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Orchestra of kids play ode to Nat King Cole for his twins

The kids played Mozart, Bach and even Nat King Cole’s iconic “Unforgettable.”

It’s always a wow moment at Nat King Cole Generation Hope’s Summer Strings concert at Lynn University.

“We are so proud of everything they accomplished,” Cole twins Timolin and Casey said to welcome parents and supporters for the eighth year to the Wold Performing Arts Center Friday. “This is one of our finest jewels for the children we serve.”

The concert wrapped 12 days of music camp mentored by Summer Strings’ alums and Lynn Conservatory of Music students and graduates.

This year the performance coincided with the late singer and jazz pianist’s 100th birthday. It was also Make Music Day, an event observed by 1,000 cities, said the conservatory’s Manny Capote, camp music director and concert emcee.
Timolin and Casey Cole pose with Jamilah Johnson, mother, and Lydia Stirlacci, great-grandmother of violinist Ziyah Johnson.

Two orchestras of 80 children from Plumosa School of the Arts, U.S. Kinsey/Palmview School of the Arts and Berkshire Elementary performed. Capote conducted a combined orchestra of children and mentors to play “Unforgettable.”

The Cole twins are longtime Boca Raton residents who started Generation Hope in 2008 to provide music education and instruments for at-risk kids. The Boca-based foundation has since served 35,000 children in Palm Beach, Broward and Dade counties and in Illinois and New York.

The next local event is Boca Chamber Festival Days’ Lip Sync Battle at 6 p.m. Aug. 27 at Crazy Uncle Mike’s. Tickets available here.

The twins lost their father in 1965. The foundation also now also honors the memories of their sister, the late singer Natalie Cole, and their mother Maria.

Summer Strings sponsors are Boca West Children’s Foundation, Lynn University, the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County, the School District of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach County and The Hutchings Family.

By Marci Shatzman

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