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Mattie Kelly Arts Center

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Talley's Folly

Broadway Series:
Dirty Dancing

Broadway Series:
Original Stars of American Bandstand

School Show:
Four Score and Seven Years Ago

Art Gallery:
America: The Dream of an Artist's Life featuring Emil Holzhauer

School Show:
Charlotte's Web

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School Show:
Nugget & Fang

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NFSO Season Announced, Opening Concert Sept. 10 – The French Connection

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


8/19/2011 - The Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) opens its 2011-12 concert season on September 10 at 7:30 p.m. with a French Connection concert in the Mattie Kelly Arts Center at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville. The concert will feature brilliant pianist Ko-Eun Lee as guest artist. The Gold Medal winner of the prestigious 2010 Wideman Piano competition, Lee will perform Saint Saëns' effervescent Piano Concerto No. 2. She has performed as soloist with the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Orchestra and more, and she has been honored by winning numerous national and international music competitions.

The all-French music program of the NFSO's September 10 concert also includes the music of Berlioz and Georges Bizet. Composer Bizet is best known for his opera Carmen, but his Symphony in C will make up the second half of the NFSO concert – a symphony he wrote at the age of seventeen! Despite his young age, Bizet shows an amazing level of maturity in this work which combines a lyric slow movement contrasted by three raucous and rustic allegro movements.

In the 2011-12 season the Emerald Coast's premiere professional orchestra will present an extraordinary five-concert season of guest artists, joint performances with the newly formed Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale and a concert-version performance of the greatest comic opera ever written, Rossini's The Barber of Seville. NFSO season packages are on sale now through September 10 for $115, a discount over individual ticket sales. Individual NFSO tickets are $22.50 each for adults or $16 for youth age 18 and younger. An Active Duty military discount is available and NWFSC students may obtain one free ticket per student ID. The Barber of Seville concert is $32.50 each for adults and $16 for youth.

Purchase tickets online at or by phone or in person from the Box Office, at (850) 729-6000. See the symphony website for additional concert information and program notes at The Box Office is open 9 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday to Friday for in person and phone sales. Doors open the night of the event at 6:00 p.m. Tickets purchased at the door prior are same price as advance tickets.

Due to overwhelming popular demand, the NFSO will again explore the rich world of Opera with the season's second concert on October 29 with a concert-version performance of the greatest comic opera ever written, Rossini's The Barber of Seville. Bringing this masterpiece to life will be three exciting guest vocalists, mezzo-soprano Maria McDaniel, tenor, Adam Kirkpatrick and baritone David Murray. Sung in Italian with English supertitles, this concert will undoubtedly prove to be one of the musical highlights of the year. December 9 marks the debut of the new Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale as they join the orchestra for an evening of holiday favorites and carol sing-a-longs. The February 17 concert is the annual Stars of Tomorrow event, sure to dazzle with guest artists from some of the finest young talent the area has to offer as well as the orchestra's tribute to the Old West in a performance of Copland's Billy the Kid. The NFSO season finale on April 28 will feature three giants of classical music, Franz Josef Haydn and his two most talented students, Mozart and Beethoven.

The NFSO performs on the main stage of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center in Niceville, where a custom orchestral shell provides an optimum in acoustical experience for symphony patrons. This season marks the fifth season for Jeffrey Rink, formerly of Boston, as Music Director and Conductor of the NFSO. Rink also serves on the faculty of the college as the Mattie Kelly Distinguished Endowed Teaching Chair in Music and Conducting. He noted that the orchestra is already making plans for its upcoming 25th season in 2012-13 when the orchestra celebrates its 25th birthday in August 2012.

In addition to its concert series, the NFSO provides extensive music education programs for area youth, including its popular program of visiting area 5th grade classrooms to introduce young students to classical music, the long-standing NFSO tradition of performing free concerts for every 5th grade student in Okaloosa and Walton County, the NFSO Guild's sponsorship of the prestigious regional Concerto Competition for talented young musicians and the region's only Youth Orchestra and Junior Orchestra programs.

A KATS (Kids at the Symphony) program enables children to attend NFSO subscription concerts, visit backstage where they can witness the inner workings of the theater and meet the musicians. The KATS program and other endeavors of the NFSO are sponsored by donations from symphony patrons and corporate sponsors. The professional orchestra is operated by Northwest Florida State College as a non-profit organization and relies on tax deductible donations and corporate underwriting to continue its musical excellence and the symphony's educational endeavors for area youth. For information as to how to become a sponsor or underwriter, please contact the NWFSC Foundation at (850) 729-5357.