SCF Music Department Highlights Violins on National Violin Day

(Bradenton, Fla., Dec. 12, 2017) — National Violin Day is Dec. 13 and State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota’s (SCF) Music Department is highlighting violins and their role in the college’s music program and ensembles.

“Violins, like the soprano voice in a choir, typically offer the main melody and sit closest to the conductor," said Robyn Bell, director of instrumental studies and SCF Bradenton Symphony Orchestra (BSO) conductor. “In fact, the first chair violinist was the conductor with their bow serving as the baton until the role of conductor was actually invented.”

Bell, who has a doctorate of musical arts from Boston University, said the BSO violin section has 22 members, 16 of whom are SCF students. The BSO is made up of students and community musicians who audition for the orchestra.

Felicia Brunelle, who has a doctorate of musical arts from the State University of New York – Stony Brook, is violin instructor at SCF. She also is the concertmaster, a role reserved for a violinist, for the 60-member, community-based Sarasota Pops Orchestra led by Bell. As concertmaster Brunelle is responsible for tuning the orchestra, her most visible role. Behind the scenes she also provides bowings, which are indicators for when to change the direction of the bow for each note.

Brunelle has been teaching at SCF for about 10 years and typically has five students. “Recently, one of my SCF students and I performed J.S. Bach’s ‘Concerto for Two Violins’ with the Sarasota Pops Orchestra. It’s always wonderful to give students performing opportunities they wouldn’t get out in the world by themselves,” Brunelle said.

For more information about SCF’s violin program, contact Bell at 941-752-5579 or email Visit to see a list of upcoming BSO performances and to purchase tickets. For more information about the Sarasota Pops Orchestra, visit


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