By LOIS KINDLE
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is bringing the Florida Orchestra to the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center for a free concert at 2 p.m. March 17.
“We are very privileged and humbled that this nationally recognized orchestra is coming to perform at our church,” said Jeff Jordan, the church’s director of worship arts. “We have a wonderful concert series, but rarely do we offer something of this professional level and scale.”
About 40 members of the orchestra will perform selections from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 1 and Coriolan Overture, Debussy’s Petite Suite, Haydn’s Symphony No. 83 “Le Poule” and more under the direction of guest conductor Joseph Young.
The concert is open to the community on a space-available basis.
Free advance tickets will be given out from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 8, at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay office in the SunTrust bank building, 15235 Rickenbacker Drive. Those arriving for the concert with advance tickets will be guaranteed a seat until 1:45 p.m. Any unfilled seats will be released to non-ticketholders at that time.
Seating is available for 700, and 200 tickets have been reserved for United Methodist Church of Sun City Center members.
“The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is presenting this concert in celebration of its 25-year presence in the South Shore area and the 50th anniversary of the Florida Orchestra,” said Wilma Norton, vice president of marketing and communications.
The foundation began working with donors in the South Shore area 25 years ago, and since then has distributed as much as $1 million a year to charitable causes in southern Hillsborough County, she said.
These have included the new YMCA in Riverview, Firehouse Cultural Center and Mary & Martha House in Ruskin, South Shore Coalition for Mental Health and Aging, Sun City Center Emergency Squad, Pelican Players in Sun City Center, Beth-El Farmworker Ministry and Good Samaritan Mission in Wimauma and other nonprofit organizations.
“The Mary Petro Fund for Food and Medicine at the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay distributes about $100,000 a year in assistance to low-income residents of Sun City Center and Kings Point,” Norton said.
Performing in a variety of community venues enables The Florida Orchestra to bring its music to folks who might not otherwise get to hear it.
“The Florida Orchestra is recognized as Tampa Bay’s leading performing arts institution, the largest professional symphony orchestra in Florida and one of the most vibrant and innovative orchestras in America,” said Kelly Smith, public relations manager, in a recent email. “Under the leadership of Music Director Michael Francis, it performs a series of classical, popular, rock and morning coffee concerts in Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, as well as free Pops in the Park concerts.”
For more information on The Florida Orchestra, visit www.floridaorchestra.org. For information on the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay, visit www.cftampabay.org.
The United Methodist Church of Sun City Center is at 1210 Del Webb Blvd. W.