The Tallahassee Winds gives its fall concert on Tuesday, Nov. 21. The event will feature a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar works.
This takes place even as the entire field of music has been going through profound changes in recent years. More and more music is being created, not by playing physical instruments, but by cutting and pasting digital samples of performances long ago. Still, Patrick Dunnigan, one of two music directors and conductors for the Tallahassee Winds, insisted there is just no substitute for the traditional way of doing things.
"When you're sitting in a concert hall and lots of people are playing acoustic instruments and you can feel that resonance from your seat, it's not the same as electronic music going through a speaker. It's not the same kind of thing," he said. "At least for the foreseeable future there will continue to be a market for that. People want to experience music live!"
But keeping that live-music performance tradition alive, says the Winds other Music Director Dr. David Plack, depends on having an ongoing parade of players.
"In Tallahassee Winds we have musicians ranging in age from 21 up into their 70s," he said. "The key to that long-term future of course is having younger musicians who still want to scratch that itch and we seem to see that. And I think our job as educators, whether at the high school or college level, is to instill a desire to want to play as lifelong musicians."
Dunnigan pointed out there's an important factor that helps make the Tallahassee Winds such a vibrant force with local audiences.
"It's a free concert open to the public and we're proud of that. It wasn't always that for us. We gravitated to that model in the last couple of seasons just in an effort to further promote live music in Tallahassee."
On top of which, added Plack, there's that unmatched experience of a live performance that always carries with it the possibility of surprise.
"Every CD - even the Chicago Symphony - has countless numbers of edits; thousands! And so there's an element of danger to it. You just can't know what to expect in a live performance of any kind."
Although both directors said the big draw is having outstanding musical selections that the audience can relate to. And this concert lineup, says Dunnigan, is no exception.
"A short suite of music from Leonard Bernstein's 'Candide,' which is in my opinion his best stage work and doesn't always get the number of performances that it should get or the respect it deserves, but some wonderful, wonderful music!"
After that, the Winds will dive back in time a ways.
"The 'Egmont Overture' by Beethoven," said Dunnigan, "a traditional Norweigian march and then a very fascinating piece that Dr. Plack will be conducting. A Japananes piece."
That piece, Plack explained, recalls a cold war tragedy, which resulted from the largest thermonuclear bomb test ever conducted by the United States.
"It's called 'Eternal Memoir: Saga of the Lucky Dragon.' It's a Japanese composer and basically is in memory of a Japanese fishing boat back during the atomic testing in Bikini Atoll that unknowingly wandered into those waters during the testing and the crew was lost."
The Tallahassee Winds, on the stage of Florida State University's Oppermann Music Hall, on Tuesday, November 21st at 7:30 p.m.