A Conversation with the Conductor

Demetrius Fuller Gives His Take on Sinfonia Gulf Coast’s 17th Season
Sinfonia Gulf Coast

Curating a season that “sings” is an art form, and Sinfonia Music and Artistic Director Demetrius Fuller is pitch perfect for the 17th year. With celebrity appearances, classical connections and innovative debuts, this year’s lineup redefines the symphony experience and offers something for everyone. We sat down with maestro Fuller to get his take on Season 17’s winter performances.

January 21 audiences can enjoy a Southeast U.S. premier with Get Happy: A Judy Garland Centennial Celebration.

DF: Who doesn’t love the legend, Judy Garland? This is a great production because it showcases the string section of the orchestra and basically a jazz band along with classically trained vocalist, Broadway veteran and recording artist Morgan James. If you’ve heard her sing, you know she has amazing pipes and is just a powerhouse. You will feel as though you are seeing Judy Garland singing live with the orchestra. There’s a multimedia component that showcases vintage footage of The Judy Garland Show with tons of outtakes with Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra that make an entertaining trip down memory lane. It will be a fun concert to experience because we are creating a clubby, dinner theater atmosphere with café tables. You can do that or opt for regular seating.

February 24 and 26 you celebrate the Season of Love with Crescendo! 2023. What can we expect for this year’s event extravaganza?

DF: This is our biggest “fun-raiser” of the year and has become known as the must-not-miss event of the social season. We kick off the event with a seated lunch at Bijoux Restaurant + Spirits January 26. The two-day celebration begins on Friday with a series of intimate Vintner Dinners showcasing celebrity winemakers and chefs in stunning homes, resorts and restaurants along the coast. On Sunday, the Hilton Sandestin Beach Golf Resort & Spa will transform into a chic, black-and-white-themed fête we’re likening to a classic, chic Ebony & Ivory Ball. The Main Event on Sunday afternoon is a festive affair that features world-class vintners and spirit purveyors, delicious bites, a seated lunch, an amazing silent and live auction, party games, and, of course, live entertainment!

At the heart of Sinfonia’s mission is music education. Tell us more.

DF: Our mission states succinctly that we “entertain, educate, inspire the community” and we aim to do that with everything we do. Education is the centerpiece of Sinfonia. It was founded not only for its entertainment value, but for the fact that Northwest Florida needed an organization that could be the proponent for arts education in schools, specifically music education. In many cases our programs are sometimes the only arts education these students receive.

Sinfonia gulf coast

Purchase tickets online at SinfoniaGulfCoast.org or call (850) 460-8800.


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