More than a hundred, mostly retired, part-time musicians from around the country gathered last week in Sarasota to revive what some fear is a dying art – live circus music. These elder musicians hope to pass the mantle to a younger generation of performers.
A bright and breezy Sunday afternoon marked the start of a busy week for 130 musicians who flew into Sarasota from around the country. They played circus favorites from the last century during a free outdoor concert at St. Armand’s Circle, where the 33rd annual Circus Ring of Fame induction ceremony was held.
Watching them play, retired aerialist Michelle Quiros smiled as she recalled her performing days. Twirling high in the air, with a live band playing beneath, is “the best feeling in the world,” she said.
In the band’s back row was 82-year-old Bruce Keck, a retired librarian who plays the tuba. Every year, he travels from Tennessee to Sarasota, to jam for a week.
“Well, I remember the circus as a kid. The circus band intrigued me along with the acts. Also, how the horses kept time with the band,” he said…
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