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.