In the Loop
General News : Jul 27, 2017

Dr. Monty Musgrave conducts Legendary Florida 7 years later

By Colton McConnell

The UF College of the Arts was pleased to participate in the annual Florida Alliance for Arts Education (FAAE) summit in Daytona Beach, Florida June 22, 2017. FAAE's mission is to improve, enhance, and promote arts education in Florida. The alliance's vision is for every child in every school to have a well-rounded education that includes a comprehensive, sequential, high-quality program of arts instruction; and for all Florida communities to have broad-based cultural programs available to support lifelong learning in and through the arts.

The participants entered the grand ballroom at the summit of the Shores Hotel in Daytona Beach, Florida to see a full orchestra with UF alum Dr. Monty Musgrave (BMUSE, '82) as conductor. Musgrave, the music supervisor for Volusia county schools stood, ready to commence a performance of “Legendary Florida: A Historic Portrait in Sound.”

This multi-media concert was a masterfully portrayed performance about the history and beauty of the state of Florida. Dr. Monty Musgrave was the conductor and mastermind behind the current iteration of the concert. This was the chance to combine the visual arts, theatre, dance, and music in one piece. The performance was inspired by the Legendary Florida collection of paintings about Florida history by the artist, Jackson Walker. The collection is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Art, DeLand on display at the Volusia County Courthouse in downtown DeLand, Fl.

“Legendary Florida,” written by composer Robert Kerr and based on Jackson Walker’s artwork, made its debut in 2010 at Athens Theatre in DeLand, Florida. The first performance was simply with an orchestra, however, Dr. Musgrave felt the piece had more potential. Musgrave brought up the idea to the FAAE board of performing “Legendary Florida” at the summit and there was nothing but support.

The evolution of the piece performed this year was comprised of beautiful art displayed during the orchestra and choir performance. This was followed by narration of the score and interpretive dance. At the helm, Dr. Monty Musgrave conducting this incredible collaboration.

With another successful run of the piece he’s in talks with Florida Music Education Association to perform again at the state music conference in January 2019. Musgrave continues to be a leader in the state of Florida in arts and arts education; he serves as president of the Volusia County Cultural Alliance, board member for the Florida Music Educators Association, and Florida Alliance for Arts Education.

To view the collection visit: