Making Beautiful Music

Originally published in Lake & Sumter Style , NOV. 2016.


The Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra opens its 12th season with renowned professional musicians coming to Lake County to perform beloved classics and new favorites.


The Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra has faced more than its share of obstacles during the past decade, but it still creates world class music that attracts devoted patrons. This month, the symphony begins its 12th year with concerts in Mount Dora and Clermont.

“By rights, we really shouldn’t have a symphony here because the area is too small,” said Executive Director Audrey Sanders, who co-founded the symphony in 2005 with her husband, the late Guy Saint-Clair. “We have been able to depend on people and sponsors in Lake County who think culture is important. It’s a miracle we’ve survived.”

Although trying to create a self-sustaining symphony orchestra has been challenging, the biggest hurdle came in April 2010 when Saint-Clair, an internationally-known classical piano soloist and composer, passed away suddenly on the eve of a concert. The symphony finished the 2010 season and continued in the following years with steadfast resilience to carry out his vision of bringing classical music to Lake County.

Professional musicians come from Miami, Tampa, Jacksonville, and other locations to play two nights a month during the six-month concert season. Audrey said many of them have been with Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra since the beginning. In addition, concert master and violin soloist Konstantin Dimitrov has been with the orchestra since 2006.

Audrey continues to work toward the goal of finding a permanent location for the symphony orchestra, but in the meantime she is grateful to area churches that have hosted programs. The Mount Dora concerts are returning this year to the Community Building on Baker Street, and the nearby St. Edwards Episcopal Church will offer parking and shuttles for patrons who are handicapped or have mobility issues. In Clermont, concerts are performed at the First United Methodist Church.

The new season begins with “Harvest Moon,” a program that honors veterans and features music that tells stories of love in times of darkness.

“November is a special month of remembering loved ones,” says Audrey. “The music will be exciting, moving, and beautiful.”


2016-2017 Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra Concert Schedule

Concerts are held at the Mount Dora Community Building, 520 N. Baker St., and at the First United Methodist Church, 970 7th St., Clermont. Ticket prices range from $15 (students) to $42 (adults) for individual concerts. Series packages are also available. Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra is a 501-c3 public charity. Get concert descriptions and ticket information at www.floridalakessymphonyorchestra.com.

“Harvest Moon”
Nov. 17, Mount Dora
Nov. 18, Clermont

“Christmas Concert with the
Mount Dora School of Ballet”
Dec. 22, Mount Dora

“Vienna New Year”
Jan. 19, Mount Dora
Jan. 20, Clermont

“Hungarian Rhapsody”
Featuring piano soloist Sten Heinoja
Feb. 23, Mt. Dora / Feb. 24, Clermont

“Film and Fantasy”
March 30, Mount Dora
March 31, Clermont

“Latin Lovers”
April 20, Mount Dora
April 21, Clermont


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