Lakeside Chamber Players bring Schubert’s Octet in F Major to the Athens Nov. 6

LAKESIDE CHAMBER PLAYERS — Members of the Lakeside Chamber Players of Mount Dora are Craig Hunting, Violin I; Christina Hunting-Gant, Violin II; Lisa Suslowicz, viola; David Bjella, cello; Trent Harper, bass; John Fullam, clarinet; Janet Harris, bassoon; and Troy Messner, French horn. The group will perform Franz Schubert’s Octet in F Major at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6

The Lakeside Chamber Players of Mount Dora are proud to present a performance of Franz Schubert’s Octet in F Major at the Athens Theatre in DeLand on Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Schubert’s Octet in F Major is an epic work of chamber music that features two violins, viola, cello, double bass, clarinet, horn and bassoon. Composed in 1824, it represents the largest scale chamber work of his brief career, as Schubert died in 1828 at the age of 31. The piece is in six movements and lasts about one hour.

The Lakeside Chamber Players, founded and directed by bassoonist Janet Harris, is in its seventh season. Its mission is to bring classical chamber music to venues outside of the big city in an effort to spread the beauty and elegance of the music to audiences everywhere.

The members are all active performers, who play regularly with orchestras around the state. Their backgrounds are diverse, as they have performed with such ensembles as the Buffalo Philharmonic, Boston Pops, Cleveland Pops, Nashville Symphony, Palm Beach Opera, Sarasota Opera and the Naples Philharmonic.

For this performance, the ensemble is led by violinists Christina Hunting-Gant and Craig Hunting. This brother-and-sister duo attended the New England Conservatory.

Violist Lisa Suslowicz also attended the New England Conservatory and studied with James Buswell. She recently relocated to Florida from Boston, where she was a first-call sub with the Boston Pops Orchestra for more than 30 years. She now lives in Eustis and is an active freelancer.

David Bjella, cello, is a professor at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. He also performs as co-principal cello of the IRIS Orchestra in Memphis, Tennessee. His students have gone on to win prestigious competitions and positions with professional orchestras.

Trent Harper, bass, performs as assistant principal with the Venice Symphony and as principal with the Ocala Symphony.

John Fullam, clarinet, also recently relocated to Florida after retiring from the principal chair of the Buffalo Philharmonic. He is a graduate of the Juilliard School and has also served as the clarinet instructor at the Eastman School of Music.

Troy Messner, horn, is a native of Lakeland and spent much of his career as a member of the West Point Band in New York. In addition to playing in the concert band, he performed with the Academy Wind Quintet. He currently performs with the Venice Symphony, where he is also the box-office manager.

Janet Harris, director of Lakeside Chamber Players, is one of Florida’s most-sought-after freelance bassoonists. She has performed with nearly every orchestra in the state and is currently principal bassoon of the Punta Gorda Symphony and Atlantic Classical Orchestra.

The Athens is excited to bring the talented musicians of the Lakeside Chamber Players to DeLand at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 6.

Tickets cost $21 for preferred reserved seating (first five rows center orchestra and first two rows center balcony); $18 for general reserved seating; and $8 for students and children. A $3-per-ticket processing charge and 6.5-percent sales tax will be added to each purchase.

The historic Athens Theatre is at 124 N. Florida Ave. in Downtown DeLand.

To purchase your tickets in advance or find out more specific information, visit the Athens Theatre website at www.AthensDeLand.com, or call the box office at 386-736-1500. Box-office hours are 1-5 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, and one-and-a-half hours before live performances.

— Alexa A. Baldwin is director of marketing and operations for the Athens Theatre.