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Symphony at Sunset concert Saturday at Four Freedoms Park

By Staff | Feb 3, 2011

A full symphony of 65 musicians will perform Symphony at Sunset, a free concert at Four Freedoms Park Saturday from 5-7 p.m. for everyone to enjoy.
Gulf Coast Symphony Marketing Director Amy Padilla said this is the second year the orchestra has hosted the concert at Four Freedoms Park. She explained that the group wanted to keep the attendees interested by offering an evening of jazz, light classics, waltzes, Latin rhythms and Broadway classic music.
The symphony may perform up to 19 pieces in all during the concert Saturday. Some of those pieces include Gershwin’s “Cuban Overture,” Bernstein’s “West Side Story Suite,” “Voices of Spring” by Strauss, “La Bamba” and Rodgers’ “Carousel Waltz.”
Cape Coral resident Mary Anne Farese said she began playing the violin when she was 5 years old because her parents thought a musical instrument would help her because she was left handed.
She joined the orchestra almost five years ago after she retired from a teaching position in Naples. Farese said in addition to the orchestra helping her with her violin skills, she also enjoys the fellowship with the other musicians.
“It’s been fun,” Farese said.
She explained that the concert is an outreach for the community, so they can hear classical music.
“It is important for young people to see a symphony orchestra and see what it is all about,” Farese said.
She said the orchestra will perform dance music from different cultures to encourage members of the audience to get up and dance.
“It is great for people of all ages to experience it,” she said about the full symphony orchestra.
Doni Landefeld joined the Gulf Coast Symphony three years ago because “music has always been my first love.”
“I always try to keep it an active part in my life,” she said.
When she was a young girl her parents took her to symphony concert, which introduced her to the bass for the first time.
“I thought it was the most amazing and exciting instrument I had ever seen,” Landefeld said about the bass, which she has been playing for 30 years.
Symphony at Sunset, she said is an opportunity to reach out to the community and promote Gulf Coast Symphony a little more, especially in the Cape.
Individuals will be able to “experience a wonderful performance and have a great time,” Landefeld said.
Two hours before the concert begins, about a half a dozen artists will have their artwork displayed at the park, with such items as jewelry and paintings.
Tickets or advanced reservations are not required to attend the concert.
“If the weather holds up, I am expecting to see a packed yard on Saturday,” Padilla said.
She explained that last year in spite of the downpour, along with a flooded park, people still came out to listen to the music.
“The sky cleared up for the hour and half when we were on stage,” Padilla said.
People also anchored their boats and sat off the shores of Four Freedoms Park to listen to the music last year.
“I am really looking forward to that again this year,” she said.
Padilla said Four Freedoms Park is an ideal location for an outdoor Cape Coral concert.
Landefeld said the orchestra has roughly a dozen performances throughout the year, so they can reach out and engage the community and educate them about the Gulf Coast Symphony.
“The Gulf Coast Symphony is a unique organization because of the variety of performances and the different locations throughout Southwest Florida,” she said. “I feel it makes us an exclusive community orchestra.”
Symphony at Sunset is sponsored by Pamela Templeton, partner at Ft. Myers Toyota, “The Family Store,” and The Cape Coral Community Foundation. The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency, the city of Cape Coral, Rick’s Music and Florida Weekly also provided support.
“The Cape Coral Community Redevelopment Agency is a proud sponsor of this event,” said Helen Ramey, economic development manager for the CRA. “We are most pleased to have the Symphony at Sunset come to Four Freedoms Park in South Cape.”