At just 11, he’s already found his voice

Marcus Mitchell isn’t even a teenager yet, but he already knows how he wants to spend his life.

He wants to make music, and to perform it for others.

He’s already writing songs, and in November, the Land O’ Lakes Christian School student will be taking the stage with the Florida Orchestra to perform a solo part.

He will be singing the solo in Movement 2 of Chichester Psalms under choral composer/conductor Eric Whitacre.

Eleven-year-old Marcus Mitchell has been selected to perform a solo part with the Florida Orchestra. He will be performing the part in Hebrew. He also enjoys writing songs, singing songs and playing his ukulele. (B.C. Manion)

Chichester Psalms, a composition by Leonard Bernstein, must be sung in Hebrew.

Marcus sings with Lumina Youth Choirs, based at St. Andrew Episcopal Church, in downtown Tampa. The audition-based organization attracts singers from across Tampa Bay.

Marcus’ parents, Chad and Nereida, are delighted by their son’s selection to perform with the orchestra.

“When I first found out that he had the opportunity to be with Florida Orchestra, I was at a loss for words, but so excited at the same time,” Chad said.

“We thank God for the talent and the passion that he (Marcus) has.

“He’s so passionate. He loves, loves, loves to sing,” he added. “I knew this would be a great opportunity for him. I want his talent to be heard and seen,” Chad said.

Nereida added: “It’s just an honor. I’m thankful that he has this opportunity so young, at 11 years old.”

Marcus lives with his parents, and his brother, 9-year-old brother, Lucas, in Wesley Chapel.

The Land O’ Lakes Christian School sixth-grader said he has loved music for as long as he can remember.

When he was just a little boy, he went to a Justin Bieber concert with his mom. Bieber’s performance left an impression.

“I remember how he commanded the stage,” Marcus said. He said that’s what he wants to do.

While some young musicians need to be encouraged to practice, Marcus’ parents said they have the opposite problem: They have to urge him to stop to make time for other things.

Besides singing in the choir, he plays piano and ukulele and composes his own songs.

One day, not too long ago, Marcus was practicing part of a piece and his voice was somewhat hoarse.

He told his dad: “I just hope I’ll be ready for November.”

His dad told him: “You are going to be absolutely ready.”

Marcus is slated to sing with the Florida Orchestra in November, one performance each at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater.

Published October 09, 2019

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