When the Upper Arlington High School Orchestras present their final concert of the school year in the UAHS auditorium at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) orchestra director and strings teacher John Deliman will take his final bow.

When the Upper Arlington High School Orchestras present their final concert of the school year in the UAHS auditorium at 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) orchestra director and strings teacher John Deliman will take his final bow.

Deliman will be retiring in June after 19 years in the Upper Arlington City Schools and 30 years of public school teaching in Ohio, Florida and South Carolina.

"I feel very comfortable leaving and retiring because I know that the students are in good hands with my colleagues here," he said.

Thirty-four graduating seniors from all four UAHS orchestras will be honored during the concert. The program will feature a wide variety of music, from Latin bossa novas and tangos to the music of Handel and Teleman.

"Some of the students are advanced players and we like to feature them on solos," Deliman said.

UAHS String Orchestra seniors Katie Paul, Sonia Suber, Justin Hicks, Sarah Lau, Claire Murphy, Alex Mysiw, Jonathan Fischer, Sarah Hamburger and Megan Schmeisser will all play solo violin parts to the final movement of "Concerto for Four Violins."

UAHS Chamber Orchestra senior violinists Austen Smith and David Shen will play solos for the Telemann "Concerto for Viola in G Major." Senior violist Jill Valentine will be the featured soloist for the "Grand Tango" by Astor Piazzolla in a special arrangement by Columbus Symphony violinist Brett Allen. Senior concertmaster Steven DeNiro will be the featured soloist for Wieniawski's "Polonaise Brilliante."

The UAHS Symphony Strings will finish the evening with senior string bassist Lorien Moore playing "Elephas Maximus" by Robert W. Smith.

The concert will be a high note for Deliman in a career that has included many local, regional and national accomplishments.

A Lorain, Ohio, native, Deliman received a bachelor's degree in music with a specialty in violin from Bowling Green State University and taught music in the Parma Schools. He later received a teaching fellowship at Florida State University and earned a master's degree in music education with a specialty in string education.

After a four-year stint teaching music in Spartanburg, S.C., Deliman joined the Upper Arlington schools in 1991.

"I realized this was a perfect place to build a nationally recognized orchestra program," he said.

Deliman recalled four experiences that are among the many highlights of his time in Upper Arlington. In 2005, the UAHS Chamber Orchestra was invited to perform at the annual Midwest Clinic International Band and Orchestra Conference, which attracts top musicians to Chicago from all over the United States and Canada.

"Being asked to play at Midwest is one of those high points in any music teacher's career," Deliman said.

Also in 2005, the UAHS symphony strings ensemble was invited to perform at the Heritage Boston Symphony Festival of Gold, a national competition held at Boston Symphony Hall.

"Playing in a professional hall, that is what young musicians aspire to," Deliman said. "They need to get that experience."

In 2007, the UAHS orchestra was selected to play at the National Orchestra Festival in Detroit's Max M. Fisher Music Center, home to the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. The UAHS orchestra was named the festival's overall grand champion.

Another memorable moment happened just last year, when the UAHS orchestra played Carnegie Hall in New York City as part of the Carnegie Field Studies arts education program.

"Most of the world's great musicians have performed at Carnegie Hall," Deliman said. "The kids, they got it. They realized that some of the great orchestras of the world have performed at Carnegie Hall."

Deliman's achievements as an educator have earned him numerous honors. He has twice been the recipient of the "Golden Apple" award for educational excellence from the Upper Arlington Civic Association. He was the first recipient of the Community Music Educator Award sponsored by the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. He was selected as the 2006 Orchestra Teacher of the year by the Ohio String Teachers Association.

Though he is retiring from his post at UAHS, Deliman, a Dublin resident, isn't leaving the district. He is looking forward to starting a new part-time position next school year teaching strings to fourth- and fifth-grade students at Upper Arlington's four elementary schools.

"I have always thought the early years are the most crucial for orchestra instruction," Deliman said.

The position will allow him to spend more time with his wife, Cindy, a part-time general music teacher in the Upper Arlington schools, and his son, Steven, who will be a freshman in high school next year and is involved in band, golf and other extracurricular activities.

"Your family has to be your priority," Deliman said. "I want to be able to go to my son's events."

Deliman said he is proud to have nurtured the development of hundreds of budding young musicians during his time at UAHS.

"We have students being accepted into high-level college and conservatory of music programs," Deliman said. "They're getting such wonderful scholarships. I'm happy we're able to do that for the students of Upper Arlington."