Youth orchestra to perform Feb. 28 at Bell Tower orchestra to perform Feb. 28 at Bell Tower

The Southwest Florida Symphony continues its revamped 2020-2021 season presenting its recently resumed Youth Orchestra programming with a combination concert and fundraiser in the updated Bell Tower outdoor center courtyard Feb. 28. 

The Southwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and Sinfonietta are auditioned groups comprised of some of the finest young musicians in our area. An important educational arm of the Southwest Florida Symphony, it provides quality symphonic training and performance experience for young instrumentalists. The Youth Orchestra program has been a unique and vital part of the Symphony’s educational outreach offerings since 1999.  The 4 p.m. concert will be approximately 60 minutes long, outdoors, with no intermission, in order to provide the safest environment possible while still honoring the mission of student growth through training and performance.

The intermediate-level Sinfonietta is a string orchestra directed by Katrina Rozmus, a Southwest Florida Symphony violinist who also performs with the Naples Philharmonic and the Sarasota Orchestra. The Youth Orchestra, an advanced level full symphonic orchestra, is directed by Ida Baker High School music director Nathan Fish, an FGCU alumnus who is also an active performer and private horn instructor in Southwest Florida.

“I am very happy that we have found a way to safely and carefully offer this important educational opportunity back to our area’s most gifted music students. With no access into Lee County Schools at this time, we have been blessed with our own private rehearsal facility due to our new Bell Tower partnership. We now have the space and easy access to a large, lovely unit in which the students can rehearse, safely masked and distanced. The students, parents, and conductors have been so flexible with all of the necessary changes, and I know they are as excited as I am to have found a way to persevere. The Bell Tower is a lovely place to meet, and we are especially pleased to also have access to their central courtyard to be able to present our first concert and fundraiser safely outdoors,” says Education & Community Outreach Director, Kara Griffith.  

One of the Youth Orchestra’s returning student members enthuses, “With these times, music can really help many people and reach them in a certain way to lift their spirits. So, I’m happy I get to be a part of spreading joy through music. I hope to go to college next year and study either music therapy or animal sciences and get a doctorate for either of those because I love helping others, and mixing that with music (would be) awesome!”

The Sinfonietta & Youth Orchestra concerts begin at 4 p.m. at the Bell Tower Courtyard. Programming includes works by Shostakovich, Brahms, Morton Gould, and a Harry Alshin arrangement of Danny Boy. Cost is free with general admission, but donations are appreciated. Some seating will be provided, but concert-goers are encouraged to bring their own folding chairs.

Priority table seating is available by purchasing tickets to the concurrent Music Bingo Themed Fundraiser. Attendees (capped at 72) will be seated at their own (safely distanced) table of four for the concert, and will enjoy dinner and rousing rounds of Music Bingo following, with meals provided by Burntwood Tavern, also newly opened at Bell Tower.  Tickets are $30 per person, and are available for purchase at www.SWFLSO.ORG.

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