• The Flagler Youth Orchestra performed its second concert of the season on March 15, honoring Conductor and Music Director Jonathan May. May passed away on Feb. 27. With just two weeks to finalize their concert music after May’s passing, the FYO students put together a rich and varied program with the help of guest instructors Caren Umbarger and Michael Miller.

    FYO teacher Justin McCulloch wowed the audience with an incredible (and incredibly demanding) solo double bass piece by the late Argentine composer Astor Piazzolla.

    Michael Miller, associate conductor in two of May’s other orchestras in Orlando and Leesburg and close friend of his, spoke of nurturing the musical aspirations of May in the Flagler County community.

    Outgoing Flagler County School Superintendent Bill Delbrugge made an appearance on stage, introducing incoming School Superintendent Janet Valentine, and pledging–as Valentine did–that the youth orchestra would carry on as a core program in the district’s mission. Valentine declared herself impressed with what she’d heard until then, half-way through the program. The musicians weren’t done.

    From littlest to most senior, the Youth Orchestra’s performers rose to the occasion, leading up to the upper orchestra’s codas to a bittersweet evening: The orchestra lived up in name and sound to Handel’s Royal Fireworks before ending on the emphatic we’re-here-to-stay cadences of Led Zeppelin’s “Kashmir.”