© 2023 WFSU Public Media
WFSU News · Tallahassee · Panama City · Thomasville
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra and WFSU Public Media launch a one-of-a-kind online music education program

two safari-clad individuals standing at a podium in front of a curtain with projected image of same individuals
Suzanne Smith
WFSU Public Media
A press conference was held today at WFSU's studios to announce the release of TSO Symphonic Safari Adventure!

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra (TSO), in partnership with WFSU, launched a unique online orchestra education program on Tuesday, September 6, 2022. The program, funded by the National Endowment for the Arts, offers an up-close-and-personal introduction to each instrument, instrument family, and musicians of the orchestra (including conductor and electronics). The program culminates in a performance of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, which demonstrates how the individual parts of the orchestra come together to create a unified whole. The TSO was the only nonprofit in Leon County to receive this NEA grant and is among the 2% of orchestras funded nationwide.

At the event were the stars from the series—”Roger Rhythm” and “Violetta Vibrato,” (symphonic explorers played by Bert Mitchell and Laura Johnson), TSO Conductor Darko Butarac, TSO musicians, and members of the TSO Board of Directors.

TSO SSA characters interacting
TSO Symphony Safari Adventures! main characters: "Violetta Vibrato” and ”Roger Rhythm.”

To enhance the program, Centennial Bank has provided a collection of books to each of Leon County Schools' elementary libraries, and Envision Credit Union will be sponsoring 9,000 activity guides for every 2nd through 4th-grader in Leon County as they navigate and learn about instruments, collaboration, and the life of musicians.

“This project is really exciting because not only is it unique, but more importantly, it offers our students a way to see how every conceivable instrument comes together to make this amazing, amazing collection of sound called ‘the orchestra’,” said Amanda Stringer, CEO of Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. “We are really proud of this vision and how it demonstrates to kids what it is to have passion for and be a professional musician.”

Stringer added, “What started off as a simple way to help employ our TSO musicians during the pandemic has, because of the professionalism of WFSU, grown to a really special educational program.”

“Providing an opportunity ‘virtually’ for students to learn about an orchestra and all the sounds that go into the music is so exciting,” said Kim Kelling, Director of Content & Community Partnerships at WFSU. “We are also working to align this content to Florida standards and make it available for free on Florida PBS Learning Media's digital platform where it can be accessed by teachers, students, and families across the country."

"For WFSU this is a perfect alignment of our mission to work with incredible partners such as the TSO to inspire, inform, and educate our community” added Kelling.

To view the program's video segments, visit https://video.wfsu.org/show/tso-symphonic-safari-adventure/. To learn more about this project, visit the project website.

About the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra

The mission of the TSO is to engage, enrich, and inspire people at all stages of life through great music. Founded in 1979 by the Hungarian conductor Nicholas Harsanyi—a pupil of Bartók, Dohnányi, and Kodály—the TSO has long-aspired to serve Florida’s historic capital city through thrilling performances, edifying educational programs, and inclusive community engagement initiatives, many free of charge.

Over its 40-year history, the TSO has worked in schools and community centers, has presented annual outdoor events that showcase the area’s natural beauty, and has developed robust partnerships with its institutions of higher education and its City and County governments.

To learn more about the TSO, please visit www.tallahasseesymphony.org, follow us on Facebook @TallahasseeSymphony, or Instagram @TallySymphony.

About WFSU Public Media

WFSU Public Media provides quality public broadcasting services to the north Florida and south Georgia areas. WFSU Public Media is both an NPR and PBS member station, with TV and FM housed near Innovation Park. In Panama City, WFSU Public Media is known as WFSG-TV and WFSU-FM. WFSU Public Media also provides extensive educational services through our PBS Ready To Learn grant. WFSU Public Media is licensed through Florida State University.

For more information, visit wfsu.org, follow us on Twitter @WFSUmedia, or Facebook @WFSUPublicMedia.

Amanda Stringer, CEO
Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra
515 E Park Avenue
Tallahassee, FL 32301