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sinfonia: entertain | educate | inspire Our region’s only fully professional symphony orchestra
Welcome to season 15! Thank YOU, our many patrons, sponsors and community collaborators. Sinfonia would not be what or where it is today without your support! While Sinfonia has remained steadfast in its mission to entertain, educate and inspire, 2020 forced us to reimagine and recreate all of our community programming and offerings. While we were fortunate to host Crescendo! 2020 and perform through early March, the remainder of the 2019-2020 season came to a sudden finale. Due to the incredible talent of its staff, Sinfonia was able to virtually realize the completion of its education outreach initiatives, string quartet in residence and youth orchestra programs for the students of Okaloosa and Walton Counties. We are grateful to the family of artists that support Sinfonia: the incomparable Morgan James, Violectric and our Sinfonia musicians, who took the stage during our Fall Fresco Moonlight Serenade Series during Fall of 2020. Crescendo! 2021 will have a welcomed return this Spring, and we look forward to presenting our 2021-2022 season to you very soon! Did you know that ticket sales only cover a small fraction of Sinfonia’s operating costs each season? Your tax-deductible contribution will enable Sinfonia to continue to provide great music and educational outreach to our community. In the meantime, send me a note if you have any questions: email@example.com Musically yours,
Demetrius Fuller Music & Artistic Director
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SIN GULF ONIA COAST
Letter from the Maestro
13 Founding Partners 14 Season Sponsors 17 A Note from Our President 18 Orchestra Layout/Personnel 20 Donors 23 Become a Supporter 25 Demetrius Fuller bio 27 Note of Thanks 29 A Conversation with the Conductor 36 On a Mission 37 Sinfonia Education Initiatives 47 Memorable Moments 55 Quartet in Residence 58 Crescendo! 89 Youth Orchestra 100 Musical Milestones
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A STANDING OVATION FOR OUR FOUNDING PARTNERS
Spa • Salon • Fitness Center
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2020 | 2021 SEASON PRESENTINg SPONSOR
CLASSICAL CONNECTIONS PRESENTING SPONSOR
PRESENTING MEDIA SPONSOR
PRESENTING CONCERTS SPONSOR
SEASON PRESENTING EDUCATION SPONSORS
Robert M. Ferguson Memorial Fund for Music Education
INDIVIDUAL IMPRESARIOS Dana & Glenn Armentor Renee & James Beaman Janis & Don Bishop Stephanie & George Brannon Harriet Crommelin & Stephen Marlette Lynn & Steve Dugas Heavenly & Bill Dawson Maureen & Keith Gamble
Yvonne & Greg Lala Tammy & Jim Pierce Lynn & Bill Shearer Tonya & Mark Wallace Pamela Wellborn Bobbie & Jack White Candis & Jack Wilson
SINFONIA MILITARY TICKET PROGRAM PRESENTING SPONSOR
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SEASON SPONSORS PLATINUM SPONSORS
Salt Water Vacat ions
Vacay Your Way.
SEASON MEDIA SPONSORS
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A NOTE from our president
Welcome to sinfonia season 15! While this season has been reimagined, Sinfonia still leads the way in the highest-caliber artistic and educational musical programming. For those of you that have been with us before, you already know the caliber of concerts and events that Sinfonia Gulf Coast is honored to present to our community. To those of you, who are new to the Sinfonia experience, WeLCOMe! From our incredible Fall Fresco events to our annual and largest fundraiser Crescendo! to benefit Sinfonia Gulf Coast and its music education initiatives throughout Okaloosa and Walton Counties, we hope that you will join us this season. On behalf of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Board of Directors, our great Sinfonia administrative team, and our phenomenal musicians that comprise the orchestra, thank you for being a part of our 15th anniversary season!
Jeff Dannelly President of the Board Sinfonia Gulf Coast
2020-2021 BOArD OF DIreCTOrS: Steve Barber Jerry Brown Jeff Dannelly Demetrius Fuller
Eric Halter Debra Henry Jennifer Howard Nina Jeffords
Kate Kelley Don Roberts Anastasia Stull
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Violins Mari Lunde^ Kate Kelley* Kristin Pfeifer Yu* Marianna Brickle Petra Bubanja Edward Charity Minyoung Cho Kenneth Davis Sara Fay Taylor Giorgio Nicholas Hatt Jiwon Hwang Ashtin Johnson Grace Kim Nina Kim Natasha Marsalli Megan Sahely 18 | sinfonia gulf coast
Viola Laurel Yu* Daren Fuster* Andrew Collins Maria Santacruz Vincent Scacchetti Miriam Tellechea
Trent Harper Gabriel Monticello
Cello Shea Kole* Chun-Hsin Chang# Riley Beranek Jordan Galvarino Aleksandra Pereverzeva
Oboe Asher Kelly* Trevor Mansell
Double Bass Bleda Elibal* Maurice Belle*
Flute Jessica Sherer* Anglea McCuiston Nicole Frankel+
Clarinet Samuel Peliska* Nancy Saleeby Peter Geldrich
Bassoon Richard Hopkins* Shannon Lowe* Matthew Fay
Trombone Kenneth Johnson* Dunwoody Mirvil Jonathan Lacey*
Horn William Schaffer* Matthew Tavera# Bobby Malone Debra Finlayson
Tuba Charles Goodman*
Trumpet Brian Buerkle* Gerry Mata
Percussion John Thomas III* Luis Rivera Timpani Brian Nozny
Harp Rebekah Atkinson Piano Dan Smith Librarian Sara Fay Personnel Manager Laurel Yu ^ Concertmaster * Principal # Asst. Principal + Acting Principal
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SIN GULF ONIA COAST Maestro’s circle $50,000+ Dugas Family Foundation Emeril Lagasse Foundation Tammy & Jim Pierce
podiuM partner $20,000+ Alys Beach Foundation Dana & glenn Armentor Harriet Crommelin & Stephen Marlette Heavenly & Bill Dawson Hilton Sandestin Beach golf Resort & Spa Janis & Don Bishop Jimmy Choo Lynn & Steve Dugas Maureen & Keith gamble Merrill Lynch Wealth Management SETCO Services Yvonne & greg Lala VIP Destin
conductor’s circle $10,000+ Candis & Jack Wilson Cumulus Media Dermatology Specialists | Aqua Med Spa Dr. Michael Stickler Demetrius Fuller Destin Center for Family & Cosmetic Dentistry Hancock Whitney Bank Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates ~ Merrill Lynch Lynn & Bill Shearer Nancy & Don Roberts Pam Wellborn Renee & Jim Beaman Renee Launiere - Bijoux de Mer Silver Sands Premium Outlets
ViVace $2,500- $9,999 Alex & Jerry Brown Anonymous (7) Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits - Leslie & Jack Mcguckin Café Thirty-A Centennial Bank Cindy Cole Fine Homes Debra Henry Doodlebugger’s 20 | sinfonia gulf coast
donors as of 7/1/20
Florida Division of Cultural Affairs gail Ferguson glenda & Dennis Lichorwic Hyatt Place grand Boulevard Marisol & Toni gullo Mary & gordon Chalmers Insurance Zone ~ Lea & Joe Capers JR & george Hendricks Jack & Bobbie White Jane Solomon - Barlovento, LLC Jenna & Stephen Akers Jennifer & Blevins Howard Kim & Rick Pataky Lisa & Denny Peters Lovelace Interiors Malpa Fuller Marison & Tony gullo Marjorie Cox gray Muriel Dollar Pish Posh Patchouli’s Susan Kiley & Wayne Paul The Jewel Thirty-A Review Tim Krueger and Jill Cadenhead
presto $1,000-$2,499 a Boheme Alfonso Dance Studio Allen French Anonymous (6) Beach Liquors Bijoux de Mer - Renee Launiere Brotula’s/Jackacudas/Cuvée Kitchen Bud & Alleys Cathy & Don Hay CLAY garden & gift Closet Solutions Courtyard Marriott grand Boulevard Diane Neuman Dr. & Mrs. Robert Jack Emerald Coast Motors - Bunny & Stan Hall Jon Laible KEM Marla & John Crews Nina Jeffords
Peggy & Thomas Stanton Playground Music Center Scott Russell Stubbs Orthodontics Velia Lala VIllage of Baytowne Wharf
Shantelle Dedicke Shawn Tomasello Stephanie Brannon Susan Burch Teresa Bolton Tracy McQuillen
allegro $500- $999
