The 2018 Florida State MTA conference was held in the same location as was planned the previous year (the 2017 conference was canceled because of Hurricane Irma). The host hotel was the Miami-Biltmore Hotel, a National Historic Landmark.
In 1925, George Merrick joined forces with Biltmore hotel magnate John McEntee Bowman at the height of the Florida land boom to build “a great hotel…which would not only serve as a hostelry to the crowds which were thronging to Coral Gables but also would serve as a center of sports and fashion.”
In January 1926, ten months and $10 million later, The Biltmore debuted with a magnificent inaugural that brought people down from northern cities on trains marked “Miami Biltmore Specials.”
The Biltmore name was chosen because of its association with the glamorous and extravagant Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC: the private home constructed by George Washington Vanderbilt II. This piece is written in a ragtime style that would have been popular and prevalent during George Vanderbilt’s lifetime. The displaced accents at the end of the first section and changing time signature are clever challenges that make the piece sound as if the meter has changed.
Key: D major
Mood: happy, engaged
Pedagogy: time signature changes, accents, staccato.