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Classical concert at NFM Academy for the Arts March 23

By Staff | Mar 10, 2015

Middle school students of the North Fort Myers Academy for the Arts will have a rare opportunity to hear world-class musicians on Monday, March 23, when a world-renowned orchestra will perform a private concert for the students in the school auditorium before its scheduled evening performance at the Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall.

The concert is provided courtesy of the Fort Myers Community Concert Association as part of a newly launched outreach program to introduce Lee County students to classical music.

Mary Lee Mann, Community Concert Association president, said they provide free tickets to students and discounts to teachers and parents, but many of them cannot go to weeknight performances during the school year.

“We want to encourage students to hear classical music. We realize not everyone has a way to get to the hall,” Mann said. “We decided to take one of our concerts to at least one school.”

Former Suncoast Middle School teacher and current board member Kay Holloway knew the NFMAA had a good facility and thought the students would appreciate it and the administration wanted to add to its program.

“It’s a school for the arts and I told the board the school had come from an F to an A, so we need to recognize them and send a group to them to give them a kick in the rear and to help them,” Holloway said. “We’re trying thje keep the arts alive ecause that’s what Barbara B. Mann would want.”

Mann said they will start with one school a year. After that will depend on whether the artists are able or willing to make that kind of arrangement.

The musicians will begin their show at the school at 12:30 p.m. and answer questions from students.

NFMAA vice principal Laurie Carlson said she is excited to see such a renowned act perform at the school.

“We’re excited to see them in action and to have our kids in orchestra get to see professionals,” Carlson said.

The Chamber Orchestra Kremlin, formed in 1991, has earned international acclaim as one of Russia’s best ensembles. It tours much of the world in addition to performing at its home base in Moscow and recording more than 30 CDs.

Mann said they also have a reputation for performing at schools and students of all ages.

“They frequently go into schools to perform. That was why we thought they would be a good one,” Mann said. “We are arranging for them to travel in from Miami.”

The Fort Myers Community Concert Association is a non-profit organization founded by the late Barbara B. Mann in 1949 to bring world-class entertainment to Southwest Florida at affordable prices.

The association consists of more than 1,700 members, underwriters and sponsors.

The show at the Mann starts at 7:30 p.m.

For tickets visit www.fortmyerscommunityconcerts.org or call 489-4171. Prices are $45 for orchestra and mezzanine seats, $35 for lower balcony seats and $25 for upper balcony seats.