Alex Brown Barbara Johnson Barry Johnson Bobbie White Brooke St. Hilaire Candis Wilson Catherine Hay Connie Yarbro Cynthia Hyatt Denise Dobelek Denise Kendust Donna Shoditsch Elaine Tucker glenda Palmore Heather Parrish Heavenly Dawson J.R. Hendricks Jacquelyn Law Janis Bishop Jennifer Dodge Jennifer Howard Joan Carter Joy Adams Jovette Mosing Kay Crawford Kay Hamilton Lee Johnston Leta Dehon Lynn Dugas Lynn Shearer Margaret Depew Marisol gullo Martha Broderick Martha Casey Mary Delanois Maureen gamble Muriel Dollar Mary Hemard Pam Burge Pat Clay Pamela Hagberg Pam Wellborn Patricia Williams Patti Burcham Renee Beaman Renee Launiere Shannon Amos
Arthur Rolling Connie Carahalis David Krebs Deanna & Thomas Johnson Helen Driggers Jeff Harris Kim & Keen Polakoff Mary Maitland Richard Michaud in memory of Mary Partlow
adagio $100-$249 Adele Lafaye Alexandra Villanueva Andrea James Angela Kornegay Candi gray Carolyn Huff Carroll Kemp Jr. Connie Cross-LaFont Cynthia Linton David Krebs Dennis Smith Diego Hayon F. Wendell Bobbitt georgia Ambarian guy Wallace Jack gatewood Jeff Harris Joan Hoffman Ussery John Peterson John Williams Judy Huff Kathy Miller Leta Dehon Linda Leathers Lynn Wesson Marianne grant Marjorie Cox gray Monique Larson Paula Dorris Ruth Anne & James Stevens Steve Barber Thomas Johnson Tom Crawford Walda Edelson Wilma Hendricks sinfonia gulf coast | 21
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music & artistic director | sinfonia gulf coast chief executive officer | mattie kelly arts foundation The 2020-2021 season marks Demetrius Fuller’s fifteenth as Founding Music & Artistic Director of Florida’s Sinfonia Gulf Coast. Maestro Fuller has helped redefine the cultural and arts education landscape of Northwest Florida by offering inspiring and artistically high-caliber performances, exciting critics and patrons alike, as well as championing arts education and music in the schools by providing outreach opportunities to thousands of students. In November 2020, as the organization was completing its 25th anniversary, Fuller was appointed Chief executive Officer of the Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation. Known as a visionary and forward thinker, Fuller will work closely with the board of directors of MKAF and Sinfonia Gulf Coast to create a partnership that will transform the MKAF land in to the full cultural and performing and arts education facility envisioned by the late Destin matriarch Mattie Kelly. A versatile conductor, Mr. Fuller has been chosen to work with some of the world’s most prestigious conductors and orchestras. Mr. Fuller is an award recipient from the National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts, the Werner Foundation, and the International Music Foundation. Fuller trained at the prestigious University of Cincinnati CollegeConservatory of Music, receiving both his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees. As an accomplished clarinetist, Mr. Fuller has performed in the Dame Myra Hess Chamber Music Series, sponsored by the International Music Foundation and broadcast live on Chicago’s WFMT 98.7 FM. Festival appearances include the Opera Theater of Lucca (Italy), David Oistrakh (estonia), Aspen, Cabrillo and eastern Music Festival (USA). He has been invited to work with conductors Gustav Meier, Michael Tilson-Thomas, Charles Dutoit, Daniel Lewis, Marin Alsop, Neeme Järvi, Jorma Panula, and the late robert Shaw. Fuller has been fortunate to present and collaborate with multiple icons in the music industry including roberta Flack, Bernadette Peters, Mary Wilson of the Supremes, Patti LuPone, Kristin Chenoweth, Vanessa Williams, Sharon Isbin, Chris Brubeck and Pink Martini, among others.
An advocate of contemporary music, Fuller has premiered, commissioned and/or collaborated with composers such as Augusta read-Thomas, Dorothy Hindman, Thomas Schneller, ricardo Zohn-Muldoon, Joel Hoffman, Steven Winteregg, Tan Dun, giving the Southeastern U.S. premier of his Crouching Tiger Concerto and Chris Brubeck, presenting the Southeastern U.S. premier of both his violin concerto Spontaneous Combustion and symphonic tribute Ansel Adams: America, which was co-composed with his father, the late Dave Brubeck. During the 2013-2014 season, Fuller lead the Southeast U.S. premier of Identity - Zhongshan Zhuang, co-composed by Victor Cheng and Michael Gordon Shapiro. In 2014, Fuller and Sinfonia co-commissioned and performed the U.S. premiere of Chris Brubeck and Guillaume Saint-James Brothers in Arts and the world premiere of Nico Muhly’s full orchestration of his electric violin concerto Seeing is Believing. Abroad, Fuller was invited several times by Maestro Kurt Masur to conduct the l'Orchestre Nationale de France (Paris) in a set of conductor readings. Fuller spent two seasons in 2005-06 as principal guest conductor and conducting pedagogue in Brazil at the Festival of the Mountains in Poços de Caldas, followed by his July 2007 invitation as one of two conductors selected world-wide to conduct the Iraqi National Symphony and three other Iraqi orchestras in a groundbreaking Unity Academy in erbil, Northern Iraq sponsored by American Voices and the U.S. Department of State. In Northwest Florida, Fuller serves as a Trustee of the Destin Charity Wine Auction Foundation and is a member of the board of the emerald Coast Children’s Advocacy Center. He is a past board member of Alaqua Animal refuge, Cultural Arts Alliance, Okaloosa Arts Alliance and is a past chair of the American Cancer Society’s Cattle Barons’ Ball and continues to serve as a grant panelist for the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs. In 2009, New York City-based Musicians For Harmony appointed Maestro Fuller as one of three Artistic Advisors, an honor shared with musical luminaries Arnold Steinhardt of the renowned Guarneri String Quartet and violinist Cho-Liang Lin. sinfonia gulf coast | 25
SIN GULF ONIA COAST season 15 sinfonia personnel Music and Artistic Director Demetrius fuller
Director of Events & Patron Services Beth clavier Marketing Coordinator Kate Kelley Administrative & Programs Coordinator anne Hinze Beth Clavier
Coordinator of Education & Community Engagement Music Director, Sinfonia Youth Orchestras aaron Vaughn Artistic Administrator and Personnel Manager laurel Yu Auction & Special Events Coordinator Deborah Elmore
Production Manager tsc Productions Orchestra Librarian sara fay Administration and Box Office Hours Monday - friday 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Anne Hinze
850.460.8800 36468 Emerald coast Pkwy, suite 11102 Destin, florida 32541 www.sinfoniagulfcoast.org firstname.lastname@example.org Aaron King Vaughn 26 | sinfonia gulf coast
e OF THANKS Sinfonia Board of Directors Sinfonia Founding Partners Sinfonia Ushers Sinfonia Volunteers Sinfonia Youth Orchestra Parents 2020-2021 Sinfonia Season Sponsors Dana & glenn Armentor Alex & Jerry Brown Beth Clavier Star Darling Lynn & Steve Dugas Lori Eckert Walda & Wade Edelson Deborah Elmore
gail Ferguson Marjorie Cox gray Anne Nuffer Hinze Kate Kelley Tim Krueger Whitney Lee Bijoux, Jack & Leslie Mcguckin Alexis Miller, Alys Beach Kay Phelan Scott Russell Aaron King Vaughn Jack & Bobbie White Myra Williams Candis & Jack Wilson Zandra Wolfgram
The Florida Division of Cultural Affairs is Florida’s state arts agency. The Division promotes arts and culture as essential to quality of life for all Floridians. Arts and culture contribute to a vibrant and creative Florida. These diverse resources include arts in education, local arts agency, state service organization, theater, dance, folk art, literature, media arts, museum, multidisciplinary, music, sponsor/presenter, and visual arts programs and projects.
