Four Freedoms packed for Symphony at Sunset
They came by foot, car, even by boat, nearly a thousand strong, to Four Freedoms Park in Cape Coral on a late Sunday afternoon.
They came to hear the sounds of the big screen as the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra performed some of Hollywood’s most classic musical numbers at the fourth-annual Symphony at Sunset concert.
The event, presented by the Cape Coral Community Foundation and the Community Redevelopment Agency, has gotten bigger by the year.
“It’s bigger than last year and it’s growing,” said Cape Coral Mayor John Sullivan. “If it keeps going like this we’ll have to find a bigger space. It brings culture we don’t usually have in Cape Coral.”
“Every year it gets better. We want to give an ‘Undermusic-ed’ area good show,” said Symphony marketing director Amy Padilla.
The warm, sunny weather brought many people to the park, whether they walked, drove or sailed.
Some parked their boats and got out for a closer look. Others stayed on the water.
“We live six canals up and some of our friends got here for vacation,” said Libby Morgan of Cape Coral, who came via kayak with Karen Biggs of San Antonio and her sister, Carolyn, of Virginia.
“It’s a great way to enjoy the show. Great seats.” Karen said.
The 65-member symphony played some of modern film’s greatest compositions, starting with a medley of show-starting music and followed by a tribute to James Bond movies, and to “Star Trek.” Classic John Williams selections and music from more recent movies such as “Harry Potter” and “The Dark Knight” also were featured.
“This is great. It reminds me of a drive-in movie except a little more upscale,” said Sharon Tully, who came with her husband, Kevin, and several friends.
The show ended with music from “Lord of the Rings” under a fantastic sunset, a moment that fascinated new Cape resident Diane Flower and her husband, Brian.
“It’s amazing to listen to that and see the water and the sunset. It was just beautiful,” Flowers said. “We’re finding wonderful things in Cape Coral. There’s nothing like live music.”
Overall, the show was a tremendous success and is expected to only get bigger in the future.
“The word is spreading. It seemed like the symphony was the area’s best kept secret,” said Gulf Coast Symphony President Doni Landefeld, who also played double bass. “We are starting to differentiate ourselves from other orchesteras.”
“It was a fantastic afternoon and great weather. We filled the park with the sound of symphony,” music director Andrew Kurtz said. “It’s a wonderful investment in the community. It’s the support that brings us back year after year.”