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H-F student conductors practice with professional musicians for May 21 concert

Members of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra gave Homewood-Flossmoor High School orchestra members special tips as they prepare for the annual Senior Conductors Concert at 7 p.m. May 21 in the H-F Mall Auditorium.
  Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra
  violinist Brian Ostrega works
  with members of the H-F High
  School violin section in
  preparation for the Senior
  Conductors Concert May 21.
(Provided photos)

Thirteen seniors were selected to conduct groups of other student musicians through musical performances featuring works of their choice. Teacher and orchestra director B.J. Engrav said the pieces range from classical works to music from the movies to an Amy Winehouse selection.

Student conductors will be Anton Brooks, Alexa Brown, Shelby Crook, Kyndall Davis, Faith Denne, Madelyn Fitzgerald, Eli Gonzalez, Abigail Guerrero, Alannah Hill, Perry Hoag III, Jason Hoefle, Owen Kreis, Elliot Ott, Joy Rhodes, Gillian Vinson and Kevin Watson Jr.
  Michael Zahlit, a member of
  the Illinois Philharmonic
  Orchestra’s viola section,
  works with H-F students.

Engrav appreciated the four IPO members giving their time to the students. Their May 2 visit was sponsored by H-F’s Orchestra Parents United in Service (OPUS) group.

IPO viola player Michael Zahlit spent time working on the more difficult parts of the pieces for the concert “to help shape the section.” 
Student Grace Anderson, a cello player, appreciated the assistance of IPO cellist Emily Mantell, who focused on “technical things that we need to work on” for the concert.
IPO violin player Brian Ostrega said he really enjoyed working with the students.
Fred Kuester, a bass player with the IPO for 41 years and a retired music teacher for Flossmoor District 161, said his goal for the day was to have students leave “knowing one new thing.” That generally meant trying something new in the style of playing.

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