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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A CONVERSATION WITH THE CONDUCTOR After 15 Years Maestro Demetrius Fuller Shares Why Sinfonia Gulf Coast Is Setting the Standard … Still by Zandra Wolfgram
“I am thrilled to present for you a new sound, a new season and a new symphony. It is my honor to introduce Sinfonia Gulf Coast as the only full professional orchestra ready to set the standard for exhilarating entertainment along our Emerald Coast. Sinfonia will redefine the symphonic experience for both seasoned aficionados and those new to the classical genre. Talented musicians, amazing guest artists, and premier events will make this season feel like a breath of fresh air.” Sinfonia Gulf Coast music & artistic director Demetrius Fuller wrote this gracious, yet bold prophecy in his first letter published in the program for the inaugural season, 20062007. Fast forward, 15 years later, and maestro Fuller has delivered on his prophetic promise… and more. And, yes, this 44-year-old entrepreneurial music maker is still “thrilled... and honored” to “set the standard for exhilarating entertainment along our Emerald Coast.” The first year, Sinfonia launched a series called Coffee with the Conductor to introduce Fuller to the community and help get the word out about Sinfonia. We invite you to grab a coffee, settle in to hear from the maestro as he reflects and reminisces about the early days of Sinfonia Gulf Coast and how it has evolved since it formed 15 years ago.
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What does making music mean to you?
What is at the heart of Sinfonia’ mission?
DF: Music is a way to share joy, emotion and feelings and a way to convey thoughts that you can’t use words for. Even before learning piano or clarinet, at 3 and 4 years- old, I was singing along to sesame street.
DF: Music education is integral to our mission. Over the past 10 years, we’ve focused on our educational outreach, and it’s become a standard staple in Okaloosa and Walton county as a supplement to their ciriculum. Link Up impacting almost 4,000 kids in 3rd through 5th grade is remarkable. It's a symbiotic relationship. Obviously, we provide a service to the community, but more than people just buying a ticket what we do is not a stop gap, our patrons really understand what Sinfonia does and what their money goes to; they see the value in what we provide.
Do you believe music is a universal truth? DF: It sounds cliché, but it really is true. You can have a guest artist who doesn’t speak English, such as SooBeen Lee, a Young Concert Artist violinist. It didn’t matter when we were rehearsing and playing. It’s almost an existential type experience that translates through music.
Why did you want to form Sinfonia Gulf Coast? DF: It was more than just about the music to me. It was a community endeavor. We created Sinfonia, because our area did not have a professional stand-alone symphony orchestra to serve the community. A civilization is only as good as its arts and culture.
How did you first start? DF: We formed the symphony with an existing contingency of local orchestra players and community members who rallied to the cause. We launched a Founding Partner Program. I went to Mike Freeman’s office at Whitney Bank (now Hancock Whitney), and said, ‘I need a line of credit.’ I didn’t have collateral, so I signed up 10 partners at $50,000 cash for up to five years. It was not difficult. The Howard Group, Destin Commons, Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort and the St. Joe Company were among the first founding partners. 30 | sinfonia gulf coast
How does Sinfonia fit into the local arts scene? DF: I hope locals agree we’ve made a huge impact on in the local cultural landscape. We are a destination in terms of onestop symphony shopping, so to speak. We’re here to entertain and become a source of cultural support for the area, but also to become a part of people’s lives. Beyond music, we provide education and a social offering—altogether those three elements are what Sinfonia brings to the community.
Were the early days a struggle? DF: I never thought of it as a struggle. It was something we just had to do. I was not alone. We still have an engaged board of at least a dozen members and there are well over 100 names on
Demetrius Fuller & Kristin Chenoweth
our volunteer roster. With our founding partners and board of directors, we laid out a great plan. The first three seasons were a
little tough financially. We always had patrons and support. Starting during an economic downturn catapulted the urgency to create a solid, capable organization. A big reason for our success is that administratively, we organized a strong ensemble of people running things behind the scenes.
Did you ever have doubts? DF: I was always very confident. Ego and confidence are two different things. I never paid attention to what people said I just did it. I said, ‘Yes you can and watch us.’ You figure out ways to turn a no into a positive and therein lies the magic.
What is your secret to success? DF: I always joke talent factors in there somewhere, but that is not the leading force. I surround myself with amazing sponsors, artists and staff members who first believe in Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and then can follow through on the quality level Sinfonia is known for.
How did you attract the A-list? DF: I was able to travel the world and guest conduct and meet a lot of people. I went to conservatories and met many artists on the scene. I think awareness is a critical thing. I didn’t know Bernadette Peters, (Sinfonia’s first celebrity guest artist in 2006), but was aware of her. Kristin Chenoweth (performed for Sinfonia’s 10th anniversary gala) has become a friend. Surrounding yourself with that caliber of talent who respect and agree with your vision can assist.
How did Bernadette Peters, the first celebrity guest artist come about? DF: Carol Gagliardi (founding board member) was a huge fan of Bernadette Peters and her role in Into the Woods. I figured if I could get Bernadette, I could shut Carol up. I was very bold. I called her agent and that was that.
What milestone moments come to mind as you celebrate 15 years? DF: For our 5th anniversary, we launched the amazing ArtStrings violin exhibit. That was the first real ‘aha’ moment on a large scale, because of the compilation of everything it took to get to that point. When the Jeff Dannelly community came together, it was a great melding of art, music and continuity of support. It took us to the next level.
You’ve experimented with creating novel experiences. DF: Yes. Mary Wilson of the Supremes was the first Seagar’s cabaret event. We were trying for a Carlyle Café vibe and it worked. That set the stage for the Seagar’s Cabaret series. I think everybody was blown away. Not everything has been incredible, but what we’ve done well is tailored our programming to our audience.
What are some of your personal stand out performance moments? DF: To this day, my favorite concert gala was Roberta Flack in 2008. She was extraordinary. She remains the most stand out gala musician. She didn’t miss a beat, literally, she was on it.
Can you give us a peek behind the scenes? DF: The first season, we were presenting a gospel choir as part of our holiday concert called Too Hot to Handle. We had to find a B-3 Hammond organ, the closest one we could find was in Tampa. We had to drive a rented U-Haul to Tampa to pick it up. The night of the show the gospel choice was MIA! They took a wrong turn somewhere and two tires on bus exploded. They got to the concert hall a minute before the show started.
