Symphony in Bayshore Gardens


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Florida Orchestra has delighted ears across the Tampa Bay area for 44 seasons filled with time-tested masterworks and sprightly pops concerts. Created in the 1968 merger between the St. Petersburg Symphony and the Tampa Philharmonic, Florida Orchestra ties the two sides of the bay together into one musical tradition. The ensemble has continued its program of outreach ever since, which has recently included cultural exchange programs with Cuba, collaborations with local institutions, and the tradition of allowing one lucky child to sleep inside a tuba during each performance.

400 1st Street South
St. Petersburg,
FL
US

The State Theatre was saved, as its website states, from "the ravages of time." Built in 1921 as a vaudeville and silent-film palace, the venue fell on hard times in the 1970s. In 2003, however, a $3 million renovation restored the State Theatre to much of its original glory, as crews painstakingly rehabbed the ornamental plaster, terracotta exterior, and actor holding cells. Inside the theater, a stunning chandelier sparkles more brightly than ever below the venue's signature dome.

687 Central Ave
Saint Petersburg,
FL
US

Classical, opera, and popular orchestral compositions make up the repertoire of the Southwest Florida Symphony, which has made quality programming its mission since 1961. Aiming to make music accessible to all, the symphony visits schools, offers scholarships, books youth-friendly concerts, and provides a friendly First-Timer’s Guide for new audience members unfamiliar with the proper way of applauding.

244 2nd Ave N
Saint Petersburg,
FL
US

Capping the season with this final concert, the North Port Symphony premieres Concerto for Guitar, a commissioned work from local composer Rex Willis. Soloist Thomas Koch, Willis's friend and colleague, mans the frets and draws forth the composer's playful blend of blues, Latin beats, and Copland-tinged sweep while a full orchestra backs him up.

6400 Price Boulevard
North Port,
FL
US

Hershey Theatre

The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.

4802 North Us Highway 301
Tampa,
FL
US

A bastion of family-friendly arts and entertainment since its curtain first rose in 1983, Ruth Eckerd Hall demonstrates its commitment to the community through concerts, movie screenings, and all-ages education at the Marcia P. Hoffman Performing Arts Institute. Graduates of the school go on to star in musical and theater productions on the stage, overlooking 2,180 sloping seats arranged continental style for great sightlines and impeccable acoustics.

405 Cleveland St.
Clearwater,
FL
US