NewsPasco County


Local kids team up with Florida Orchestra for performance and fundraiser

kids with Florida orchestra
Posted at 4:57 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 19:02:32-04

ODESSA, Fla. — Middle school students at Starkey K-8 are getting the chance to play with the Florida Orchestra in a once in a lifetime experience.

“It’s amazing. It’s the best feeling in the world. If I wasn’t in orchestra, I have no idea where I would be. This is my happy place,” said student Alex Metroka.

The happy place is about to get even happier as the middle schoolers at Starkey K-8 prepare for their biggest show yet.

“We are going to be playing with the Florida Orchestra and it’s going to be such an honor to do it,” said student Keon Pierre.

Music director Michael Francis and members of The Florida Orchestra will join the kids Tuesday for the first-ever Starkey Symphony Spectacular.

“It’s very common for us to want to share our expertise and the love of music with them, and it’s always enjoyable for them. They get to play with professionals. It’s like if you play baseball and suddenly you are playing with the Tampa Bay Rays,” said Francis.

The pros haven’t had to put in much practice for this performance, but the kids have been working night and day.

“They are very excited. A lot of the music is a little more challenging for them so they’ve had a really big push this year to keep working,” said Starkey K-8 orchestra director Mariah Walukonis.

“I never in a million years thought I’d be the one getting to do this as playing the violin for only one year. I’m still mind-blown today,” said Metroka.

Money raised from the performance will go toward the school’s music programs.