Highland Middle School and Highland High School Orchestras will present two concerts on Wednesday, May 4 in the Highland High School Auditorium, featuring electric violinist and recording artist Joe Deninzon. The HMS Orchestra concert begins at 6:30 p.m.; and the HHS Orchestra concert begins at 8 p.m. Admission is free and open to the public. The program will include original songs by Deninzon, as well as some of his arrangements of popular songs from composers including Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon/Paul McCartney, Peter Gabriel, Kurt Cobain and Muse’s Matthew Bellamy.
Deninzon, the music world's expert on alternative violin techniques, will also lead a two-day workshop with Highland orchestra students, focusing on rock stylings and improvisation. A musician who transcends many genres, Deninzon has recorded and performed with a variety of artists including Bruce Springsteen, Sheryl Crow, Everclear, Ritchie Blackmore of Deep Purple, Smokey Robinson, Johnny Mathis, Les Paul, Phoebe Snow, Jane Monheit, Robert Bonfiglio and President Bill Clinton. An active clinician, he has taught at Mark O’Connor’s renowned String Camp and Mark Wood’s Rock Orchestra Camp. He leads the band Stratospheerius, which was a winner in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition. Additionally, he was awarded the Online People's Choice Awards in the Cornucopia Festival, and named "Best Jam Band" in Musician's Atlas Independent Music Awards. He is also a member of the classical hip hop Latin jazz string quartet, Sweet Plantain.
The Highland Orchestras are under the direction of Mrs. Rachel Gamin who holds both a Bachelor and Master’s degree in Music Education from Case Western Reserve University and studied violin performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Under her leadership, the Highland Orchestra Program has grown from 41 students in 2009 to over 300 presently. The concert and workshops are made possible through the generous support of The Highland Foundation.