TAMPA, Fla. — It’s the last rehearsal for Francisco Quixtan and his fellow alumni from the Bay Area Youth Wind Band before their annual reunion concert.
“I was one of the first to join this group in 2012. I was a senior in high school,” said Quixtan.
The band welcomes back the best middle and high school wind musicians in the Tampa Bay area as Summer Breeze, under conductor and founder Dr. Matthew McCutchen, who is also the University of South Florida’s Director of Bands.
And there is another concert that involves a flow of different instruments.
“So the wind band is made of all woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, so we don’t involve any string instruments," said Tony Negron, executive director of the Florida Wind Band. “And so they are going to see two different ensembles — the first is going to be the Summer Breeze group, which is the Alumni for Bay Area Youth Winds, and then the second group that they’re going to see is the Florida Wind Band, which is the professional ensemble.”
While some of these musicians only pick up their instruments once a year for this ongoing tradition, others never let it go.
“I play the clarinet. I’ve been playing since fifth grade, then went to college, got a degree in Music Education and Performance. I love music so much,” Quixtan said.
As for his current work?
“I’m an orchestra high school director," Quixtan said. "I’m also a conductor, a community band conductor and a professional musician.”
With such a full plate, why come back every year? To be surrounded by people from different walks of life, in different stages of life, brought together by the music of life.
“People that just want to do this because they love it,” he said.
The Florida Wind Band and Summer Breeze concert will be held on July 1 at 5:30 p.m. at Carrollwood Village Park in Tampa.
And the Florida Wind Band will have another concert that will be held on July 2 at 6 p.m. at Palma Cela Presbyterian Church in Tampa.