What does it mean to you to be celebrating 15 years? DF: It means a lot. Most importantly, it means what we’re doing is warranted and relevant to this day. It’s a testimony to the overall picture, the orchestra, education outreach, the social events... all managed with support from our board, our staff and volunteers. It all ties together. cont. on page 33 sinfonia gulf coast | 31
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You have weathered storms, oil spills, economic recessions and now a global pandemic. What are you doing as a leader to ensure Sinfonia not only survives, but thrives during tough times? Overall, we continue to create a product that our audience finds relevant; and we try to be the big thinker in the arts community.
What have you learned? DF: Patience, which is not my strong point. That no doesn’t mean no forever, it means just not right now, and that good things come to those who wait.
Why has Sinfonia captured the imagination and interest of the community? DF: It’s called FunFonia. That is the biggest key. We pay our musicians well and treat them with respect. They know they are important and valued. We try to make our concerts fun for everyone. We have good energy and it makes a difference. Our concerts halls are known for cosmos not cough drops.
Demetrius Fuller & Roberta Flack Mary Wilson
Katherine Jolly Nicholas Kendall
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ON A MISSION TO... ENTERTAIN, EDUCATE AND INSPIRE “If children are not introduced to music at an early age, I believe something fundamental is actually being taken from them.” ~ Luciano Pavarotti
When you hear the hum of 3,700 grade school children clutching recorders and barely able to contain their excitement as a live Link Up concert is about to commence, it’s clear, after 15 years, educational outreach remains at the forefront of Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s mission. Entertain. Educate. Inspire. These three simple words are a mandate for Northwest Florida’s only fully professional orchestra and its music and artistic director, maestro Demetrius Fuller. And that includes young music makers. Thanks to the generous support of its community partners, by the end of the 2020-2021 season, Sinfonia will have served more than 155,000 children in Okaloosa and Walton Counties. Below are some of many ongoing initiatives Sinfonia uses music to reach and connect with young people each year: e e e e e e e e
Sinfonietta Strings Sinfonia Youth Orchestra Link Up program in conjunction with Carnegie Hall Musicians in Schools Guest Artists in Schools Live orchestra performances for students Arts in Medicine with Sacred Heart Hospital Paint the Music in partnership with 3rd-8th graders in Okaloosa & Walton Counties
Go to SinfoniaGulfCoast.org/education.com to learn more about how you can support Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s music education outreach programs. 36 | sinfonia gulf coast
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A LOOK BACK AT OUR FALL FRESCO CONCERTS ON THE LAWN AT BIJOUX RESTAURANT + SPIRITS
MOONLIGHT CABARET featuring Morgan James Thursday, October 30, 2020 The spotlight shined brightly on the Sinfonia stage with the return of soul songstress Morgan James. From the Broadway stage to Berry Gordy, Jr. signing her to highlight the roster at Epic Records, Ms. James has released multiple studio albums and maintains millions of views on her digital music platforms.
Sunday, November 15, 2020 The greatest hits of the 18th - 21st centuries came to life al fresco by Sinfonia assistant conductor Aaron King Vaughn. Ten musicians from Sinfonia’s orchestra performed snippets of the most famous and popular “classi” music of our time. This light, humorous, and educational program had surprises around every corner (or page turn). The program included a curated musical timeline including everything from Baroque to Broadway.
Thursday, November 19, 2020 VIOLECTRIC illuminated the stage and the audience’s senses through the use of cutting-edge technology and interactive experiences. From classical music to classic rock ‘n’ roll from The Beatles to Queen, to Maroon 5 and Lady Gaga, they electrified the evening! sinfonia gulf coast | 39
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et’s start with the voice, an instrument through which she can communicate anything. A gift bestowed upon her that she has expertly trained, meticulously nurtured, and passionately galvanized into action by an urgency to make real music. Next, the stories, and she has them in spades. They are full of truth and beauty, heartache and thoughtfulness. They reveal colors we weren’t expecting to see. They make us close our eyes and relate. And finally, the soul – the emotional and intellectual energy through which these parts are fueled. That special something that prompted The Wall Street Journal to herald her as "the most promising young vocalist to come along so far this century." That young vocalist is Morgan James. And Morgan James is a soul singer.
Armed with her dedication to create authentic soul music, James and her husband Doug Wamble, her producer, co-writer and arranger, spent months writing twelve new songs in New York City. “Doug and I have always wanted to make a classic record like this,” she says. “Doug is originally from Memphis and we are both so inspired by the roots of classic soul music. Being entrenched in a place like that really informs everything you make there.” So, instead of recording in New York, she aimed straight for the source and booked a week at a new music studio in Memphis, at the recommendation of drummer George Sluppick. She immediately connected with the space: Memphis Magnetic, a renovated old bank transformed into a classic recording studio, decked out with a collection of vintage Nashville gear by owner Scott McEwen. The space exemplified exactly what James wanted her album to be: something new through the prism of something old. She and Wamble assembled a group of local musicians, including Sluppick, organist Al Gamble, bassist Landon Moore, and pianist Alvie Givhan. They tapped legendary Memphis musicians Reverend Charles Hodges and Leroy Hodges, who were the backbone of the Hi Records rhythm section, which played with Al Green and Ann Peebles, to contribute to two tracks. And finally, the team was rounded out with a classic Memphis horn section, plus the amazing Memphis String Quartet. “What I’ve learned over the years is to hire great people and let them do what they do best,” says James. “We came in with all the music charted and ready, and left space for people to be themselves and infuse it with their own magic. I really wanted every single person involved in the album to be from Memphis and to channel the great albums I admire so much. From every end of the spectrum, in every department, it felt like the right people.”
The entire album was recorded to analog tape, a first for James. She wanted to be less precious about the process overall and to capture the same invigorated feeling as her live performances. Much of the album comes from single, complete takes, giving it a vibrant, in-the-moment sensibility. The songs on the album range in tone, but there’s a hopeful, life-affirming feeling that threads through the tracks. The playful “I Wish You Would” takes its cues from “Mr. Big Stuff,” while “All I Ever Gave You” looks back on losing someone after endless sacrifices. The album also features two duets, another first for James, with Marc Broussard and three-time Grammy nominee Ryan Shaw. The collaboration with Shaw, “I Don’t Mind Waking Up (To A Love This Good)” is the first single and a song James calls one of her favorites she’s ever written. And a standout moment comes on the closing track “Who’s Going to Listen To You? (When You’re Crying Now),” a song James and Wamble wrote with lyrics from a poem by Spin Doctors’ lead singer Chris Barron. It creates a poignant and heart-wrenching final note for the album, a collection of genuine, satisfying songs that embrace the best of American songwriting. The experience was so inspiring and affirming that James ended up titling the album Memphis Magnetic after the studio where it was made (an homage to Jimi Hendrix and his Electric Ladyland). For James, Memphis Magnetic is the culmination of a life-long love affair with music. She grew up listening to everyone from Joni Mitchell to Paul Simon to Prince to Aretha Franklin, cultivating an insatiable love for strong songwriters. After graduating from The Juilliard School with a classical music degree, and performing in the original companies of four Broadway productions, James began writing and recording her own music. Meeting her mentor Berry Gordy, Jr. led to a record deal at Epic Records, where she recorded and released her solo album Hunter in 2014. In addition to her studio albums, James recorded and released a full album cover of Joni Mitchell’s seminal Blue as well as The Beatles’ White Album in 2018 to celebrate the 50th anniversary. Through her unique and varied career, there have been many ups and downs, but James cites her failures as more important than her successes in shaping the artist she is today. After her tenure with Epic Records, she took charge of her career from the business side as well. She cultivated a new world of fans with her viral YouTube videos, and while connecting with them on social media and at her live shows, she found the support and strength to go out on her own as an independent artist. Over the last several years, James has built her own empire and established herself as a touring powerhouse, allowing her to raise the funds to create her albums and make every decision from the ground up. “This album feels so unburdened by anybody or anything. All of the songs were written for this project. They were recorded in the same way, in the same room. It’s a moment in time captured. I felt like I was a part of the lineage of soul music. My guiding force throughout the record was ‘What would Aretha say? What would Otis say?’ It’s not a retro album or a throwback by any means. This album is me: classic elements, timeless melodies, and lyrics from my soul and experience. We need that right now. We need real music now more than ever.”
