Culture worthy of your calendar

There is no more wonderful way to celebrate spring than with a free "pops" concert

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  • | 9:40 a.m. March 9, 2011
  • Winter Park - Maitland Observer
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The Orlando Philharmonic — outdoors and free

There is no more beautiful place to welcome spring than Winter Park’s Central Park and no more wonderful way to celebrate than with a free “pops” concert by the Orlando Philharmonic. On Sunday, March 13, at 7 p.m., the Philharmonic and the city of Winter Park invite all of us to bring a blanket and a picnic for an evening of music from our favorite movies and musicals, which they are calling “Epic Dreams of Stage and Screen.”

Winter Park resident Kenneth Murrah will be honored at the concert for his support of the Philharmonic, as conductor Paul Hostetter leads the orchestra in music from ”Carousel,” “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Harry Potter,” and songs from “Strike Up the Band” and ”That’s Entertainment!” Soprano Michelle Knight will join the orchestra for a variety of vocal favorites, and Candice Crawford, president of the Philharmonic board, will also take a turn at the podium. For more information, call 407-896-6700.

The Boston Pops!

And speaking of pops concerts, those wonderful folks at the Festival of Orchestras are bringing back the most famous pops orchestra in the world — the Boston Pops with conductor Keith Lockhart. The date is Friday, March 18, at 7:30 p.m. The program is “You’ll Get a Kick Out of Cole.” Known as “America’s Orchestra,” the Boston Pops has performed hundreds of shows across the county and around the world. The annual Fourth of July concert in Boston attracts more than 300,000 people and is viewed by more than 20 million on CBS. The orchestra’s Central Florida program honors Cole Porter as one of the contributors to the Great American Songbook, with hits from Broadway shows “Anything Goes,” “Can-Can,” “Silk Stockings,” and “Kiss Me Kate.” Joining the orchestra for the tribute are Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara and Jason Danieley. The concert will take place at the Northland Performing Arts Center at the Northland Church at 530 Dog Track Road in Longwood.

The new performing arts center is already earning a reputation for its sound quality and ease of access. For tickets call 407-539-0245.

pARTicipation in Maitland

One of our favorite combination art exhibit/fundraisers begins this week at the Maitland Art Center, and this year the exhibit opens with a whole new twist. The annual Artist pARTicipation exhibit may be viewed now through Sunday, April 17, but the center has events scheduled throughout the month of March to celebrate Florida artists. The important date for your calendar is Friday, March 25, from 6 to 9 p.m. — pARTicipation’s official opening reception. At that time, two works of art by each pARTicipating artist will be on display for sale at the museum. Over the years, our finest artists have contributed their work to this fundraiser in support of the center. Those works will also be available for sale in an online auction that concludes Saturday, April 2, with the Artist’s Tribute Cocktail Reception and Fundraising Dinner. Call 407-539-2181 for a complete schedule. Funds generated by pARTicipation events benefit the museum’s programming. The events take place at the Maitland Art Center at 231 W. Packwood Ave.

And not to be missed …

Seldom in my life have I laughed, shouted and cheered for a night in the theater as I did for “Shout! The Mod Musical,” now in its Central Florida premiere at the Winter Park Playhouse. With a perfect cast and spot-on direction, this time capsule of the “swinging 60s” is absolutely not to be missed. Call the box office at 407-645-0145 or visit


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