Sinfonia Gulf Coast Goes Retro For 2016-2017 Season

September 14, 2016 by SoWal Staff

Keeping the tempo on the Emerald Coast’s cultural scene since its founding in 2005, Sinfonia Gulf Coast maintains the tradition of “symphony redefined” as it enters its 11th season as the region’s only fully professional symphony orchestra. Season 11, entitled RETROSPECTIVE, will offer a stellar lineup of concerts and educational initiatives featuring the orchestra and world-renowned guest artists.
Sinfonia will start its season on a high note on Thursday, Sept. 22 with an intimate cabaret-style performance by Emmy and Tony Award-winning singer and actor John Lloyd Young at Seagar’s Prime Steaks and Seafood at the Hilton Sandestin Beach. The unique event will feature a special wine dinner created by the award-winning restaurant’s executive chef, Dan Vargo, followed by Lloyd’s performance. The seventh in an annual series with Seagar’s, the event sold out in a special pre-sale in just a matter of weeks.
Emmy and Tony award-winner John Lloyd Young is the star of Clint Eastwood’s film adaptation of the Broadway and international stage hit, “JERSEY BOYS.” Having originated the role of Frankie Valli in the original Broadway production, Young joins a select few actors in entertainment history who took their Tony-winning stage role to the big screen. Young sings lead vocals on the Grammy-winning, certified-platinum original Broadway cast album, as well as the “JERSEY BOYS” movie album. As Valli onstage, Young became the only American actor in history to win all four major leading actor honors in a Broadway debut: the Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Theatre World awards.
The Silver Sands Premium Outlets’ “Classical Connections” series opens on Thursday, Oct. 6 at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin and features classical guitarist Sharon Isbin in the Southeast U.S. premiere of Chris Brubeck’s “Affinity: Concerto for Guitar & Orchestra,” which was written for Isbin. Acclaimed by Guitar Player as “the pre-eminent guitarist of our time,” multiple Grammy Award winner Sharon Isbin has appeared as soloist with more than 170 orchestras and given sold-out performances in the world’s finest halls. Winner of the Toronto, Madrid and Munich Competitions, Germany’s Echo Klassik and Guitar Player’s “Best Classical Guitarist” award, she has been artistic director/soloist of festivals she created for Carnegie Hall and NPR. A frequent guest on “All Things Considered” and “A Prairie Home Companion,” she has been on the cover of more than 45 magazines, profiled on “CBS Sunday,” and featured soloist in Scorsese’s Oscar-winning “The Departed.”
Sinfonia’s annual holiday concert on Friday, Dec. 16 at Destiny Worship Center, will feature orchestral arrangements of seasonal classics paired with the exhilarating vocals of The Manhattan Transfer. The Manhattan Transfer remains a cornerstone for great pop and jazz hits, a legacy that the group has cemented since their first recording 40 years ago. The legendary quartet has been awarded 10 Grammy Awards of 20 nominations and has been inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. They are responsible for 19 singles and 29 albums during their stellar career and their music has been featured in major feature films and television shows. The group has also recorded with an impressive roster of artists including Tony Bennett, Bette Midler, Smokey Robinson, Laura Nyro, Phil Collins, B.B. King, Chaka Khan, James Taylor, and Frankie Valli.
On Friday, January 20, 2017, the second installment of the Silver Sands Premium Outlets’ “Classical Connections” series will be held at Destiny Worship Center, featuring 2016 Musical America Instrumentalist of the Year, violinist Jennifer Koh. Koh will perform American composer Samuel Barber’s “Concerto for Violin and Orchestra.” The Strad magazine describes Koh as a “risk-taking, high-octane player of the kind who grabs the listener by the ears and refuses to let go. Unlike so many players of this temperament however, she supports her mesmerizing flights of fancy with a beguilingly silvery tone, fabulous technique and dead center intonation.”
The concert, entitled “Musical Time Travel,” showcases a repertoire destined to take the listener on a musical journey, whether by time or location and features John Adams’ “Short Ride in a Fast Machine,” the “William Tell Overture” by Gioachino Rossini and the brilliant orchestral suite “Roman Festivals” by Ottorino Respighi. This concert will be presented in conjunction with the annual “Paint the Music” project, allowing students to visually interpret excerpts of music prior to the live Sinfonia performance. These pieces of art will be displayed in the Destiny lobby during two morning performances on Jan. 20 for Okaloosa and Walton County third through eighth graders, as well as for the evening performance for the public. The education concerts feature the orchestra with a special appearance by Koh.
