The first winter in Sarasota endured by its founders was like the one a few years ago: freezing temperatures through April. One big difference, however, is that it was the year 1885; no one had electricity and few had shelter. Some went back home to Scotland, but the ones who stayed built the foundation of this jewel of a city called Sarasota.
On April 6 at 4 p.m., The Jacobites, The First Brass and Maria Wirries will honor Sheila Jackson and the Scots who came before with a Tartan Day performance called "Scotland the Brave" at the Sarasota Opera House.
The Jacobites are celebrating their 10th season under the direction of Pipe Major Gary Reinstrom."We are not your typical pipe band," Reinstrom says. "We've got bagpipes, drums, fiddlers, dancers, guitars, drum kit, whistles, you name it. We do some innovative things but keep one foot in the traditional pipe tunes, such as 'Will Ye No Come Back Again,' 'Scots Wha Hae' and 'Ye Banks and Braes.'"The First Brass is in its inaugural season under the baton of Todd Craven. This group is made up of professional brass and percussion players from Punta Gorda to Tampa. The ensemble's instrumentation consists of six trumpets, four trombones, two tubas, two horns, euphonium and percussion.
"This is an exciting group," says Principal Trombonist Laurie Penprase. "We take a fully orchestrated piece like Holst's 'Jupiter' and arrange it for brass. It is incredibly moving and powerful!"
Maria Wirries is the newest sensation on the West Coast of Florida. All of 15 years old, Maria has been a soloist with just about every vocal and instrumental group in town and will appear on the May cover of Scene magazine."Her forte is not only a pitch-perfect voice and a quality tone, but the way she connects with you in the audience. You want to hug her at the end of the show," Reinstrom says.
This will be a foot-stomping, magical experience on April 6 at 4 p.m. at the Sarasota Opera House, which itself is adorned with architectural pieces from Scotland. "Scotland the Brave" tickets are $20 at the door and $18 in advance at Scot's Corner on 17th street or at thefirstbrass.eventbrite.com.