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Music in the Community

The College of Music in the Community:
Performance Initiatives Around Town

The Tallahassee music community is diverse in genre, people, and experience. From indie to rock to hip-hop to jazz to Appalachian music and dance, there is a diverse scene of music beyond the Florida State University campus. After years of quietly influencing the scene with our student and faculty musicians, the College of Music is now making their performances around town known.

Noles Around Town

“Noles Around Town,” a new marketing campaign spearheaded by the College last fall, highlights the off-campus performances of our students, faculty, and alumni to increase visibility of our community participation. Weekly calendars listing these performances are posted to the College’s Instagram account and photos documenting the impact on the community are posted there, as well. One upcoming performance in particular marks a significant collaboration between the College and the community.

Javacya Arts Conservatory

Dr. Noël Wan, Assistant Professor of Harp at the College of Music, will perform with the Javacya Conservatory’s Elite Chamber Orchestra at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, April 12. Dedicated to Black and Asian composers, this installment of Javacya’s “Arts-in-the-Heart” concert series will feature Wan on William Grant Still’s Ennanga and the world premiere of Ariel Sol’s harp concerto, Strum!.

A college preparatory institute for musicians ages 3-18, the Javacya Arts Conservatory provides inclusive spaces and promotes diversity in music training by giving Black, indigenous, and students of color the opportunity of music education. Founded in 1980 by College of Music alumna Patrice Floyd, Javacya has had an impact on the Tallahassee community for over 40 years.

The Arts-in-the-Heart concert at St. Peter’s is not the first collaboration between FSU and Floyd; last year, the College of Music welcomed the “Javacya Arts Conservatory Music Fest” to Ruby Diamond Concert Hall with a program featuring performances from the FAMU DRS Youth Orchestras, Southside Orchestra and Cultural Arts Program, and guest solos from FAMU music faculty. Friday’s concert is a well-anticipated reunion between the two institutions, spearheaded by Wan.

“When Ari Schwartz approached me last year about his Strum! premiere project, I knew immediately that I wanted to collaborate with Patrice Floyd,” said Wan. “Not only does Javacya’s mission to educate and uplift young BIPOC musicians align with the nature of the project, it aligns with my mission–as a performer and educator–to engage diversity and equity in the arts through radical musical encounters.”

“With 40 years of experience in serving Tallahassee, the Javacya Orchestra, under the guidance of Patrice Floyd, provides an important partnership opportunity for the College of Music in these areas [underserved communities],” notes Dr. Gregory Jones, Associate Dean of Outreach and Engagement for the College of Music. “The results of working more closely together will benefit all involved and better prepare FSU musicians for a future in the music world.”

Music of the Spheres

Other faculty members within the College of Music have taken their own initiative to bring different styles of music to local culture. Dr. Panayotis League, Assistant Professor of Musicology, hosts “Music of the Spheres,” a world music concert series at Blue Tavern.

“When I became Director of the Center for Music of the Americas in 2020, I knew that I wanted to partner with a local venue to produce concerts highlighting local and regional artists who practice the music of communities that are underrepresented in FSU’s typical programming,” says League. New styles of music are brought to Blue Tavern the first Thursday of every month during the academic year. “We’ve had flamenco, Mardi Grass brass bands, Indian folk and classical music, Irish fiddling, Mississippi blues, fife and drum, and so much more,” League adds. The last concert for the spring semester will take place on Thursday, May 2, and will feature Grupo Jaraguá, FSU’s talented Brazilian music ensemble.

Expanded Programs

In addition to a the creation of a new major devoted to Community Music, the College of Music has also hired additional staff focusing on community outreach. Evangeline Ciupek is the College’s first Community Engagement Manager, a new position centered around building stronger community ties with local enterprises and musicians.

“My job is great,” says Ciupek “It’s brand new, and there’s no template, so it’s a lot of exploring and discovery. I get to explore the different music communities in Tallahassee and find cool, interesting, and impactful ways to work together.”

Working largely with the Council on Culture & Arts (COCA) and College of Music faculty thus far, Ciupek looks forward to getting to know various organizations in town and seeing how the College can bring something new to places that do not traditionally offer music programs.


To see our community in action, join us for the Arts-in-the-Heart concert with the Javacya Arts Conservatory and Dr. Noël Wan at St. Peter’s Anglican Cathedral on Friday, April 12; Dr. League and Grupo Jaraguá at Blue Tavern on Thursday, May 2; and follow the College of Music on Instagram for more Noles Around Town updates!

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