When the Dunedin Concert Band started receiving many more performer inquiries than it had seats available, something had to be done. So the DMS launched the Pinellas Community Players with Derek Currier, an expert in helping new, beginner and returning instrumentalists play again.
And what an absolute delight it has been seeing this group change over the years; at one point, there was even a reluctant retiree, Stephen, who had not played his violin in 55 years! And Karen brought her own joy of being able to pick up the saxophone again after years of silence, having been told once by a music teacher that she “shouldn’t play”. With the DMS, and her family encouraging her to play, Karen looks forward to weekly rehearsals and regular performances.
Now under the leadership of Austin Shook and his support team (Performer Relations – Patricia; Library – Marianne), the ensemble continues to grow and tackle more intermediate repertoire with a more balanced ensemble. Advanced and even Expert performers from the DCB also play in this group, because they love helping and encouraging others like Stephen and Karen.
However, Nicole’s experience was a little different – as a new adult cello player, she felt out of place in an ensemble of mostly wind and brass players. Strings have special needs not often addressed in a band environment. So when we launched the “DMS Winter Strings” this past holiday season, both Stephen and Nicole were thrilled!
That meant that the PCP could now focus on its primary participants – wind, brass and percussion players of beginner, proficient, advanced and returning levels.
So we changed the name of the group to reflect its true identity!
Now, the Pinellas Community Players is known as the Pinellas Community Band, and is already booking guest appearances around Pinellas County at traditional and familiar venues, as well as residential developments and parks.