From the Editor: The Right Notes

A leader with perfect harmony.

Every holiday season I look forward to Epcot’s Candlelight Processional, with its dozens of singers in their shimmering robes, the 50-piece orchestra, the celebrity narrators reading the Christmas Story from the Bible. Last year, however, there was something different at the performance that I attended the first week in December: a conductor whom I had not seen before. But he was unforgettable—the precision with which he directed and the pure joy he projected made an already spectacular event even better. I made a mental note to find out more about him—perhaps he would be a good story subject.

Would he ever. A few weeks later, when writer Jennie Hess pitched a story about the local high school teacher who had just won the Grammy Music Educator Award, I looked at the honoree’s photo and finally made the connection. The processional conductor on that night had been none other than Dr. Jeffery Redding, choral director at West Orange High School. In this issue, you’ll read about how this remarkable award winner motivates his students—and learn about the source of his inspiration.

Elsewhere, we have a little something for everyone. Our dazzling spring fashion package showcases a resort-inspired wardrobe, with the gorgeous Maitland Art Center as the backdrop. Extra Pulp columnist Laura Anders Lee writes about another side of fashion: that of clothes shopping for rough-and-tumble boys. Our After Dark story features something you don’t want to do in the dark: axe-throwing. There’s a spot in the heart of downtown where you can sharpen your skills.

Also this month: our annual Best Lawyers list, with more than 400 legal professionals recommended by their peers in dozens of practice areas. And our second annual Women of the Year feature celebrates the contributions to our community by 22 dedicated individuals.

Finally, dining critic Joseph Hayes explores the phenomenon of poke (that’s POH-keh). A lot of shops serving the marinated fish delight have popped up locally, and within the space of a week, I treated my ravenous self to three bowls of goodness at  the one nearest our office, Poke Hana.  And speaking of dining, it’s awards season. Our May issue will feature the results of the Dining Awards reader poll, as well as our critic’s picks. There are always surprises, and I can tell you that this year will be no exception. We’ll also induct several new faces into our Dining Hall of Fame.

If for some reason you missed out on Dining Awards voting, check out our Best of ORL poll. You can pick your favorites in a multitude of categories, from breweries to barber shops, athletes to community leaders, doggie daycare to best places for a staycation. Voting ends May 1.

BARRY.GLENN@orlandomagazine.com

Categories: Column