Sarasota Concert Band creates community collaboration


Sarasota Concert Band creates community collaboration


Date: November 14, 2012
by: Mallory Gnaegy | A&E Editor



When Linda Keefe, chairwoman of the board of Sarasota Concert Band, walked into Galleria Silecchia a few months ago, a bronze sculpture of a little boy with his arms spread wide greeted her. It was the visual image of jubilance — the perfect statue to be paired with the song “A Jubilant Overture.”

Keefe conceived the idea for the upcoming concert, “The Magic of Music and Art,” that marries music, art and community. There will be 11 songs performed Saturday, Nov. 17, at The Glenridge Performing Arts Center; each song highlights a work of art from six downtown galleries.

For instance, when the band performs Charles Strouse’s “Selections from Annie,” a sun-themed chandelier will appear on a large projector screen while the familiar tune, “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow,” plays. After a few minutes, a slideshow of art that fits the song’s tone will be projected, and then it will end on the highlighted piece, in this instance — the chandelier.

“We made an outing from it and wandered through the galleries, thought about how it would work and talked to the gallery owners,” Keefe says.

The owners were thrilled. The gallery owners will be in attendance for the concerts, and the band will encourage the audience to visit their galleries.

“We wanted to be more involved in supporting the community and downtown — it just seemed like a win-win for everyone,” Keefe says.

This is the first Sarasota Concert Band Series concert that will marry music and performing arts. There’s also “The Magic of Music and Dance,” featuring dancers from local studios; “The Magic of Music and Mystery,” featuring dishes from local restaurants; and “The Magic of Music and Illusion,” featuring magicians.

“It’s not pulling (away) from the community — it’s contributing to the community,” she says.

Sarasota Concert Band isn’t a community band — the musicians are paid professionals. Each performance features about 50 auditioned musicians from diverse backgrounds: some retired military-band performers and school music teachers. The core members make their living as musicians.

The band’s history dates back to 1954.

“But our parents are the Czecho-Slovakian band, and they were here for 29 years, and when that ended — we started,” Keefe says.

She’s referring to the Czecho-Slovakian National band that John Ringling brought in 1925 to Sarasota. In 1954, the Sarasota Concert Band presented its first concert.

“That makes us technically the oldest musical-arts group in the area,” she says.

The group’s biggest concert is the yearly Memorial Day concert at Phillippi Estate Park. But every concert follows the band’s mission.

“People can enjoy a variety of music and go away just feeling great about life,” Keefe says.

“What does music do? It uplifts you for the moment.”

Galleries Featured
Art Uptown, 1367 Main St.
Dabbert Gallery, 76 S. Palm Ave.
Galleria Silecchia, 20 S. Palm Ave.
Hodgell Gallery, 46 S. Palm Ave.
Palm Avenue Fine Art, 10 S. Palm Ave.
Stakenborg Fine Art, 1545 Main St.

‘The Magic of Music and Art’
When: 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17
Where: The Glenridge Performing Arts Center
Cost: $15
Info: call 552-5325


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