Violectric is an acoustic and electric string ensemble led by GRAMMY® Recording Artist Michelle Jones. They perform compositions from Metallica to Led Zeppelin to SIA and other modern artists, and have appeared, recorded and toured around the world with most every major name act in the business from opera to heavy metal, including Sarah Brightman, Josh Groban, Jon Anderson (from YES), and many others. Most recently, Violectric performed for the Boneyard Ball, opening of Tim Burton’s art exhibit “Lost Vegas,” and lighting party of the Hard Rock Café Neon Guitar Sign in Las Vegas at The Neon Museum in 2019, events covered by international news media around the globe. Since 2008, Violectric has performed multiple sold-out shows nationwide. Their performances have been featured on PBS, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, BBC, and many other stations from North America to Australia and Asia and beyond. Violectric is an iHeart Radio Artist, and their music can be heard daily on SiriusXM Radio. Violectric
has also been selected as the first Artists in Residence for the new Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, Florida, including live concerts and educational workshops with the Dr. Phillips Center AdventHealth School of Art and Wellness. Founder and bandleader Michelle Jones has been recording, touring and performing as a special guest with Wayne Newton, including in his resident shows in Las Vegas since 2018. In the summer of 2019, Jones was the Musical Director and Orchestrator for an historic series of shows commemorating the 50th Anniversary of Elvis’ residency and performances at the International Theater for the tribute show “Ted Torres: The Soul of a King”, held at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino. Jones led the band and members of the Las Vegas Philharmonic and The Original Sweet Inspirations in these concerts that received rave reviews locally and internationally. In 2018, she recorded with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member Jon Anderson (lead singer from YES) on his newest album, “1000 Hands.” In June 2018, Jones performed a solo sold-out show in Las Vegas at the Neon Museum’s NE10 Studio and helped raise over $186,000 for the restoration of the Hard Rock Café Neon Guitar Sign. Her commitment to philanthropy has earned her four President’s Volunteer Service Awards (gold and bronze) from Presidents Obama and Trump in recent years. sinfonia gulf coast | 43
“We support the youth music program because it encourages young people to learn and open their minds to the joy and excitement of great music. We’ve had opportunity to watch the kids come into the concert hall and to see how excited they are, how focused and happy they are to be there is wonderful. Supporting the concerts is a give back to us in that we’re supporting a cause that is really special. These well-dressed musicians are up on stage showing off their talent in such marvelous ways and with the maestro’s conducting and to see the audience’s response to the great music — it all comes together so beautifully. The concerts give us a chance to make new friends in a nice, relaxed setting, which makes us feel more a part of the community. Quality entertainment is what it is. What we get from Sinfonia is what we’re used to getting in Atlanta and New York City. It’s so beautifully performed and professionally done. Having an affiliation with Sinfonia is a large menu of exciting ways to fill your basket of joy.” Bill & Heavenly Dawson Santa Rosa Beach Patrons & Individual Donors 2016-current
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155,000 children have been reached through Sinfonia music education outreach. 3,700 elementary school children participate in Link Up each year.
A WORD WITH... MORGAN JAMES New York City Performer/Broadway, R&B and jazz artist Guest vocal artist (2012, 2015, 2019, 2020)
Q: How did you first get involved? MJ: Demetrius invited me to sing on a holiday program in 2012, and we were instant friends. His easy-going nature and sense of humor made me fall in love, and we always have a great time together. Q: Why do you have a passion for performing live music? MJ: Performing is my passion and my purpose, and always has been. There is nothing that can take the place of live music and theater. Q: How has Sinfonia “redefined” the contemporary orchestra experience in your view? MJ: The open mindedness and sense of collaboration is rare and welcomed. It’s what keeps me coming back time and again. Q: Do you have a special memory from the past 15 years? MJ: One holiday concert Demetrius brought me down for, we had a rather funny and unfortunate miscommunication: he thought I was bringing the charts, and I thought he was supplying the charts. When I arrived, we had no music! We had to scramble that week and achieve quite a lot in a short amount of time. But instead of panicking, we both kept laughing and joking with one another — and it ended up being quite a fun experience. We laugh about it to this day. Q: What is your favorite instrument in the orchestra? MJ: Cello Q: What do you hope for Sinfonia in the next 15 years? MJ: It’s so important for orchestras across the country, and particularly private and smaller organizations, to regain momentum and continue to thrive. That is what I want for Sinfonia. Q: Name one word to describe Sinfonia Gulf Coast. MJ: Family
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through the years...
During the 2011-2012 season, violins were found not only in the orchestra. To celebrate Sinfonia’s fifth season, ArtStrings: A Painted Violin Exhibit was launched to raise funds and awareness for the Emerald Coast’s only fully professional orchestra. Using real violins as their canvas, 24 local, regional, national and international artists created original works of art, which were displayed at the Grand Boulevard Town Center before being auctioned off. Proceeds benefitted The James A. Fuller Memorial Fund for Music Education, an extension of Sinfonia’s music education initiatives throughout the community. PITCH PERFECT PATTI LUPONE On March 27, 2014 at a lavish fundraising dinner hosted by Tim Krueger and Jill Cadenhead at their Destin home, Broadway powerhouse Patti LuPone, the guest of honor, shared why she was supporting Sinfonia Gulf Coast, saying, “I went through the public school system on Long Island and when I was growing up in the ‘50s, music education was as important as science, math, history and English. Music is the soul of a nation.”
CELEBRATING WITH SOLE A cadre of Sinfonia Gulf Coast supporters celebrated the 10th anniversary season early by attending Festival del Sole’s opening weekend in Napa Valley in July 2013. Festivities during the 10-day event included exclusive winery tours, al fresco dinners, a world premiere of Gordon Getty (yes, from that Getty family) by the Russian National Orchestra, and a courtyard concert by soprano Nadine Sierra in Calistoga’s Castello di Amorosa, one of Napa’s top destinations. A highlight of the wine, food and fun-filled weekend was a gala headlined by stage and screen star Kevin Spacey. A SUPREME EVENING Mary Wilson of The Supremes was exactly that when her magnificent Motown vocals and moves transformed Seagar’s Prime Steak & Seafood restaurant into a swank, intimate supper club on October 21, 2010 in honor of the orchestra’s 5th anniversary season. After a gourmet meal by Chef Bruce McAdoo, music lovers were on their feet dancing and singing (yes, even on stage with her) to time-tested classic ‘60s hits Stop in the Name of Love, Can’t Hurry Love, and, of course, I Hear a Symphony. sinfonia gulf coast | 47
through the years...
WINE WOMEN & SHOES KICKS OFF In February 2014, Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s inaugural Wine Women & Shoes fundraiser was a “wellheeled success.” Six vintner dinners – hosted on Friday at private homes and Café Thirty-A restaurant – featured stellar wines and culinary creations by regional chefs such as Tim Creehan, Ken Duenas, Johnny Earls, Dan Pettis, Gary Serafin and Atlanta Restauranteur of the Year Jay Swift enjoyed by 160 patrons. On Sunday afternoon, more than 300 ladies arriving at the majestic Magnolia Ballroom in Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort were presented with sparkling wine by gentlemen volunteers fondly called “sole mates.” The inaugural Signature Event featured a stunning silent auction, wine and retail sales, wine tastings and delectable bites and a high-energy fashion show from W by Worth. The event would continue to raise funds for Sinfonia’s music education outreach programs for the next five years. Sip, sip hooray!
