“Finding our tribe” became a trend that marketers like Seth Godin touted as the way to succeed. However, these days a tribal mindset has caused strife, resentment and divisive bickering. We can easily overcome such fanatic deception by connecting our local communities with live, in-person music.
Music itself remains a-political. Only those who refuse to consider its deep impact on each individual – and even its ability to save lives – will use music as a means to justify their actions or support their cause. Music is not a tool, it is a language – the language of emotions that you can’t put into words. Participating in music as either a performer or audience member is not only good for the soul, but time and time again throughout history it has proven to build better communities.
The immediate problem is that the practice of seeking “tribes” causes people to push against what they don’t already know, like, and appreciate, and music becomes a mascot for the cause they are determined to adopt. “People speak with enormous pomposity and arrogance about music,” said Elvis Costello, but it doesn’t have to be that way.
There are people who recognize music for what it is, over and above winning trophies and awards, serving as a marketing tool, or providing emotional manipulation in movies and political rallies. Many of them are performers, or were at some point in their lives. Although music education in schools often consisted of daily group practice towards winning a State adjudication or competition, the music itself remained a part of every human soul. Those with courage find ways to keep their music alive: sometimes throughout their lives, and sometimes reviving it 20 years later when their nest is empty.
That is why the Dunedin Music Society accommodates those who want to experience live music in person, as well as those who are more comfortable meeting in smaller groups. Unable to sufficiently cater to the wide variety of music-making demands throughout Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Hillsborough, and now Manatee counties with just one local band, the DMS now hosts multiple ensembles to help people break down the barriers of “tribal” stereotypes.
Their flagship ensemble, the Dunedin Concert Band, helps advanced woodwind, brass and percussion players challenge themselves, whereas the Pinellas Community Players gives proficient performers a chance to play, too. The Rhythm Kings Jazz Orchestra and a chamber ensemble are high-quality professional groups providing both serious and dance-like entertainment, and the new Novice Adult Band and Novice Adult Strings help beginning and returning instrumentalists nourish their passions. The Florida Symphonic Winds will represent our local music community in Europe next year, and there is also a new homeschool orchestra in North Pinellas for students under 18.
“As someone who has been involved with classical, theater and choral music for most of my life, I picked up an instrument new to me, the cello, from scratch in 2018 and was thrilled to be welcomed into the Pinellas Community Players this year. The enthusiasm and encouragement with which they received me, even after this horrible pandemic year, to play music with a group of adult peers at my level, was an invaluable experience,” said Melissa Brown.
No matter your social identifiers, you can help make our world a better place by sharing your music together with people from other circles of influence. Players and students of orchestral and band instruments are strongly encouraged to pick up where they left off and join a Dunedin Music Society ensemble this Fall.
Passionate individuals should reach out to the DMS at http://dunedinmusicsociety.org or 727.800.3727