The Emerald Coast is Alive with the Sound of Music … and More

Holidays on the Emerald Coast are a chance for us to celebrate traditions with our families. Thanks to Sinfonia Gulf Coast, it’s made even easier with the annual production of “Orchestral Holiday” (Dec. 12 at Destiny Worship Center). This year’s production features music from the great grandchildren of the Von Trapp family. 

Music is inspiring, especially to children. Kealee Sloan, who participated in Sinfonia’s Music Education outreach program — which has reached more than
47,000 kids in Okaloosa and Walton counties and has enabled more than 800 students, teachers and youth orchestra members to attend Sinfonia concerts — put it much better than I ever could in a thank you letter written to Sinfonia:

“I love all the excitement in the music … The Sinfonia concert was the best thing I’ve ever seen. I love music, and this made me love music even more. You inspired me. The music inspired me to write how I feel about things in pictures and how I can draw pictures of what I feel in music. Thank you again, for the beautiful and inspiring concert you had.”

But Sinfonia’s concert and the many other choral offerings in churches and halls are just the beginning to putting a song in your heart this winter. With more than 150 singer/songwriters giving 200 live performances in
25 different venues during the 30A Songwriter’s Festival (Jan. 16–18), the winter blues are just not an option. This year, we are excited to see a number of creative collaborations. In November, the Sinfonia orchestra performed live during Northwest Florida Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” — a perfect partnership that we hope will becomes an annual tradition. In January, Digital Graffiti at Alys Beach is hosting a workshop for artists to create site-specific digital artwork, which can be entered into the DG2015 summer juried art competition. This year, Digital Graffiti hope to collaborate with the singer/songwriters in town for the 30A Songwriter’s Festival. Who knows, maybe we’ll see some digital art on the white walls of Alys Beach accompanied by some original live music at the event next June?

In the October/November 2014 issue we featured a story on the business end of the arts. It ended saying, “Perhaps artists along the Emerald Coast would ultimately be best served if the string of art organizations found a way to band together to create a collective ‘voice’ which together may be stronger, louder.”

The inventive event organizers at The Alys Foundation and the Cultural Arts Alliance, which produces these world-class events, have answered the call. 

And it’s beautiful music to our ears … and eyes.

Categories: Opinion