CRESCENDO! CRESTS A highlight of the 12th season was the launch of Crescendo!, a cultural and culinary extravaganza. This spirited two-day fundraising event showcased a series of carefully curated vintner dinners held in elegant homes across the Emerald Coast. The inaugural main event was themed “an Audrey Hepburn-inspired affair.” The energy-infused soiree was a sell out and hundreds of guests in ‘50s- and ‘60s-inspired finery filled the Coastal Ballroom at the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa to sample world-class vintners, expert spirit purveyors and bid on highend auction items. As guests sipped and savored an elegant seated lunch, they were treated to a live cabaret performance by special musical guest Nicholas Rodriguez, an award-winning star of the stage and screen. This first-year event raised $410,000 for Sinfonia’s music education outreach programs. Another new initiative launched during the 2018 season was the formation of the Treble Makers, an honorary committee of special donors who support Sinfonia Gulf Coast. For a $500 contribution, Treble Makers are invited to the Crescendo! Kick Off Fashion Lunch, enjoy prime stage seating at Crescendo! Main Event, receive special recognition at all Crescendo! events; and an exclusive invitation to attend Sinfonia’s LINK UP performance.
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“It is a core value of our practice to be a leader and supporter in our community. We believe in giving back to the area where we live and thrive with our company. “Sinfonia Gulf Coast does incredible work for the children in our community. It is essential that we keep the arts/music in our schools to keep young minds educated and focused on the cultural significance of these electives. We are proud to serve alongside Sinfonia Gulf Coast in its life-changing endeavors.” Dennis Lichorwic, D.M.D Owner/CEO The Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry Destin Founding Partner & volunteer since 2009
“The quality of performers and performances could rival any destination. I have thoroughly enjoyed Sinfonia since I moved here in 2010. Cheers to another 15 years!” Scott Russell Santa Rosa Beach Individual Supporter Since 2010
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Sinfonia has performed 82 live season concerts and nearly 500 concerts and events overall. Since it launched in 2006, Sinfonia has increased its donor base by over 400%.
A WORD WITH... JEFF DANNELLY Niceville Senior Vice President, Hancock Whitney Private Wealth Manager Founding Partner, Board President (2017-present) Q: Why do you have a passion for supporting live music? JD: My mom was a middle school chorus teacher for 30-plus years, so I always knew the importance of having access to music in schools. Growing up in a musical family, we learned to appreciate all kinds of music. Playing the piano early, then saxophone, which I played through college, I always knew music would be part of my life. Q: How has Sinfonia “redefined” the contemporary orchestra experience in your view? JD: That’s what is great about this organization, while Sinfonia still brings the top talent from around the world to perform with the regions only professional orchestra, it does it with flair. We don’t see this anywhere. And it brings other amazing talent — some to accompany the orchestra, but also many world renown artists — which doesn’t happen often in smaller communities like ours. Q: Favorite concerts? JD: Kristin Chenowith performance in celebration of the 10-year anniversary and all its Old Hollywood glamour was quite memorable. Q: What is your favorite instrument in the orchestra? JD: Tough question. Cello probably (or the saxophone if they would have one). Q: What does Sinfonia add to the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast arts scene? JD: Sinfonia brings talent, musical events and unique concerts to this community — many of which play/perform in cities ten times our size. These events not only entertain us all, but many of these also spend their time bringing their talents into our local schools. Each year, thousands of children are able to have these same experiences — that isn’t replicated elsewhere very often. Q: What do you hope for Sinfonia in the next 15 years? JD: Sinfonia will continue to add, tweak, and build upon the last 15 years — keeping the type of events and talent it brings fresh and in some ways, cutting edge. But, in addition to that, Sinfonia should play a major role in building our community as a cultural hub — building an even bigger infrastructure to support a much larger presence here — allowing for even bigger acts and a much more diverse offering of cultural events. Q: Name one word to describe Sinfonia Gulf Coast. JD: Bravo!
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sinfonia’s quartet in residence
Founded in Tallahassee, Florida, Carriola Quartet is a dynamic and evolving ensemble. This quartet features violinists Madeline Miller and Katie Taylor, violist Megumi Terry, and cellist Amber Den Exter. With a passion for community engagement, Carriola Quartet has performed original, interactive concerts in public schools, college classes, and in community spaces around the North Florida region. The ensemble performs often at Florida
State University, where all four members are graduate teaching assistants pursuing graduate degrees in music performance. Carriola Quartet is currently the String Quartet-in-Residence for Sinfonia Gulf Coast, and all members perform regularly with other regional orchestras. They also own private studios and teach at Timberlane Arts and Dance Academy, Christ Classical Academy, Javacya Conservatory for the Arts, and Florida A & M University.
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Alex Brown Barry Johnson Bobbie White Brooke St. Hilaire Candis Wilson Catherine Hay Connie Yarbro Cynthia Hyatt Dana Armentor Debra Henry Denise Kendust Diane Neuman Elaine Tucker Glenda Palmore Heather Parrish Heavenly Dawson J.R. Hendricks Janis Bishop Jennifer Dodge Jennifer Howard Joan Carter Jovette Mosing Joy Adams Lee Johnston Leta Dehon
Lynn Dugas Lynn Shearer Malpa Fuller Mary Delaunois Margaret Depew Martha Broderick Martha Casey Mary Hemard Maureen Gamble Muriel Dollar Nina Jeffords Pamela Burge Pamela Hagberg Pamela Wellborn Pat Clay Patricia Williams Patti Burcham Renee Beaman Renee Launiere Shantelle Dedicke Shawn Tomasello Stephanie Brannon Susan Burch Teresa Bolton Traci McQuillen
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MAIN EVENT ENTERTAINMENT featured at:
KIM GROMOLL illustrator • designer • painter For the past 25 years, Kim has been designing attractions, shows and parades for all of the major theme parks. He most recently spent 2 years designing attractions for Universal Beijing, which will open this summer. His paintings have been used for limited edition prints for LucasFilm Star Wars and Disney Fine Art. He often signs at the EPCOT Festival of the Arts. Two of his original Star Wars paintings have been purchased by George Lucas. He has been married to his wife Dr. Maryann Gromoll for 38 years. Dr. Gromoll is a professor at Daytona State College. They have 2 grown children, Nicole and Michael, and often travel on adventures.
Kim, Signing Star Wars prints at EPCOT Festival of the Arts
BLUE LALA ENTERTAINMENT Blue LaLa Entertainment is Central Florida's premier entertainment company that brings together a beautiful blend of charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent! It is home to Orlando's longest running burlesque troupe, an innovative, long-standing force that is the dance company, VarieTease. Blue Star has handpicked and created wondrous delights with these players, and they are sure to razzle-dazzle and delight you to your core!
