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Mattie Kelly Arts Center

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College Production:
Talley's Folly

School Show:
Four Score and Seven Years Ago

Special Event:
NWFSC Film Club: Loving Vincent

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

NFSO Presents:
NFSO Piano Recital - Tzu-Yin Huang

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A Symphony of Taste - Food & Wine Fest Feb. 23

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


1/27/2014 - "A Symphony of Taste” - Food & Wine Fest Benefits Orchestra & Youth Endeavors – Tickets Now on Sale

Advance discount tickets are now available for the Northwest Florida Symphony Guild’s (NFSG) food and wine tasting festival – “A Symphony of Taste” that will be held on Sunday, February 23rd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The longstanding annual event, now in its 23rd year, raises funds for the regional orchestra as well as a host of youth musical endeavors that serve thousands of Okaloosa and Walton County students.

The popular charity event will be held for the first time on the Niceville campus of Northwest Florida State College, in the college’s spacious new $30 million Student Services Center. Food samples from a variety of area restaurants will be available, accompanied by over 50 different wines from around the world, micro-brew beers, as well as non-alcoholic beverages and a silent auction. Musical entertainment will be provided by popular jazz pianist Sean Dietrich.

“Folks have been used to this event being held in Fort Walton – so we definitely want to get the word out about our great new venue,” said Joe Purka, vice chair of the NFSO Guild and this year’s festival organizer. He noted that the new venue inspired a new name for the festival – “A Symphony of Taste” and also allows the event to offer tickets for sale by phone or web through the college, in addition being available at participating merchants.

Tickets are now on sale in Niceville at Bayou Books, in Fort Walton Beach at Playground Music, Vandergriff Jewelers, and the Magnolia Grill, and in Destin/South Walton at the Groovy Grouper Grill in Destin Commons and at Chan’s Wine World locations in Grand Boulevard and Destin. The cost is $35 in advance and $40 at the door. Advance tickets may also be purchased online or by phone through the Mattie Kelly Arts Center box office at (850) 729-6000 or

A variety of area restaurant partners will provide “A Symphony of Taste” food sampling selections, including the Magnolia Grill, Aegean Restaurant, Big Fish Grill, Compass Rose, Groovy Grouper Grill, Olive Garden, Peppers Mexican, Red Ginger & Green Wasabi, Red Lobster, Travinia, Helga’s German Restaurant & Biergarten, TradeWinds, Dockside Oyster Bar Café, and more.

Purka noted that the festival serves as the Guild’s most significant annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the event provide underwriting for the professional Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra (NFSO) as well as funding for the Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Junior Orchestra, the NFSO’s annual performances for all 5th grade pupils in Okaloosa and Walton County, a prestigious annual Concerto Competition for young musicians, the NFSO’s Stars of Tomorrow Concerts, youth music scholarships, and more.

“Local students for more than 25 years have had their first experiences with great classical music through Guild sponsored opportunities such as our Stars of Tomorrow concerts. The Guild’s Food and Wine Festival is a vital part of providing the funding needed for symphony and youth musical endeavors – we encourage folks to come out and support our efforts at our new festival location,” said Jeffrey Rink, music director and conductor of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra.

The Northwest Florida Symphony Guild is a 501 (c)3 nonprofit organization and membership is open to anyone interested in the arts. For information on participating in the Symphony of Taste as a vendor or donor, contact Joe Purka at (850) 974-1491.