By Kelly Smith

The Florida Orchestra season winds down in May, but not quietly. It’s a packed month of spectacular shows, from The Music of Journey rock concert to the American Songbook to Beethoven. And don’t forget free music under the stars at Pops in the Park. Here are orchestra highlights. Savor it before the long, hot summer.

The Music of Journey (Friday, May 5): Journey was just inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Celebrate with The Florida Orchestra, a full rock band and fan favorite singer Brody Dolyniuk, who will have you swaying to epic hits like Don’t Stop Believin’, Open Arms, Any Way You Want It, Faithfully and Separate Ways. Martin Herman conducts. It is one night only at the Mahaffey Theater.

Free Pops in the Park (Sunday, May 7): Bring a date or the whole family for music from Brahms to Beauty and the Beast, along with movie music from Superman, Jurassic Park and Star Wars. All will lead up to a patriotic finish with fireworks as the grand finale of Riverfest in Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park in Tampa. Ryan Haskins conducts. The concert is free, but don’t forget canned goods for Tampa Bay Harvest.

The American Songbook: Then and Now (Friday-Sunday, May 12-14): Nobody loves a piano like Tony DeSare. From Irving Berlin to John Lennon … Johnny Mercer to Elton John, he spans the generations for marvelous music from America’s great songwriters, with hits like Kiss, Come Fly with Me, Imagine and Great Balls of Fire. Jeff Tyzik conducts, in the Raymond James Pops series.

Season Finale! Beethoven’s Emperor Concerto (Friday to Sunday, May 19-21): Music Director Michael Francis leads a splendid season finale with international pianist Dejan Lazic in his TFO debut on Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor,” and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5. Tickets for kids and teens are free as part of this Tampa Bay Times Masterworks series.

Full Masterworks, Pops, Coffee and Matinee series subscriptions are available now for the orchestra’s 50th anniversary season, with favorites like Carmina Burana and the Music of Star Trek & Star Wars. Perks include priority seating, single ticket discounts and free flexible ticket exchanges. Visit, where you can purchase subscriptions online, a new feature 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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