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MEET THE ARTIST OF THIS YEAR’S CRESCENDO! ILLUSTRATION
JASON LINDBLAD OWNER + ARTIST J. Leon Gallery + Studio
ason Lindblad is the owner of J.Leon Gallery + Studio a new, fine art destination located in Miramar Beach, Florida. His vision leads an effort to make high-end art attainable for everyone. J.Leon supports and promotes its artists while presenting guests with unique ways to engage with and uncover their next favorite work of art. More than a gallery, J.Leon is home to a working ceramics studio and offers a robust calendar of events and classes. Art is for everyone! Artists and art enthusiasts will not want to miss the opportunity to call J. Leon Gallery and Studio their creative home. Lindblad is an artist in his own right, and brings pen and ink illustrations to life, attracting viewers and collectors with beauty and delicate details. His love for vintage fashion, Art Deco, and theatre inspires his original works of art. A student of art since he was 5 years old, Lindblad has worked with many different mediums. Born and raised in Paducah, Kentucky he attended the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he focused on graphic design and fiber and materials. Later on, he continued his studies in illustration at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta, where he developed
and deepened his love for drawing and painting Lindblad currently resides in Destin, Florida, and works out of his studio creating traditional drawings, digital media illustrations, painted works, and collage. He uses a process that combines both pen and ink, plus digital illustration to make his unique and stylized works of art. Inspired by artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Yoshitaka Amano, and Erte- Lindblad works to create intricate images that engage the viewer into style and detail. When not creating, he enjoys the art of action-figure collecting and video games- both of which have had an influence on his creative outlook. His goal is to make art unique, engaging, entertaining, and accessible for everyone- and hopes to make that possible, not only through his own work, but through J.Leon Gallery + Studio.
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PAULA MCGUIRE SAUNDERS Paula McGuire Saunders is a graduate of Avondale High School and obtained a Bachelor and Master's degree of Social Work from the University of Georgia. Paula was a scholarship athlete on UGA's women's track and field, where she was nationally ranked and an accomplished discus thrower. Paula is a Bone Marrow and Stem Cell Transplant Social Worker at Emory University Hospital when she is not performing with D'Vine. She is also a celebrated photographer and published author in her spare time.
PAMELA MCGUIRE DEAS Pamela McGuire Deas is a graduate of Avondale High School, the DeKalb School for Performing Arts and the University of Georgia, where she was a Resident Assistant. She obtained a Bachelor's degree in Speech Communications and is now the Office Manager and Marketing Consultant for her husband's dental practice, Creekside Dental, Inc. Pam enjoys interior design and is known as event planner extraordinaire among her family and friends for her intimate special occasion celebrations. She also enjoys traveling and the company of her husband and daughter.
SHERYL POLLARD RIGGINS Sheryl Pollard Riggins is a graduate of Avondale High School, the DeKalb School for Performing Arts. She studied Business Communications and Administration at DeVry University and is currently studying to obtain a Bachelor's degree in Political Science. Sheryl is a Contract & Systems Administrator in the Legal department for The Coca-Cola Company. Sheryl is also a noted make-up artist and beauty consultant. Her husband and two sons bring the most joy and happiness to her heart.
Collectively, the members of D'Vine have expanded their knowledge of music and the music business under the teachings of world-renowned composer and producer, Oliver Wells (Larnelle Harris, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Amy Grant, & Walt Disney Productions). D'Vine has also studied extensively under the direction of Dove and Stellar Award-winning recording artist, Babbie Mason by way of The Babbie Mason Music Seminars. They have received vocal teaching and training from nationally known vocal coach and instructor, Roger Beale of The Vocal House. The group has been the recipient of grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Southern Arts Federation, the Georgia Council for the Arts, and are repeat members of the Young Audiences of America and Georgia Council for the Arts touring roster. In addition to being selected to perform in several past Southern Arts Federation and Mid-Atlantic Conferences and Regional Showcases, D'Vine has co-facilitated sessions along with Dr. Maggie Holtzberg of the Georgia Council for the Arts and Bob Stone, Outreach Coordinator of the Florida Folklife Program on the Art of Presenting Gospel Music. D'Vine has inspired thousands through school, community, radio, and television appearances by way of music and stories of success, challenges, and determination. The trio has also served as annual clinicians for the Babbie Mason Music Seminar in the state of Georgia. sinfonia gulf coast | 77
“Through its community performance programming and work with K-12 students and at-risk youth in our area, Sinfonia Gulf Coast fits perfectly with our mission to help locals in need through Destin Commons’ Coins for a Cause program. Sinfonia offers a variety of elevated musical experiences that span all ages, genres and accessibility. From fine dining, intimate events and family concert outings to providing free access to children and adults who may not otherwise experience symphonic performances, Sinfonia truly advocates for access to the arts. Destin Commons wishes Sinfonia the best of luck in its 15th year. We look forward to our continued partnership in bringing access to arts & culture to our community.”
Heather Ruiz Former Senior Director of Marketing & Leasing – Destin Commons Director of Marketing – BitWizards Destin Founding Partner & Corporate Sponsor since 2006
7 annual Wine Women & Shoess fundraisers were hosted between 2011-2017 raising more than $1.5M total! Entertain, Educate and Inspire are mission mandates
A WORD WITH... KATE KELLEY Santa Rosa Beach (from Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk, England) Principal second violin (2006-present) Marketing coordinator (2009-present) Q: Why do you have a passion for live music? KK: I’ve grown up with music, going to concerts and playing in chamber groups and orchestras. My dad plays the piano, my brother plays the cello, and I started the violin when I was 5 years-old. I couldn’t imagine not being involved in music or playing the violin. Q: How has Sinfonia “redefined” the contemporary orchestra experience in your view? KK : Sinfonia is like no other orchestra I’ve seen. We bring the traditional classical music experience to our audience, along with non-traditional performances with well-known performers, upcoming artists, children’s concerts, movies, and so on. Sinfonia is reinventing the modern-day orchestra! Q: Do you have a special memory from the past 15 years? KK : There have been so many fun times that picking just one is impossible! Q: Do you have a favorite piece of music you have played while in the orchestra? KK : I really enjoyed Chris Brubeck’s Spontaneous Combustion that we did a few years back with violinist Nick Kendall, and of course PIXAR and Bugs Bunny! I also have really enjoyed the concertos we’ve done with the Young Concert Artists. Violinist Alexi Kenney wa especially good. Q: What does Sinfonia bring/add to the NW Florida Gulf Coast arts scene/community? KK : An accessible live orchestra experience. Q: What do you hope for Sinfonia in the next 15 years? KK : That we continue along the path that we’ve taken, expanding our education programs, bringing more music to more people, and continuing to expand the reach of the classical music experience along the Emerald Coast. Q: Name one word to describe Sinfonia Gulf Coast. MJ: FUNFonia! sinfonia gulf coast | 81
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“Over the years, Demetrius Fuller has met with nothing but success and support from the community for his well-received professional symphony with creative and impressive performances. I wish he and his musicians every continued success in the years to come. He has re-defined the symphony experience for sure.” Kay Phelan President, Phelan & Lowry, Ltd. Destin Patron & Individual Supporter since 2006
“My sincere congratulations to Sinfonia Gulf Coast on 15 years of nurturing and celebrating art and culture in Northwest Florida, enriching the lives of locals and visitors alike. Wishing you many years of continued success.”
