 1987, is composed of a select group of 19 string players who also perform in the Findlay High School Symphony Orchestra. The Chamber Orchestra rehearses on Monday afternoons throughout the year and performs challenging music written specifically for chamber groups.
Next, Hiromasa “Alex” Harada will perform a violin solo, “Allegro Molto Appassionato from Violin Concerto, Op. 64 in E Minor” by Felix Mendelssohn. He will be accompanied on piano by Anita Schaible, assistant director of the FHS Symphony Orchestra. Harada has played violin in the Findlay City Schools orchestra program for eight years. He has been the concertmaster of the Toledo Youth Orchestra for four years, and won the TYO concerto competition in 2011 and 2013. He participated in Ohio Northwest Regional Orchestra for four years (serving as concertmaster two of those years) and was selected for the Ohio All-State Orchestra for four years. He also participated in various national honors orchestras, performing at The Kennedy Center and the Grand Ole Opry. He has also performed the national anthem and solo works at various sporting, academic, church and fundraising events. A Findlay senior, he plans to attend the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania to study economics and international relations, while minoring in music and violin performance.
The Findlay High School Symphony Orchestra, comprised of 81 students, will perform six selections at the concert, including “Winds of Poseidon” by Robert W. Smith, which is based on the classic story, “The Odyssey,” about a shipwrecked warrior who wanders the land and sea for 10 years. Three other selections were performed by the orchestra at the Ohio Music Education Association State Orchestra contest, where they received a “Superior” rating from a panel of judges. The three selections are: “Shalom Chavarin,” “Procession of the Sardar” and “Bacchanale from Sampson and Delilah.”
The Findlay High School Symphony Orchestra is directed by Ken Pressel, with assistant director Anita Schaible. This is Pressel’s 21st year teaching orchestra at Findlay City Schools. He received his bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in violin performance from Ohio University.
The concert is free and open to the public.

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