Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra

Courtney Bryan, the Jacksonville Symphony's Mary Carr Patton Composer-in-Residence, with students from KIPP: Jacksonville Schools.
Courtney Bryan

A new composition inspired by the city of Jacksonville, written by the Jacksonville Symphony’s first ever composer-in-residence, is making its world premiere this weekend.

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with attorney Rob Mason, Director of the Juvenile Division with 4th District Public Defender’s Office and a bipartisan effort in Tallahassee to reform the state’s juvenile justice system (01:08).

The latest edition of Moveable Feast features Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra supporter Bill Maletz speaking about the upcoming Wines for Music event at Marsh Landing Country Club (27:36).  

Ahead of her speaking at next week’s Women with Heart Luncheon we spoke with House of Cards and 24 actress Jayne Atkinson-Gill (35:40).

Co-organizers of The Made in St. Augustine festival Monika Benthal and Jaclyn Zeichner joined the show to tell us about next month’s event (46:00).    

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT

Tuesday on First Coast Connect we heard about an investigation into the Duval County Public Schools’ suspension statistics with Florida Times-Union reporter Denise Smith Amos (01:14).

Local author Michael Wiley told us about his new book “Monument Road” (29:42).        

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Music Director Courtney Lewis joined us to talk some of the upcoming concerts at the Times-Union Center (38:26).

On #GivingTuesday Rethreaded founder Kristin Keen joined us to talk about a new partnership with Southwest Airlines (46:00).    

Mike Haridopolos

Wednesday on First Coast Connect we spoke with former Florida State Senate President Mike Haridopolos on the Right on Crime initiative of conservative justice reform (01:10).     

Ahead of Black Friday and the holiday shopping season we spoke with Florida Capital Bank’s information security officer Ed Bides on how to prevent becoming a victim of cybercrime (37:27).     

We heard about an upcoming free Christmas concert with Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra French Horn player Aaron Brask (46:00).  

Today on “First Coast Connect,” we discussed the Joshua Phillips re-sentencing hearings with Larry Hannan, writer for Injustice Today with Harvard University’s Fair Punishment Project (01:15) Phillips was convicted in the high-profile murder of 8-year-old Maddie Clifton in 1998. University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Nutrition Program Managers Ashley Johnson and Denise Cox talked about their new initiative and a call for volunteers (24:58). We met new Assistant Conductor with the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Deanna Tham (34:05), and Toni D’Amico with the Amelia Community Theatre told us about their upcoming production of “Avenue Q” (41:36).   

The Jacksonville Symphony will present “Violins of Hope” this weekend, a concert started by Amnon Weinstein, featuring 16 violins he recovered and restored from the Holocaust.

Wednesday on First Coast Connect, we spoke by  phone with “Reveal”  host Al Letson about this weekend’s episode that focuses on Jacksonville. He was joined by WJCT reporter Lindsey Kilbride and Florida Times-Union reporter Ben Conorack who contributed to the program. We also spoke with Tom McLaughlin, owner of Metro Rooter for our going green segment on how he turns old household grease into useful products. Leadership Jacksonville CEO Jill Langford Dame joined the show to discuss their upcoming seminar to train local political candidates and we welcomed Amnon Weinstein, one of the most respected violin makers in the world, who is in Jacksonville for Sunday’s “Violins of Hope” concert by the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra. The concert features 16 violins recovered and restored from the Holocaust.  


Joe Buono and Tristan Clarke “started off as two guys playing toy instruments in the basement” in Jacksonville. Now, the duo is the internationally acclaimed musical act, the Melodica Men.

Buono and Clarke joined host Melissa Ross Monday on First Coast Connect for a live studio performance.

Jacksonville University sociology professor Nathan Rousseau spoke with host Melissa Ross about race relations in Jacksonville. We also heard from Adam Jorgensen, president of Pragmatic Works Client Solutions, and Brian Bush from Tom Bush auto dealers about the “Real Men Wear Pink” campaign to raise awareness and support for breast cancer research. Ross spoke with Jacksonville Symphony conductor Courtney Lewis about the upcoming season and Mary Harvey and Kristi Leonard told us about therapy animal training on the First Coast. 

Jessica Palombo / WJCT News

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.

At the age of 10, she played the iconic role of Scout in the classic 1962 film "To Kill a Mockingbird," based on the beloved novel by the late Harper Lee.

For her portrayal of Scout, young actress Mary Badham was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award. At the time, she was the youngest Oscar nominee.

Badham is making a couple of appearances in our area this weekend to talk about the legacy of the film and novel. She joins us with a look back on her experiences, her memories of Harper Lee and Gregory Peck, and more.

Ryan Benk / WJCT News

For the first time, the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra is handing over its instruments to amateurs for a “Civic Orchestra” show premiering Saturday.

One of those lucky “civilian musicians” is Nathan Perriello.

Gov. Rick Scott is expected to sign a water policy bill Thursday, despite veto pleas from some environmentalists and former governor Bob Graham.

SB 552 is a priority of Speaker Steve Crisafulli, and was one of the first bills the Legislature passed this session. It changes water policy across Florida, from springs to water supply.

In addition to Graham, a coalition of 106 environmental and civic groups delivered a letter to the Legislature asking for significant changes to the bill. One of the groups opposing the measure is the Jacksonville-based St. Johns Riverkeeper.

We speak with St. Johns Riverkeeper Lisa Rinaman about the bill and her group's efforts to raise awareness about the river.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in this region has accepted more than $30 million from several Jacksonville compounding pharmacies, to settle allegations they engaged in kickbacks and fraud while selling unnecessary drugs to active military personnel. Jason Mehta, Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida, joins us with more.

Lindsey Kilbride / WJCT News

Duval County Public Schools wants your gently used instruments. The district is partnering with the Jacksonville Symphony, Jacksonville Public Education Fund, Jacksonville Public Library and Florida Blue to ensure students in need are able to participate in school music programs.

School Board Chair Ashley Smith Juarez says she herself benefited from playing the alto saxophone in school.