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Young Leaders Put on "Air Orchestra" Concert


If you’ve seen people play air guitar or air drums, imagine three-dozen young people rocking out on imaginary trumpets, bassoons and violins.  The scene is the little park across the street from the Council on Culture and the Arts.  The symphonic rendering of the popular Kesha tune was the work of local music producers Joe De La Cruz and Kyle Tesalona.  The maestro waving the baton was famed violinist and conductor Patrice Minor Floyd. 

“In their minds, the symphony simply doesn’t exist; it has no significance in their world," said Floyd, who called the exercise a cultural consciousness expander.

"So this brings the symphony orchestra up front and that’s why we talk about the instrument, why we talked about how long I’ve been playing and other people.  Many of them know my son through YouTube; he’s been nominated for five Grammy’s.

That son is Ashanti Floyd, also known as the “Mad Violinist”.  But the students didn’t only get to play along with an orchestral piece.  They put their make-believe instruments aside when DJ Joe cranked up the “Harlem Shake.” The students, like seemed to like the whole exercise.

“It was kind of weird, but it was a fun experience and I’m happy that I was here to enjoy it," said FAMU DRS’s Justin Fitzpatrick. He says he was astonished by the amount of art and culture in Tallahassee.

“I thought I knew about some of the ins and outs, but there’s plenty more of that I just found out today just off of being in Leadership Tallahassee.”

Several adult Leadership Tallahassee grads, such as Janeia Daniels Ingram, accompanied the youngsters on the second part of the event. A cultural trek and scavenger hunt.

“And some of the groups got down on Railroad Avenue and I was walking with one of the groups and I asked if they knew what was right around the corner.  They said ‘No’ and I said that’s like an art hub right there around Railroad Avenue.  So the whole day was designed to be exciting and fun, but it was also designed to be educational.  And when you capture them at this age it gives them something to grab hold to and love their community even more," she said.

This is the ninth Youth Leadership Tallahassee class.  The program is sponsored by the Greater Tallahassee Area Chamber of Commerce as part of its "Creative Community Day".

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Tom Flanigan has been with WFSU News since 2006, focusing on covering local personalities, issues, and organizations. He began his broadcast career more than 30 years before that and covered news for several radio stations in Florida, Texas, and his home state of Maryland.

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