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Key West Fl Florida Keys
Key West Fl, Florida Keys

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It's not a brass instrument, a stringed instrument or a drum, but the fluted pink-lined conch shell has the distinction of being the "instrument" behind Key West's most indigenous form of musical expression. The peculiar art of conch shell blowing is to be demonstrated by novices and rare pucker pros at the annual Key West Florida Keys Conch Shell Blowing Contest, scheduled March.

Test How Strong Your Lung Is In Key West Fl, Florida Keys:

The contest is to take place on the Sunset Pier at Ocean Key Resort, Zero Duval St., overlooking the waters once traversed by 19th-century seafarers who blew blasts on conch horns to attract attention. The conch itself, a sturdy sea mollusk, is deeply entwined in Key West's heritage and tradition and is pronounced As well as savoring conch meat in fritters and chowder, native-born islanders proudly call themselves Conchs. Their island home is known as the Conch Republic.

Conch Shell Blowing Is Fun In Key West Fl , Florida Keys:

Each year, 50 to 60 entrants, from toddlers to octogenarians, compete in the Conch Shell Blowing Contest, testing the strength of their lungs and lips in front of huge audiences. Mercifully for most contestants, musical ability is not a requirement in the annual "conch honk." Instead, sounds are judged on their quality, duration, loudness and novelty. Some sounds are novel indeed, resembling bleats or squawks. A few entrants, however, manage impressive displays of mollusk musicianship. Retired teacher Kathe Betz of Milwaukee captured first place in the 2002 contest by using double- and triple-tonguing techniques to tootle her way through a portion of the "William Tell Overture."

The March 20 competition is free to enter as well as to watch. While conch shell "instruments" are to be available at the event, participants are encouraged to bring their own...exactly like "tooting your own horn!"

Nature Made Trophy From Key West Fl, Florida Keys:

Trophies are awarded in four categories, with judging based on the quality, novelty, duration and loudness of the sounds produced.

The Conch Shell Blowing Contest was created in 1962 as an integral part of Old Island Days, a culture and heritage celebration established by the Old Island Restoration Foundation. So, and all, come blow your horn at the Conch Blowing Contest...a litle Beethoven perhaps?


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