By Henry Adams

The Florida Orchestra has ten different concert series to choose from ranging from three-concert packages up to a 14-concert package, and depending on your musical tastes, you can choose to attend the Tampa Bay Times Masterworks, Duke Energy Morning Masterworks, Raymond James Pops, Rock Concerts or Morning Coffee Concerts. Thousands of the orchestra subscribers have found the perfect package for themselves among these.

However, with the demands of work, family, hobbies, sports and more on everyone’s personal calendar, the orchestra’s Compose Your Own series may be the perfect option for many concertgoers.  This lets you choose a mix of any three or more concerts from 22 Masterworks and Pops at a very affordable $25 per ticket, and should your personal calendar change, it’s just a $5 fee to exchange a ticket.

You can mix and match any of the Masterworks and Pops concerts to build a series, but just to give the reader some ideas, here are some sample packages.  For piano lovers, a good mix might be Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1, Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.  If you enjoy mainstream pops music, a possibility might be “Let’s Dance” with its selection of blues, swing and 50s hits, “An Evening of Rodgers and Hammerstein” with music from South Pacific, The King and I and The Sound of Music, and “A Tribute to Benny Goodman” with such classics as I Got Rhythm, Bugle Call Rag and Sing, Sing, Sing.

For those who enjoy the violin and cello, you could choose Elgar’s noble and profoundly beautiful Cello Concerto, Bartok’s gypsy-intoned Violin Concerto No. 2 and Korngold’s film-theme-inspired Violin Concerto. And if you really want to mix it up, another possibility might Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 with its beloved “Ode to Joy,” world-class cirque artists at “Cirque de la Symphonie” and Chinese composer Tan Dun’s hypnotic and other-worldly Water Concerto.  As the name implies, you compose your own series.

From October through May, the orchestra regularly performs at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. For a free season brochure as well as to order a series package or individual tickets, visit or call 727-892-3337 or 1-800-662-7286, Monday to Friday from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


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Kelly Wise Valdes
Kelly Wise Valdes has been writing for the Osprey Observer since 2008. She graduated in 1989 from Florida Southern College with a B.S. in Communications and enjoys writing and traveling. She currently resides in northern Hillsborough County with her husband, David. When not traveling and writing, Kelly and her husband enjoy spending time with their five grown children (as well as their grandchildren) that still keep them very busy.