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Sterling sophomore wins spot on orchestra

(Philip Marruffo/
Sterling High School sophomore Dillon Schuneman will perform with the Clinton (Iowa) Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 20 at the school’s Centennial Auditorium.

STERLING – Playing piano has been a part of Sterling High School sophomore Dillon Schuneman’s life for 10 years – since he was 6.

Now he’ll have the opportunity to play with a pretty big backup band.

Dillon was selected to play with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 20. He will play the first movement of the Piano Concerto in A Major by Norwegian composer Edvard Grieg.

He heard the piece performed in Chicago’s Millennium Park. On the way home, he bought the sheet music, brought it to his piano teacher of 3 years, Rhonda Hulteen of Sterling, and began practicing.

Every year, the Iowa orchestra auditions high school students for a chance to perform. Dillon was chosen over saxophonist Colby Lemm of Thomson and clarinetist Rebecca Titus of Savanna, both seniors.

“I’m excited ... I’ve never played with an orchestra before,” Dillon said.

Dillon is the son of Janice and Richard Schuneman, of Sterling.

The young pianist also is a peer jury member, is on the high school speech team, plays percussion with the school band and tutors sixth-graders at Challand Middle School.

To attend

Dillon Schuneman will play with the Clinton Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 20 at Sterling High School Centennial Auditorium, 1608 Fourth Ave.

The concert is the fourth of the symphony’s season. In addition to Schuneman’s piece, the orchestra will perform Mendelssohn’s “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage,” Smetena’s tribute to “The Moldau,” a river in his Bohemian homeland, and a musical suite from Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake.”

Tickets will be available at the door, or 2 weeks in advance at Grummert’s Hardware in Sterling, Fitzgerald Pharmacy in Morrison and England Music Center in Clinton.

Tickets are $12 for adults; students will be admitted free. Additional information and program notes for the music to be performed are available at, on the Web.


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