Jay Tusa Director of the Walton County TDC Community event partner since 2016
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29 - Demetrius Fuller’s age when he became Sinfonia’s maestro
A WORD WITH... TIM KRUEGER Destin Senior Vice President – Wealth Management Krueger, Fosdyck & Associates Founding Partner & Event Emcee since 2007 Q: How did you first get involved? TK: There is a dearth of support for the arts in the schools and when things get cut it seems the arts are cut first. They are unloved and its undeserved. Musicians are very talented. They use both the left and right brain, music is art and math all rolled into one. If children do not have exposure to music, you’ll never know if they could have been the next prodigy. Q: Why do you have a passion for supporting live music? TK: I’ve always loved music and tried my best to play guitar and other instruments. Live music speaks to you in a way the juke box doesn’t. Q: How has Sinfonia “redefined” the contemporary orchestra experience in your view? TK: It starts with a youthful maestro (he laughs). I say to people, ‘This is not your father’s orchestra.’ You are not going to be bored at a Sinfonia event. It’s simply unparalleled and different than anything else. Q: What moment stands out over the past 15 years? TK: The Pink Martini concert. I grabbed Marjorie Cox Gray’s (longtime art advocate/patron/donor) wheelchair and wheeled her to the front of the stage and paraded her around the entire event at the Conference Center. We had a grand time. Q: What has been your favorite concert? TK: The Seagar’s venue is my favorite. It reminds me of what a dinner show was like in the ‘40s. It’s tossup between seeing Morgan James and Mary Wilson. Both were incredible evenings. Q: What does Sinfonia bring/add to the NW Florida Gulf Coast arts scene/community? TK: We are very blessed to have this caliber of entertainment in our very small marketplace. Sinfonia brings world-class talent to a place that, until recently, also has a mullet festival. Q: What do you hope for Sinfonia in the next 15 years? TK: I hope they continue to grow and get both A-list and mainstream guest artists. Q: Name one word to describe Sinfonia Gulf Coast. TK: Indescribable
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"Through Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Demetrius has cultivated a broad base of music supporters not only locally but internationally. He has paired his love of music with food and wine through the annual Crescendo! event and is passionate about introducing children to music and providing world class concerts locally." Don and Janis Bishop Shalimar Individual Supporters Since 2009
“As a fellow non-profit cultural arts organization, we share a common bond in our community to deliver quality entertainment and educational outreach experiences to children and families. Sinfonia Gulf Coast delivers first-class entertainment creating quality of life to its residents and visitors. As a fellow art advocate, I applaud the artistic style that Sinfonia dazzles its audience with each season. Bravo on celebrating Sinfonia’s 15th anniversary season and looking forward to the next artistic endeavor that will sustain our community as a cultural destination!”
Marcia Hull Former CEO, Mattie Kelly Arts Foundation Destin
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Sinfonia launched Crescendo! in 2018 and raised a record $410,000 to benefit Sinfonia GUlf Coast and its music education programs!
Adagio, Andante, Allegro, Presto and Vivace are Sinfonia donor levels.
A WORD WITH... STEVE BARBER Miramar Beach Publisher, Scarlett Magazine Principal, Steve Barber Public Relations
Q: Why did you first get involved? SB: I was excited to have a symphony in our small community of Destin. Q: Why do you have a passion for supporting live music? SB: I am happy to support live music, because we are so lucky to have such quality programming in our small community. Q: How has Sinfonia “redefined” the contemporary orchestra experience in your view? SB: Every concert is unique and has a “wow” factor. Q: Favorite concert? SB: Roberta Flack was absolutely spectacular. Q: Favorite event? SB: Crescendo! What’s not to love? Q: What is your favorite instrument in the orchestra? SB: French Horn Q: What does Sinfonia bring to the Northwest Florida Gulf Coast arts scene? SB: Quality entertainment and much needed music education for our schools. Q: Name one word to describe Sinfonia Gulf Coast. SB: Unique
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MUSICAL MILESTONES (2006-2021) JUNE 27, 2006 Press conference to announce the formation of Sinfonia Gulf Coast.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2006 The first celebrity guest artist is Broadway and film star Bernadette Peters with her spellbinding performance of Journey through Broadway at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.
OCTOBER 12, 2006 Maestro Demetrius Fuller conducts Brasilia and the Sao Paolo String Quartet with guest conductor Jean Reis during the first concert performance at Grace Lutheran Church.
OCTOBER 15, 2008 An Evening with Robert Flack at Emerald Coast Conference Center.
NOVEMBER 30, 2006 Too Hot to Handel is first holiday concert featuring The Gospel Messiah “with a twist” at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin and said to have the power to “break the classical sound barrier.” SEPTEMBER 28, 2007 Cellphonia concert engages audience participation by chiming in with cell phones.
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MUSICAL MILESTONES cont. (2006-2021) FEBRUARY 2, 2008 Sinfonia 2008: A Space Odyssey combines classical music and NASA video footage and violinist Caroline Goulding.
MARCH 23, 2010 Sinfonia’s fourth season gala celebration An Evening in Vintage Hollywood featured the 12-member band, Pink Martini, at the Emerald Coast Conference Center.
OCTOBER 10, 2010 An Evening with Mary Wilson of the Supremes at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood highlights Sinfonia’s 5th season. NOVEMBER 11, 2010 APRIL 30, 2011 Sinfonia ArtStrings: A Painted Violin Exhibit exhibits 24 violins “masterpieces” created by local artists at Grand Boulevard at Sandestin.
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FEBRUARY 4, 2011 Sinfonia’s Valentine’s-inspired gala featuring Northwest Florida Ballet dancers performing to Prokoflev’s Romeo and Juliet, Chris Brubeck’s Concerto for Violin, Spontaneous Combustion, coupled with the ArtStrings live auction.
MUSICAL MILESTONES cont. (2006-2021) MARCH 23, 2013 Sinfonia 007 Gala Event Bond & Beyond at the Emerald Coast Convention Center featuring Tony Award-winning Debbie Graville and guest conductor Michael Krajewski.
MARCH 29, 2014 Sinfonia gala event features Tony and Olivier award-winning singer and Broadway actress Patti LuPone in her one-woman concert: Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda at the Emerald Coast Convention Center.
NOVEMBER 13, 2015 Emmy and Tony-winning actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth charms at the Emerald Coast Conference Center for Sinfonia’s 10th anniversary gala event. 104 | sinfonia gulf coast
JANUARY 24, 2014 The Bernstein Beat at Destiny Worship Center featuring narration by composer Leonard Bernstein’s daughter, Jamie Bernstein and violin by Mari Thomas.
OCTOBER 7, 2014 Music of the Mad Men Era at Seagar’s Prime Steaks & Seafood features gourmet dinner by chef Dan Vargo and award-winning singer and actor Cheyenne Jackson performed songs from the Great American Songbook. APRIL 11, 2015 Disney Pixar in Concert at the Emerald Coast Convention Center is animated film and music feast for all ages.
JANUARY 20, 2017 Jennifer Koh, Musical America’s “Instrumentalist of the Year” electrifies audiences with her performance of Samuel Barber’s Concerto for Violin & Orchestra as part of the Musical Time Travel concert.
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MUSICAL MILESTONES cont. (2006-2021) MAY 13, 2017 Sinfonia Gala Event features The Temptations Revue on stage at The Henderson: A Salamander Beach & Spa Resort in Destin.
MARCH 25, 2017 Bugs Bunny at the Symphony II, conducted by George Daugherty, brings favorite Looney Tune characters to life on the big screen with a live orchestral music soundtrack.
FEBRUARY 18, 2018 The 12th season includes the launch of Crescendo!, a cultural and culinary extravaganza featuring a live cabaret performance by special musical guest Nicholas Rodriguez.
DECEMBER 14, 2018 Chris Mann of The Voice is featured guest vocalist for Holiday Pops concert at Village Baptist Church.
MARCH 7, 2018 The Emerald Coast Convention Center is transformed into an electrifying concert hall when Sinfonia Gulf Coast presents its 5th annual live Link Up concert performance showcasing the talents of 3,640 3rd through 5th graders performing on the recorder live with Sinfonia’s orchestra.
MARCH 2, 2019 Vocalists Morgan James and Nicholas Rodriguez return to Village Baptist Church for Bernstein, Broadway & Beyond narrated by Jamie Bernstein. NOVEMBER 15, 2019 The 14th Sinfonia Gala Event, An Evening with Vanessa Williams enraptures audiences at The Henderson.
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Welcome to Sinfonia Gulf Coast's 15th Anniversary program.