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Benefit concert set for Monday

THE PORT CITY STRINGS recently performed at the Bainbridge College faculty and staff luncheon, and is set to perform at the Kirbo Center on Monday, Dec. 13. From the left, are Victoria Long, Cherise Dryden, Josiah Austinson, Mariah Avery and Heather Whitaker. Not pictured is Charlie Strickland.|Carol Heard

A concert on Monday titled “Christmas at Kirbo” that includes home-schooled musicians and a local string orchestra will benefit the Friendship House of Jesus.

The concert is Monday, Dec. 13, at the Kirbo Center at Bainbridge College, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free, but organizer Charlie Strickland said they are requesting donations to benefit the Friendship House.

The program includes performances by the Tallahassee Home School Band and the Port City Strings, both under Strickland’s direction.

Valerie Arsenault, who is a violin instructor and directs the Baroque Ensemble, is scheduled to perform “Gavotte en Rondeau from Partita No. 3 in E major” by Johann Sebastian Bach with the Port City Strings. Arsenault has been a principal player and soloist with the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra for more than 10 years.

Strickland, who retired from teaching at several high schools around the state, has been directing the 29-member Tallahassee Home School Band for more than five years. Strickland is the husband of Tonya Strickland, who is interim vice president for Academic and Student Affairs at Bainbridge College.

The idea for the concert came about following discussions by the band’s board members on ways to involve the young musicians in helping others.

“Combining the strings with the band seemed an appropriate way to celebrate the season and to raise money for a really great cause,” said Charlie Strickland, who is on the board of directors for the Friendship House. He has been teaching music at Bainbridge College since 2005, and teaches string at Grace Christian Academy.

Josh Paske, administrative director of the Friendship House, is scheduled to give a presentation on the Friendship House, which provides after-school programs for children and youth.

Members of the bands

The Port City Strings includes several high school-aged musicians as well as adults. The members are the following:

Violins—Branch Austinson, Marish Avery, Charlie Strickland, Heather Whitaker and Olivia Penela.

Viola—Caleb Atkins.

Cello—Cherise Dryden, Victoria Long and Jeff Eenigenburg.

Double bass—Josiah Austinson.

The Tallahassee Home School Band includes the following:

Flutes—Sarah Caldwell, Lexie Gilmore, Rebekah Johnson, Sara Johnson, Erin Kehl, Emma Kay Lehman, Madyson Mahler and Paul Prentice.

Clarinets—Cherise Dryden, Jessica Hurley, Virginia Johnson and Christi McKee.

Saxophones—Connell Donoghue, Mike Fennema, Benjamin Johnson, Phillip Johnson and Joshua McKee.

Violin—Kristin Joy Kehl.

Trumpets—Levi Adkins, Anders Austinson and Daniel Kovacs.

French horns—Mariah Avery, Dominique Christiano and Daniel McKee.

Trombones—Stennes Austinson and Thomas Kovacs.

Tuba—Josiah Austinson

Percussion—Joshua Shultz and Joshua Prentice.