By Kelly Smith

Love The Florida Orchestra but hate the late nights? You won’t even have to think about the kids’ bedtime with two new weekend matinee series at the Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg, just announced as part of TFO’s 2017-18 50th anniversary season.

A five-concert Raymond James Pops Matinee subscription series will debut on Saturday afternoons, featuring family-friendly concerts such as Holiday Pops and the Music of Star Trek & Star Wars, which will be conducted by TFO Music Director Michael Francis. A five-concert Tampa Bay Times Masterworks Matinee subscription series, with free tickets for kids and teens, will be performed on Sunday afternoons.

“One of The Florida Orchestra’s strengths is our ability to understand our patrons’ changing needs and adapt,” said Thomas H. Farquhar, TFO’s board chairman. “These new matinee series offer more flexibility for all patrons. We’re thrilled to present them at the beautiful Mahaffey Theater in downtown St. Petersburg, which has become a great arts destination.”

Both series will be at 2 p.m. at the Mahaffey Theater, where TFO’s attendance has grown 42 percent since 2011. A premier performing arts venue in Tampa Bay, the Mahaffey is installing a new stage shell over the summer that will better direct sound into the hall, making the acoustics better than ever. The new engineered shell will be in place for the start of the orchestra’s 50th anniversary season in October. The Masterworks Matinee series concerts are Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture (October 29), Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 (December 3), Jahja Ling Conducts Beethoven (January 7, 2018), Dvorak’s Cello Concerto (Jan. 21, 2018) and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 26 (April 15, 2018). The Pops Matinee series concerts are Marvin Hamlisch & More (November 11), Holiday Pops (December 16), Rodgers & Hammerstein (January 13, 2018), Music of Star Trek & Star Wars (February 10, 2018) and R&B Legends with Michael Lynche (April 7, 2018).

Full Masterworks, Pops, Coffee and Matinee series subscriptions are available now with all the perks, including priority seating, single ticket discounts and free flexible ticket exchanges. Subscribers to the Coffee series also receive 20% off the regular ticket price. For a look at the full 2017-18 season, visit, where you can purchase subscriptions online, a new feature available this season. Or call the TFO Ticket Center at 727-892-3337 or 800-662-7286. Single tickets will go on sale in August.

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