SCF Symphonic Band to Present Concert Dedicated to Equality

(Bradenton, Fla., Jan. 31, 2017) — The Symphonic Band at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF) will present a concert in recognition of Black History Month at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 16 at SCF’s Neel Performing Arts Center, 5840 26th St. W. The band will perform “Of Our New Day Begun,” a piece commissioned for the shooting victims at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C.

Omar Thomas, who teaches at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, composed “Of Our New Day Begun.” The piece premiered last year at the College Band Directors National Association/National Band Association conference in Charleston, just blocks from the historic church where the shooting occurred on June 17, 2015. “Of Our New Day Begun” incorporates segments of the hymn “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and includes elements from the musical tradition of the black church, including tambourine as well as blues harmonies and melodies. The SCF Symphonic Band was part of this commission, along with 37 other schools, who donated money to have the piece written. It will be just the third school to perform it.

The symphonic band also will perform “On An American Spiritual” by David Holsinger, based on the African American hymn “Where You There?” Another selection, “Don’t You See” by Donald Grantham, borrows from three spirituals, including “Blow Your Trumpet Gabriel.” The piece features a trumpet section and trumpet fanfares. The concert also will feature music by John Williams from the soundtrack to the film “Lincoln.”

Robyn Bell, SCF’s director of instrumental studies, will conduct the concert, which is open to the public. General admission is $8; SCF students and employees, $4. To purchase tickets, visit or contact the box office at 941-752-5252. 

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