Never has an instrument sounded with more eloquent purpose.
It’s amazing how silent you can be, not afraid to move, but too moved to stir. As the Florida Orchestra begins its night’s performance — often something new and different — wonder strikes the audience and every seat stills. There are masters on the stage, an entire company of them bringing pride to our community.
This season carries a lot of weight. In a time where many symphonies are closing their doors, ours is steadily growing in brilliance and popularity. This is in part due to an endowment Ray and Nancy Murray set up with the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay. Their gift has been credited as saving the orchestra in many ways and helping them find an appreciative audience. Every performance since the early 40’s has set our community on higher grounds and given the Tampa Bay area a global identity. Today’s musicians will continue the trend. After reaching the culmination of a thousand practice hours, their instruments are extensions of themselves. Their craft is memorized, their conductor takes the lead, and they become one.
Then, in the silence of the crowd as the first note is struck, brilliance comes to life and they make it look easy. Their skill, admired around the world, is a big part of the vibrant life of the Tampa Bay culture. The Florida Orchestra performs over 100 concerts annually, continually surprises their audience by covering everything from classical masterpieces to rock n’roll. Though we are only part of it for a moment, we are entertained, educated, and inspired.