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.
Celebrating his 17th year as Gulf Coast Symphony's music director, Dr. Andrew M. Kurtz leads his fine-tuned squad of melody crafters through programs that beautifully showcase classic works. "Brahms/Rachmaninoff" features fiddler Timothy Schwarz giving life to Brahms's Violin Concerto, navigating the piece's legendary difficulty with virtuosic aplomb and the pinpoint timing of a hoop-jumping dolphin. Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances brings all the master composer's skills to bear on a three-movement summation of his career featuring shimmering tapestries of sound and a thundering finale. Concerts kick off with an informative speech from maestro Kurtz, immersing audiences in the upcoming works, deepening appreciation, and pushing used-car-commercial jingles out the other ear.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire - Fort Myers, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form using their expert eyes. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic Waltz and Foxtrot romps or swivel through the modern steps of Salsa, Swing, or Samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction and demonstrations.
For its serendipitous 13th season, Florida Rep hails the new decade with a heart-warming yet humorous yarn from Tom Dudzick, the author of Florida Rep fan favorites Greetings! and Over the Tavern. The family dramedy, King O' the Moon, revisits the topsy-turvy lives of Over the Tavern's Pazinski family, who have (mostly) survived the idealistic ’50s only to come face to face with the mutating landscape of the turbulent ’60s. Those who missed the first installment won't feel left out as they set their eye globes toward the stage to watch the pandemonium that ensues when the intractable Vietnam War and Apollo 11's famous moon landing begin to hit home in this stand-alone sequel. The production features performances from reliable Florida Rep standbys Carrie Lund as recently widowed Ellen and Mark Chambers as Walter Fronzak. The production also features newly minted players, including Jason Parrish, Adam Jones, Jacob Womack, and Claire K. Guy.
The Alliance for the Arts' concerts, exhibitions, and art classes have become a staple for the aesthetically inclined since the institution's founding in 1975. The center’s three art galleries elicit awe with ongoing exhibits, and its educational programs inspire students to express their feelings through painting and drawing. The Alliance’s schedule of events keeps fans of the performing arts intrigued with plentiful music festivals and dance recitals.