BRANDON — The Brandon High School orchestra and Director Donald Langland invite the community to their Fall Musicale concert and fundraising dinner provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill.
There will be two seatings, at 5:15 and 6:15 p.m., Oct. 15 in the Brandon High cafeteria, 1101 Victoria St.
Take-out orders also are available.
The concert is free. Auditorium doors open at 7:15 p.m.; the concert begins at 7:45 p.m.
The $15 dinner consists of chicken marsala with pasta pomodoro, Caesar salad, bread, drink and dessert.
Funds raised will benefit the 47-year-old Brandon High orchestra program, which greatly helps the student musicians, said Barbara Hooker.
The program “is an invaluable tool for teaching young people life skills such as following through on commitments, learning how to work as a team and working for a tough, demanding superior,” she said.
Last year, when Hooker’s daughter, Samantha, was a freshman, she was “excited, but mostly terrified to join the high school orchestra,” said Hooker. “She was a bundle of nerves because she had heard that the music would be tough and the director even tougher.”
After the first rehearsal, Samantha wasn’t sure she could learn her music in time for the performance, but she did.
“When that happened, the confidence that blossomed in her was astounding,” said her mother. “Now when a piece of music is tough, she doesn’t freak out — she just starts rehearsing. She knows she can do it because she already has!”
Hooker appreciates the director, Langland, the 2011 Secondary Music Educator of the Year. He is exacting but interested in the welfare of his students, she said.
“He urges them not to settle for mediocrity either in their music, their studies or their futures. He takes the time to get to know them and find out what their aspirations are, then he gives them guidance or a (figurative) swift kick, whichever seems most needed,” she said.
“I think it’s really good to have someone who actually knows us and what we’re up against helping us make the right decisions,” said Samantha, who has “learned a lot about time management, working in groups (with sometimes lazy co-workers) and meeting strict demands.”
She said, “I will always love my time in orchestra because we’re one big, happy family. We look out for each other and genuinely like, help and respect each other.”
To assist the orchestra program, preorder Fall Musicale Carrabba’s dinner tickets by Oct. 3 by contacting Barbara Hooker, (813) 661-7321, or any band student or parent.
Send news of community interest to Barbara Routen at Neighbors@tampabay.rr.com.