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For over 40 years, Patrice Floyd has been a kind of fairy godmother to young minority musicians—painting with music pictures what it is like to be a member of a symphony ensemble—and giving them that chance.

Perhaps such a youngster was familiar with a guitar or a keyboard, but holding a hand-made violin, or feeling the human-throb of a cello’s voice against his chest was likely something few minority students had ever experienced or aspired to — until  Floyd “whispered in their ears” about classical music, and opened the way for them to make that music too.

More: Javacya Orchestra founder aims for change: 'I teach from struggle'

体育在线365Over the years, Floyd began not one Javacya Conservatory, but several musical laboratories for youth and college-age students to learn instruments and perform works that many had never dreamed of. From South Carolina to Georgia and Florida, professional musicians were brought in to teach, coach and inspire, introducing students to Beethoven, Bach, Brahms, and the works of Latin and black composers as well.

In Tallahassee, as part of its “Arts in the Heart” Concert Series, the Javacya Elite Chamber Orchestra, will soon present not only themselves, elegantly attired and perfectly rehearsed, but internationally-acclaimed violinist, Rachel Barton Pine on Friday, Feb. 21, at St. Peter's Cathedral on Thomasville Road.

Pine seems the perfect fit for Patrice Floyd’s vision. Like Floyd, she is a multidimensional performer with an intense interest in furthering the musical landscapes of minority players by allowing them to play the classical works of minority composers.

Rachel Barton Pine currently lives in Chicago, but last year alone she was in residence with the Singapore Symphony, played with the Royal Scottish National Symphony, the Seattle Baroque Orchestra and recorded the Dvorak and Khachaturian violin concerti. Previous seasons she was soloist with the Vienna, Chicago, Philadelphia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras.

She has recorded 38 albums including 2018’s Elgar and Bruch Violin Concerti with the BBC Symphony under Neville Marriner.

She spends much time not only practicing and rehearsing, but also researching the musical and historical contexts of the works. Some of that research led to her interest in women, Latin and black composers and their under-represented contributions to classical music.

Pine plays on a 1742 Joseph Guarneri violin whose voice she finds “perfect” for own virtuosic playing and interpretations. Owned by 19th century violinist, Antonio Bazzini and later, hand-selected by Brahms for his protegee’, Marie Soldat, the violin has, since 2002, been loaned to Barton Pine for all her concert and recording work. “It is my musical life partner. I loved playing Brahms lullabies to my daughter on it,” she says, thinking that this instrument had actually “jammed” with Brahms in his own time.

体育在线365In 2018, Rachel Barton Pine began the RBP Foundation which pairs youth players with instruments, provides accompanist fees, and even concert clothing. Similar scholarships are provided to young musicians in Central America and Africa.

体育在线365As part of her overall contribution to the underplayed works of minority composers, she has researched and compiled into a pedagogical book, 900 works by 350 minority composers that can be played by youth orchestras.

Two of those works will be featured Feb. 21 with the Javacya Elite Chamber Orchestra: Lyric for Strings by Dr. George Walker and Chevalier de Saint Georges’ Violin Concerto in A Major.

Patrice Floyd has told the Tallahassee Democrat that performances such as the Arts in the Heart at St. Peters, “Knits together communities in town who may never cross paths.”  

And with inspired young people, brilliant professional role models and exhilarating music, that bond should only strengthen.

If you go

What: Rachel Barton Pine performs with the Javacya Elite Chamber Orchestra

When: 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21

Where: St. Peter’s Cathedral, 4784 Thomasville Road

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