Make us your home page

Sarasota Orchestra surprises air travelers with flash mob

The dulcet tones of a harpist probably weren't enough to get travelers' attentions. But then along came a pilot and two flight attendants, riding up the escalator at Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

As the attendants in their eye-catching retro uniforms looked on, the pilot whipped out a baton, took a step back -- and an orchestra flash mob was born.

The delightful result was all caught on a video that the orchestra released on YouTube on Tuesday morning.

Thirty-two musicians, pops conductor Andrew Lane (the pilot) and several staff members worked with airport personnel for the impromptu performance on Jan. 21, according to a news release. As violinists, cello players and other musicians appeared spontaneously from all directions, the orchestra performed Bizet's Danse Boheme, from Carmen Suite No. 2.

And those flight attendants in the Pan Am uniforms? Isabelle Besançon, cello, and Jennifer Best Takeda, assistant concertmaster.

The idea of music in the main terminal of airports isn't new. In the past few months, Tampa International Airport has been hosting Friday Night Flights. They feature live music and drink specials. The next one on March 8 features the Irish Buskers with special Irish dancers from 5-7 p.m.

The idea for the orchestra flash mob was cellist Cheeko Matsusaka's. He coordinated musician participation and led the overall effort to make the flash mob a reality, said the release.

"On the surface, a flash mob is pure entertainment. What we tried to accomplish was to also demonstrate the limitless power of music to delight and illustrate the Sarasota Orchestra's energy and unique personality," said Matsusaka.

Gordon Greenfield, vice president of marketing for the Sarasota Orchestra, praised the airport for making the video possible. "We're hopeful the video goes viral," he said. "We know we did something special for the community, the airport and fans of the orchestra."

Sarasota Orchestra surprises air travelers with flash mob 02/19/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 19, 2013 2:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Fans in Florida and beyond won't forget Gregg Allman

    Music & Concerts

    The end can come quickly for those who live fast and live hard, who create worlds with their talent and sometimes come close to throwing them away.

    This Oct. 13, 2011 file photo shows Gregg Allman performs at the Americana Music Association awards show in Nashville, Tenn. On Saturday, May 27, 2017, a publicist said the musician, the singer for The Allman Brothers Band, has died. (AP Photo/Joe Howell, File)
  2. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 28


    Alabama: The country music all-timers hit the road for the Southern Drawl tour with openers, the Charlie Daniels Band. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $26-$86. (813) 301-2500.

    Handout photo of Alabama, performing 5/28/17 at Amalie Arena in Tampa. Credit: Alan Messer
  3. Find serenity at Grand Cayman Island's Cemetery Beach



    Hey, cruisers, if you've been to Hell and back, snuggled with the stingrays and taken photos with the turtles at the Cayman Turtle Centre, you might be looking for something different on your next trip. (Guilty!)

    Good snorkeling can be found off shore at Cemetery Beach in Grand Cayman.
  4. Karen Bail, who helped Gibbs kids get to Broadway, retires


    ST. PETERSBURG — When neatnicks retire, they leave no trace behind. Their desks are clean, like a runway after the plane has taken off.

    Karen Bail warms up seniors Jonathan O’Brien, left, as Juan Peron and Addam Setzer as Che Guevara before the dress rehearsal of Evita in April.
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for May 27


    Tampa Bay Margarita Festival: The Barenaked Ladies will headline this festival with opener Cowboy Mouth. Enjoy more than 50 varieties of margarita drinks including a Sriracha strawberry, a bacon rita and even a jalapeno Cabo rita. There's beer and vodka for the non-tequila drinkers. Noon, Curtis Hixon Park, 600 N …