Neal Phillips Plays National Anthem on 3D-Printed Electric Violin

Amidst a sea of purple at the Camping World Stadium (formerly the Citrus Bowl) during the Orlando Pride game on Sunday, July 10, 2016, Valencia’s own English Professor Neal Phillips shared in the spotlight as he wowed the crowd with his rendition of the “Star Spangled Banner.” Neal played the song on a purple 3D-printed electric violin, created by Valencia engineering, computer programming and technology students.

As Neal explains, the experience was “awesome.”

The idea to play at an Orlando event came from Neal’s dedication to spotlight Valencia’s work with 3D printing and, more specifically, to showcase the Orlando City-themed purple violin Valencia created.

To put his plan into action, he contacted a ticket agent who put him in contact with an Orlando City marketing representative. Before he knew it, he was headed to the Orlando City offices with Valencia’s original red, white and blue violin in hand to audition in front of five staff members. Needless to say, they loved the performance and Neal was on his way to playing Valencia’s new, purple, 3D-printed fiddle at a Pride game.

“I feel really fortunate to be able to promote and use the 3D-printed violins,” Neal said. “Though I’m an English professor via communications, I now have a great relationship with engineering, and I’m helping to further the education of engineering students via a mutual passion. This type of cross-curricular interaction is what makes Valencia College awesome.”

Neal, a musician since the ripe old age of six, who has traveled the world playing in bands and orchestras, was introduced to the world of 3D-printed violins through Lisa Macon, dean, engineering, computer programming and technology.

“We had been musicians together in Valencia’s Rogue Scholars band and, once the first violin was produced, she asked me if I’d like to test it,” he explained. “I jumped at the opportunity! It’s been a great relationship promoting the violins ever since.”

“After the first 3D violin was printed, I was asked if there was a particular type of violin that students could try and create,” he continued. “Pat Lynch, lab supervisor, building construction, was the key to all of this, as she helped facilitate things for students and instructors alike. I told her that I’d love students to take on the challenge of an Orlando City soccer-themed electric violin. What they created was better than anything I could have imagined — and it played beautifully.”

If you missed Neal’s performance, click above to watch and listen as he plays the “Star Spangled Banner” beautifully on the violin.

Had we not told you, odds are, you would have never known the violin wasn’t a pricey purchase, but an instrument created on a 3D printer right here at Valencia. Now that’s a testament to the creativity and innovation that exists at the College.

2 Comments

  • Shara Lee said:

    Beautiful and wonderful! What a cool showcase of multiple great talents. 🙂

    PMWed, 13 Jul 2016 12:57:55 +0000Wed, 13 Jul 2016 12:57:55 +0000pm16,12:57 pm

  • Karen Murray said:

    Bravo!!

    PMWed, 13 Jul 2016 14:17:42 +0000Wed, 13 Jul 2016 14:17:42 +0000pm16,2:17 pm

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