By Gloria Niec

This Concert Series, 2018-2019 was the year of the students! Every concert had students performing and performing beautifully! The Celebration Foundation has always encouraged students to attend but this was the first year we were able to feature them at every concert.

The Celebration High School Chamber Singers, directed by James Rode, sang at the Brass Band of Central Florida Holiday Concert. Their voices led the audience through several holiday classics and their enthusiasm brightened the performance.

The Celebration High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Tyler Kirby, opened for Bumper Jacksons…an award-winning band out of Virginia. Members of Bumper Jacksons were so impressed with the students, they asked two of them to perform with them in the last number. Ethan Amaya said it was one of the best moments and one of the scariest moments of his young life.

Our next two concerts were all about students. The Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Vienna Boys Choir are masters at their arts at such young ages. The technical ability of the FSYO is amazing and if you close your eyes, you would swear you were listening to some of the best musicians in the country. The Vienna Boys Choir is renowned as one of the finest vocal ensembles in the world.

Students from Osceola County School for the Arts performed at our next two concerts. Gary Lovini had students on stage playing some Irish melodies under the guidance of Rueff Frazeo. Irish Step Dancers from the Finnegan Academy of Irish Dance also graced the stage.

The Orlando Philharmonic ended the Series with a performance by Osceola County School for the Arts Orchestra during intermission conducted by Eric Jacobsen and Rueff Frazeo. These are wonderful opportunities for students to show off their skills and understand the difference between practice and performance. We are always happy to partner, especially when we can help make someone’s world a little bigger.