FORT MYERS, Fla. (Oct. 18, 2022) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, Lee County’s only professional orchestra and the fourth oldest in the state, recently kicked off its 2022-23 season by hosting MiniMasterworks Hurricane Benefit Relief Concerts to support local communities affected by Hurricane Ian. In total, the symphony raised over $4,500 that will be presented to multiple organizations.
The first concert was relocated from Tribby Arts Center at Shell Point in Fort Myers to Eight-Foot Brewing in Cape Coral due to damage sustained at the venue. Monetary donations totaling $700 were collected on behalf of the Cape Coral Rotary Club for hurricane relief efforts in Cape Coral. Nonperishable food items were also collected at the concert for the Cape Caring Center food pantry.
The Gulf Theater at the Military Hertiage Museum also experienced damage from the storm, causing the second concert to be relocated to The IceHouse Pub in Punta Gorda. Monetary donations totaling $775 were collected on behalf of the Charlotte Community Foundation for hurricane relief efforts in Punta Gorda. Additionally, the Charlotte Community Foundation pledged to match all hurricane relief funds up to $500,000. Nonperishable food items were also collected at the concert for the Jewish Federation of Lee and Charlotte Counties’ nondenominational food pantry.
The final concert was held at Bell Tower Shops in Fort Myers. Monetary donations totaling $3,106.95 were collected on behalf of the United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades for hurricane relief efforts. Nonperishable food items, cleaning supplies and baby items were also collected for The Heights Center.
The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class musicians, and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 62nd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence as newly appointed Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads his inaugural season of spectacular performances. Maestro Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.
For more information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, upcoming season performances and subscription and ticketing information, visit swflso.org or call 239-418-1500.