By Kelly Smith

If you need a reason to go for a really long coffee break with a friend or co-worker, The Florida Orchestra Coffee series has lots of them. The morning series expands to four concerts at Ruth Eckerd Hall on Wednesdays – with the new more convenient start time of 11 a.m. – to go along with the eight-concert package on Thursdays at the Mahaffey Theater. Symphonic favorites are served up with complimentary coffee and doughnuts and lively insights by Principal Guest Conductor Stuart Malina.  Single tickets go on sale Monday, August 10. Five highlights:

Our American Music (Thursday, October 29 MAH):

This program goes straight to the heart of America, with John Williams’ Liberty Fanfare, Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody and Grofe’s Grand Canyon Suite: On the Trail.

An Old World Christmas (Wednesday, December 16 REH; Dec. 17 MAH):

It’s the classy side of Christmas, with Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Handel’s “Pifa” from Messiah and Corelli’s Christmas Concerto.

A Tchaikovsky Celebration (Wednesday, January 13 REH; Jan. 14 MAH):

For those who can’t get enough of charismatic conductor Jacomo Bairos, he’ll be your guide for selections from Swan Lake, 1812 Overture and Suite No. 4 (Mozartiana).

Rhapsody in Blue (Wednesday, March 2 REH; Thursday, March 3 MAH):

This concert could be the biggest treat of the whole season: Michael Francis conducts and Stuart Malina is the piano soloist on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. You’ll also get Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from On the Town, among others.

Listen and Laugh (Thursday, March 24 MAH):

Who says classical music can’t be fun? Includes Anderson’s The Typewriter, L. Mozart’s Toy Symphony and Schickele’s The Unbegun Symphony. Subscriptions are available now. Get tickets at www.floridaorchestra.org or 727-892-3337 and 1-800-662-7286.