By LOIS KINDLE
The Community Foundation of Tampa Bay is bringing The Florida Orchestra’s Holiday Brass ensemble to the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center for a free Christmas concert Dec. 16.
The event will take place at 3 p.m. and include 15 or 16 orchestra musicians performing on trumpets, trombones, horns and a tuba, timpani and other percussion instruments.
Members of the Community Foundation’s South Shore Council, which is hosting the concert, will distribute about 500 free tickets on a first-come, first-served basis from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 10, and 10 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Dec. 13. They will be stationed on the church’s outdoor patio between the LED building and sanctuary.
“This is third time we have sponsored a free community concert for South Shore area residents,” said Wilma Norton, the foundation’s vice president of community connections. “The first was in 2018 at the United Methodist Church of Sun City Center, and the second was at Kings Point the following year. We didn’t have one in 2020 due to pandemic, and now we’re back at the church.
“This is part of our community vibrancy focus,” she continued. “We have a long and storied relationship with The Florida Orchestra,” she continued. “We feel these community concerts are a great way for us to give something back and expose The Florida Orchestra to different audiences.”
Enriching the lives of Tampa Bay area residents is an important part of the orchestra’s mission.
“When you believe in the power of live music to make our lives and our community better, there’s nothing more important than bringing music to as many people as possible,” said Mark Cantrell, TFO president and CEO. “The Florida Orchestra is for everybody, in the concert hall and in the community.”
Folks who receive the free tickets are guaranteed admission if they’re seated no later than 2:45 p.m. the day of the concert (Dec. 16). The seats of no-shows will be filled after that time for anyone at the door on a first-come, first-served basis, Norton said.
Church officials are honored to provide its site for the concert, especially during the Christmas season.
“We feel incredibly blessed to have a world-class ensemble coming to our church to perform holiday music,” said Jeff Jordan, worship arts director. “And we’re very grateful to the Community Foundation of Tampa Bay for choosing this venue.”
Residents invited to other holiday events at the church
The United Methodist Church of Sun City Center will host its annual Blue Christmas remembrance for those who are missing a loved one at 6 p.m. Dec 12. The event will be celebrated with candlelight, beautiful music and a homily. After the free service, everyone’s invited for coffee, pastries and fellowship.
The church will also host two international award-winning barbershop groups, the Toast of Tampa and Heralds of Harmony, from 3 to 4:30 p.m., Dec. 19.
“It’s an extraordinary “get” to have both of them appearing in one concert,” said Kevin Goodenow, the church’s concert coordinator. “That really doesn’t happen often.”
The Heralds of Harmony Chorus has been entertaining audiences for more than 75 years, and the Toast of Tampa is one of the 700-plus choruses of Sweet Adelines International.
Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. They can be purchased online at https://www.sccumc.com/event-details/toast-of-tampa-heralds-of-harmony or by calling the church office at 813-634-2539 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. and noon, Sunday.