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Two National Events Benefit NFSO; 29th Orchestra Season

Mattie Kelly Arts Center


9/18/2015 - Two National Events Benefit NFSO's 29th Concert Season-

Beatles music and a jammin’ night of Mardi Gras jazz will benefit the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra in their 29th year as the region’s premier professional orchestra when two national touring events appear as part of the NFSO’s 2015-16 season. The British Invasion hits the Emerald Coast on Saturday, October 24, 2015 with the national tour of “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to The Beatles". Relive the magic of John, Paul, George and Ringo, backed by the NFSO, live in concert in the 1,650 seat mainstage theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center. The second special benefit concert of the NFSO season features the world famous Dukes of Dixieland” from New Orleans in a Mardi Gras extravaganza of jazz and brass on January 23, 2016.

Tickets to both special events are included as part an NFSO Gold and Gold Plus Season package options or may be purchased individually for $37 each.


The four musicians in Classical Mystery Tour look and sound just like The Beatles, but “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to The Beatles” is more than just a rock concert. Critics across the nation have raved about the unique concert experience of prestigious orchestras being paired with the Classical Mystery Tour performers;

Four standing ovations from the cheering audience," wrote the Newport News.

The Los Angeles Times noted that the show is "more than just an incredible simulation . . .the swelling strings and soaring French horn lines gave . . . the live performance a high goose-bump quotient . . . the crowd stood and bellowed for more."

The “Classical Mystery Tour: A Tribute to The Beatles” concert on October 24 will present more than 30 Beatles tunes sung, played, and performed exactly as they were written. Hear "Penny Lane" with a live trumpet section; experience the beauty of "Yesterday" with an acoustic guitar and string quartet; enjoy the rock/classical blend on the hard edged "I Am the Walrus." From early Beatles music on through the solo years, the Classical Mystery Tour event promises to be the best of The Beatles like you've never heard them: totally live!

The “Classical Mystery: A Tribute to The Beatles” national tour features Jim Owen (portraying John Lennon) on rhythm guitar, piano, and vocals; Tony Kishman (portraying Paul McCartney) on bass guitar, piano, and vocals; David John (portraying George Harrison) on lead guitar and vocals; and Chris Camilleri (portraying Ringo Starr) on drums and vocals.

From the recent success of The Beatles Rock Band to the release of the re-mastered original Beatles albums, the demand for Beatles material is greater than ever, helping make the Classical Mystery Tour event a hit wherever it appears. Single tickets to this event are $37 each and available July 1 from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box office.


In the second special event concert of the Northwest Florida Symphony Orchestra’s 29th season, the world-famous “Dukes of Dixieland” from New Orleans will present a Mardi Gras extravaganza of jazz and brass on January 23, 2016.

“The DUKES only accept about 30 dates a year to appear at much sought-after concerts in the USA and overseas, never straying long from their home base in New Orleans on the Steamboat Natchez,” noted NFSO Maestro Jeffrey Rink. “So, we were thrilled to be able to book this wildly popular group for a jammin’ good time during Mardi Gras season to benefit the NFSO”.

Unlike their dixieland name, the DUKES play a range of New Orleans music, from Dr. John and Fats Domino, to Huey Smith and Louis Prima, not to mention many of their own original tunes. With a repertoire of roughly 400 tunes, there is room for all of the above and still be the pre-eminent New Orleans band as well as official New Orleans Ambassadors. In addition to the "Mardi Gras" theme of the January 23 concert with the NFSO, the Dukes of Dixieland also perform concerts around the world with themes of "Blues on the Bayou"; "Symphonic Jazz"; "Voodoo Revue"; "Celebrating Satchmo"; "New Orleans Jazz Legends" and "Back to Bourbon Street".

When not touring, the DUKES continue to work the dinner cruise on the Steamboat Natchez for 45 weeks a year, 7 nights a week. They also find time to record (26 albums), produce three (3) PBS television shows ("New Orleans Pops"; "Salute to Jelly Roll Morton" and "Celebrating Satchmo") , and stream one show a week, up to the internet. For more about The Dukes of Dixieland, visit

Single tickets to the NFSO benefit concert with the "Dukes of Dixieland" are $37 each and available starting July 1 from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box office.


The NFSO’s 29th season also includes a series of five orchestra concerts, each featuring a range of special Guest Artists and music, as well as three Guest Artist Recitals featuring international and national artists in solo performance. Up next: On November 14 a “Piano-Palooza” concert welcomes the return of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center’s magnificent Steinway Grand Piano after a $50,000 renovation. Three Guest Artist pianists, all national gold-medal winning musicians of extraordinary talent, will perform the works of Gershwin, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven.

The popular annual NFSO Holiday Pops concert appears December 11, 2015 and “The Magic of Mendelssohn”, with a grand instrumental and vocal performance of Mendelssohn’s complete Incidental Music to a Midsummer Night’s Dream, will herald the beginning of Spring on April 9, 2016. At the April NFSO concert, more than 60 voices of the Northwest Florida Symphony Chorale and the Belle Voci and Madrigal Singers of NWF State College will join the orchestra for an unforgettable evening of Mendelssohn music. The concert also includes narration by theater professor Clint Mahle.

On May 13, 2016 the “Stars of Tomorrow Meet Beethoven” evening concert will highlight a week of family and youth oriented offerings as the NFSO also performs its 29th annual daytime Fifth Graders Concert, as well as its fourth year of partnership with Carnegie Hall’s innovative Link Up program to provide two interactive concerts for area 4th graders.

“The NFSO’s longstanding music education programs for youth are a vital part of our mission and have served more than 80,000 local youth for more than 25 years,” said Jeffrey Rink. “The NFSO’s Stars of Tomorrow concerts, the annual Concerto Competition, our KATS Kids-at-the-Symphony program, hosting visits by our international Guest Artists in local schools, and more are bringing the magic of great music to area youth.”

In addition public and school oriented concerts and special events in the mainstage theater of the Mattie Kelly Arts Center, the NFSO will also offer a return of its popular new series of Guest Artist Recitals in the center’s Tyler Recital Hall. Recitals are scheduled for Saturdays October 3, 2015 and February 6 and May 21, 2016 and recital tickets are available starting July 1 for $20 each or $60 for the series. The national and international artists who will perform at the Guest Artist Recitals will be announced later in the summer.

NFSO Season packages and individual concert tickets may be purchased in-person, by phone or mail from the Mattie Kelly Arts Center Box Office at (850) 729-6000 or at 100 College Blvd., East, Niceville, Florida 32578.

The NFSO relies on tax-deductible donations and corporate underwriting to support the orchestra and its numerous, long-standing educational endeavors for area youth. To make a donation to support the NFSO or request information on advertising in the season program, contact Maestro Jeffrey Rink at or (850) 729-6023. See the NFSO website for more information on the NFSO at