The main season comes to an animated finale on Saturday, March 25 at the Emerald Coast Convention Center with “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II.” Created by George Daugherty and David Ka Lik Wong, and conducted by George Daugherty, the concert features the world’s greatest classic “Looney Tunes” on the big screens – including “What’s Opera, Doc?” and “The Rabbit of Seville” – with the original scores performed live by Sinfonia Gulf Coast. This latest edition celebrates the concert’s 25th anniversary with many new animated additions, including two just-premiered 3D animated shorts, “Coyote Falls” and “Rabid Rider!”
The annual Sinfonia Gala Event will be held on Saturday, May 13 at The Henderson in Destin. Patrons will indulge in the stunning surroundings of this new resort while enjoying a reception with passed hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, live music, followed by a seated three-course dinner with wine in the main ballroom, culminating in a live performance of The Temptations Revue, featuring Reggie Reed and members of Sinfonia Gulf Coast.
The Temptations’ timeless tunes are deeply rooted in the history of Motown. A group recognized worldwide for their smooth choreography, distinct harmonies and definitive style, The Temptations reigned at the top of the charts with hits like “Get Ready,” “Just My Imagination,” “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” “My Girl,” “The Girl’s Alright with Me,” “I Wish it Would Rain,” and “Beauty’s Only Skin Deep” in the 1960s. Tables of ten and single tickets are available for purchase. Special room rates at The Henderson will also be available.
Season tickets, which will feature preferred seating for all four concerts, will be $165 per person. Single tickets for the Gala Event are $250 each, and tables of 10 and single tickets will be available for purchase. All performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., with the exception of “Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II,” which will begin at 7 p.m., and the gala, which will begin at 5:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please go to or call 850-460-8800.
Presenting Sponsor for the 2016-2017 season is Merrill Lynch Wealth Management. Presenting Concerts Sponsor for the 2016-2017 season is Hancock Bank. Additional presenting sponsors include VIE Magazine, Presenting Media Sponsor;, Presenting E-media Sponsor; and Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort and Spa, Presenting Accommodations Sponsors. 
Sinfonia Gulf Coast was founded in 2005 on Florida’s Northwest Gulf Coast with the mission of redefining the symphony experience. Under the guidance of founder and Music Director Demetrius Fuller and a dedicated board of directors, the nonprofit orchestra is in its 11th season of innovative musical programming, designed to entertain, educate and inspire the community. Notable guest artists have included: Tony- and Emmy-winning star Kristin Chenoweth; Broadway legends Bernadette Peters and Patti LuPone; R&B icon Roberta Flack,Mary Wilson of the Supremes; composer and performer Chris Brubeck; music narrator Jamie Bernstein, the Sao Paulo String Quartet; classical-crossover sensation Time for Three; The Hot Sardines; Manhattan Piano Trio; Epic recording artist Morgan James; Tony Award-winning vocalists Cheyenne Jackson, Gary Mauer and Debbie Gravitte; Grammy-nominated violinist Caroline Goulding; Grammy-Award winners John Pizzarelli, Howard Levy, Tracy Silverman, the Parker Quartet, New York Voices, The von Trapps and iconic big band Pink Martini.
Since its founding, Sinfonia Gulf Coast has presented more than 430 concerts and events, has collaborated with numerous nonprofits and businesses throughout the community and has reached more than 90,000 children through its Sinfonia Guest Artists in the Schools program/music education outreach initiatives. More than 1,000 families have benefited from Sinfonia’s Students4FREE program, which provides complimentary tickets to live orchestral performances and musical events. Committed to music education, Sinfonia supports a 60-member youth orchestra program, led by Music Director Liz Aylor and, for the third consecutive season, is one of 80 orchestras worldwide to partner with Carnegie Hall’s Weill Institute of Music in its Link Up program for third through fifth graders. Sinfonia Gulf Coast is also a proud collaborator throughout the Northwest Florida community, currently partnering with Sacred Heart Hospital on the Emerald Coast in its Arts in Medicine program. Other significant partnerships supporting local arts organizations have included Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation, through the “Paint the Music” program and free orchestra concerts for third through eighth graders; the Northwest Florida Ballet; the Cultural Arts Alliance of Walton County; and the Okaloosa Arts Alliance. is a proud Presenting E-media Sponsor for Sinfonia's 11th season. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or call 850-460-8800. Stay social for updates on upcoming concerts and special events all season long on Facebook: Sinfonia Gulf Coast. Find Sinfonia on Instagram and Twitter too.

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