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Jacksonville Symphony Asking For Public's Help To Buy Antique Instrument

Jessica Palombo

The nonprofit Jacksonville Symphony is looking for help buying a new instrument — or rather, an older model that’s new to the orchestra.

The “Rock the Glockenspiel” campaign got underway last week with a crowdfunding goal of $7,500.

A glockenspiel is like a xylophone but with metal bars. The model the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra uses isn’t top of the line.

Percussionist Joel Panian said it’s an “economy” model.

“I’ve seen several of these in high-school band rooms,” he said.

Problems with the instrument include: The metal slats sit on top of a wooden box, which isn’t good for achieving peak resonance.

“The sound gets a little bit choked,” Panian said.

And the bars are just too thin and not made of the best material, he added.

“They can’t quite handle that amount of volume,” he said. “What we’re looking to do by purchasing a new instrument is to increase the quality.”

The symphony has its sight set on an older model with no wooden box under it. The result should be a richer, fuller tone.

Those interested in donating to the Rock the Glockenspiel campaign can visit the crowdfunding site Razoo.

Donors will be able to attend a party when the coveted instrument arrives and hear Panian perform the world premiere of an original piece by another JSO percussionist Tony Steve.  

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP