By Kelly Smith

The Florida Orchestra is boldly going where it’s never gone before: combining the Music of Star Trek & Star Wars into one stellar concert as part of its Raymond James Pops series. For the orchestra’s 50th anniversary, its Pops lineup features diverse music, including Broadway, swing and more, led by TFO’s Principal Pops Conductor Jeff Tyzik. Here are five can’t-miss Pops concerts, including new Saturday matinees at the Mahaffey Theater:

Swing is the Thing (Friday to Sunday, October 13-15): Jump ‘n’ jive from the 1940s right into the jukebox tunes of the ‘50s and ‘60s, with hits like Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and Rock Around the Clock and features virtuoso clarinetist Dave Bennett. Jeff Tyzik conducts.

Marvin Hamlisch & More (Friday to Sunday, November 10-11 with Saturday Mahaffey matinee): The orchestra honors one singular sensation, the late Marvin Hamlisch, with his beloved songs, along with music that inspired him from Gershwin and Bernstein. Lee Musiker conducts and plays piano; Doug LaBrecque on vocals.

Holiday Pops (Friday to Sunday, December 15-17 with Saturday and Sunday matinees): Have a jolly good time with the whole family at this popular Florida Orchestra tradition, filled with the joy of your favorite yuletide carols. Brian Byrne conducts, with vocalists.

Rodgers & Hammerstein (Friday and Saturday, January 12-13 with Saturday Mahaffey matinee): Broadway star Lisa Vroman wraps up a few of our favorite things, including songs from the Sound of Music, The King and I, Oklahoma! Stuart Malina conducts.

Music of Star Trek & Star Wars (Friday to Sunday, February 9-11 with Saturday Mahaffey matinee): An intergalactic battle pits Trekkies against The Force. Who will live long and prosper? Everybody wins when the orchestra plays music from the Star Trek franchise, along with Star Wars classics by John Williams. Music Director Michael Francis conducts.

Why subscribe? Because the orchestra tempts you with special perks: Get the best seats in the house. Be first in line for popular special concerts and the gala. Free ticket exchanges for flexibility … and much more. Concert series are on sale now, and single tickets are available Monday, August 14 at TFO regularly performs at the Straz Center in Tampa, Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg, and Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater. For more information, visit

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