Change is in the Air at the Jacksonville Symphony

symphony sepoct15 600As summer continues its march towards back to school and the Jacksonville Symphony season, there is a definite feeling of “change” in the air at the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. The 2015-2016 Jacksonville Symphony season will be the first full season with Music Director Courtney Lewis at the helm. He, along with Symphony President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Massey, has promised patrons that this season will be about “more” and “different.” More in the sense that the Symphony will be reaching out to engage the community in a number of different venues and different in the selections that are being played during the Masterworks series along with different types of events such as Symphony in 60.
“This season is designed to appeal to everyone in North Florida who has a love of live music,” said Robert Massey. “We are honored to serve this community through exciting, impactful and engaging symphonic experiences and look  forward to ushering in this new era with such incredible and diverse programs.”
“This year’s programming is what I want the Jacksonville Symphony to be all about: the classics, familiar or perhaps unknown, new music that I know you will love, and established masterpieces to move and delight,” said Courtney Lewis. “It’s with this repertoire, our new concert programs and an increased engagement with our community that we will build the orchestra of the 21st century in Jacksonville.”
The Symphony season will open with a series of free concerts at three venues — the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, Unity Plaza and the Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. A black tie optional celebration will highlight opening weekend, October 9 through 11, when the Symphony will play Holst’s The Planets. Look for more information about the fun that will surround Courtney Lewis’ opening night as Music Director.
Also new this year is Symphony in 60, a concert series that features 60 minutes of music on a Thursday night, with plenty of time following the presentation to enjoy a drink and hors d’oeuvres with Symphony musicians and friends. The first Symphony in 60 will be November 12 and start at 6pm so patrons can go directly from the office to the party.
Besides events for young professionals, the Symphony is strengthening its offering to youth. All children 18 and younger will be able to attend the Masterworks concert series for free with an adult who purchases a ticket. This is in addition to the Sound Check card that costs $25 and offers students up to the age of 25 admission to all Masterworks, Coffee and other select concerts for an entire season.
There is a special Family Series of three concerts on Sunday afternoons:  Oct. 25, Jan. 17 and Feb. 28. They are designed to fascinate younger patrons and guests coming early can participate in fun activities such as Instrument Zoo.
Another new feature of the 2015-2016 season is a planned residency that the Symphony is going to conduct in Clay County. The Symphony will be performing at various venues throughout the county, visiting Clay County schools and performing at the Thrasher-Horne Center for the Arts.
Special events will highlight the season. A much anticipated series will have the Symphony playing along with movie favorites.  The first of these movie programs will be December 5 and feature clips from the Pixar films including “Toy Story” and “Cars.” This will be followed on March 12 with the classic “Back to the Future” and then on April 9, Steven Spielberg’s famous “E.T. The Extraterrestrial.”
Other out-of-this-world items include a Star Wars movie concert which will be conducted on Dec. 3 just in time for the holiday release of the new movie in the Star Wars series.
Special entertainment includes the popular jazz band, the Hot Sardines, who will be joining the Symphony on February 22. And on the other end of the musical spectrum, world renowned violinist Joshua Bell will join the Symphony on February 27 for its Gala.
Besides the music, the Symphony plans some major announcements about their marketing efforts including the total redesign of its website,, to make it easier for people to purchase tickets, hear music and learn more about the musicians of the Symphony. Look for announcements on the website sometime in September.
The Jacksonville Symphony is North Florida’s leading music nonprofit offering live performances at Jacoby Hall in the Times-Union Center for Performing Arts and other venues throughout the area. In addition, the Symphony provides music instruction for youth and operates the Jacksonville Symphony Youth Orchestra.
For more information about the Symphony,
visit, like them at, follow them on Twitter @jaxsymphony and on Instagram at JaxSymphony.
To purchase tickets, call 904-354-5547.

Author: Arbus

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