Wednesday, January 10, 2018 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Location: David Cohen Hall, North Tamiami Trail 709, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Members' Meetings

Mr. Joe McKenna, Sarasota Orchestra President & CEO, will share the latest information on what’s happening inside the Orchestra, the season ahead, latest organizational challenges and the status of a new concert hall. Also, recipients of the Friends “Star Promise” scholarship will stop by for a chat and perhaps even a short performance.


Thursday, January 11, 2018 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: David Cohen Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Classical Conversations

Hosted by Phillip Gainsley 

Phillip Gainsley has been giving talks on music and music theater including opera and ballet for nearly 40 years in venues all over the United States.  For 30 years he served as a panelist on the Opera Quiz heard during intermission of the Saturday live radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.

Join us for Classical Conversations 3 on January 11, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in David Cohen Hall at the Symphony Center. Coffee and light refreshments are offered at 10:00 a.m. and the cost at the door is only $15.  Mr. Gainsley will be discussing the entire program, featuring Brahms' Piano Concerto No. 1.

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Thursday, February 01, 2018 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: David Cohen Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Classical Conversations

Hosted by Lena Cambis 

French violinist Lena Cambis has performed all over the world with many European orchestras and chamber groups and played at many prestigious halls such as the Royal Albert Hall, Salle Gaveau, and Opera Garnier.  In Sarasota, she is the co-founder of the Sarasota Music Conservatory and is a violinist with the Sarasota Orchestra.

Join us for Classical Conversations 4 on January 11, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in David Cohen Hall at the Symphony Center. Coffee and light refreshments are offered at 10:00 a.m. and the cost at the door is only $15.  Ms. Cambis will be discussing the entire program, featuring Ravel's Pavane for a Dead Princess.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018 05:00 pm – 07:00 pm
Location: David Cohen Hall, North Tamiami Trail 709, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Members' Meetings

A very extraordinary gathering! Join us for wine and light bites and a sneak preview of the Grande Finale dinner with keyboard genius, Jerry Bilik. An alluring auction showcasing exemplary items from the Paris Flea Market will be on display for the silent auction. A guest auctioneer will open the bidding on fabulous live auction items - featuring unique music-inspired “personal experience” packages, exciting travel getaways and much more!


Thursday, February 22, 2018 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: David Cohen Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Classical Conversations

Hosted by Al Cohen 

Al Cohen has worked as a classical music critic for the past 39 years, including 20 years as the classical critic for the two largest Gannett newspapers in New Jersey.  Presently, he writes for Pro-Opera Magazine, proving opera coverage for Spanish speaking people worldwide.

Join us for Classical Conversations 5 on February 22, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in David Cohen Hall at the Symphony Center. Coffee and light refreshments are offered at 10:00 a.m. and the cost at the door is only $15.  Mr. Cohen will be discussing the entire program, featuring Rossini's Overture to The Barber of Seville.

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Thursday, March 15, 2018 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: David Cohen Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Classical Conversations

Hosted by Phillip Gainsley 

Phillip Gainsley has been giving talks on music and music theater including opera and ballet for nearly 40 years in venues all over the United States.  For 30 years he served as a panelist on the Opera Quiz heard during intermission of the Saturday live radio broadcasts from the Metropolitan Opera.

Join us for Classical Conversations 6 on March 15, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in David Cohen Hall at the Symphony Center. Coffee and light refreshments are offered at 10:00 a.m. and the cost at the door is only $15.  Mr. Gainsley will be discussing the entire program, featuring Holst’s The Planets.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018 12:00 am – Sunday, March 25, 2018 11:59 pm
Category: Clean for a Cause-The Paris Flea Market

Never got to your Spring Cleaning? Don’t fret, because fall and winter are the cleaning seasons in Sarasota. Why? You ask… The Sarasota Orchestra Friends’ premiere fundraising event, the Paris Flea Market, now in its fifth year, is scheduled for March 22-25. We’re already hard at work to top last year’s success. Have the urge to clean out your closets or want to make room for new decorating ideas? Your donations of costume jewelry, fine jewelry, accessories, designer clothing, art work, collectibles, furniture, china and crystal, antique linens, lamps, area rugs, housewares, etc. are what make the Paris Flea Market a much anticipated shopping destination. Our collections please the most discerning shoppers. And, each year, the items become more numerous and eclectic. To arrange for pick up of furniture and other large items, contact Anne Scott at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or phone her, (941) 927-6870. Join the Market as a volunteer! There are so many opportunities to participate in the fun, excitement and, of course, work to make the Market the best ever. There is certain to be a job that would interest you.  While some tasks require only a minimal time commitment, for example, a half-day during the Market, others are more involved beginning with the actual Market set up.  To volunteer, contact Sandy Cowing at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or phone her, (941) 952-3440. Any member, who has information, suggestions or inquiries about the Market, please be in touch with Fred Lasky at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. --please include SOF in the subject line. Remember--you can find contact information for all the Sarasota Orchestra Friends Paris Flea Market volunteers in the new SOF Membership Directory.


Thursday, April 05, 2018 10:30 am – 11:30 am
Location: David Cohen Hall, 709 North Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, Florida, 34236
Category: Classical Conversations

Hosted by Steve Miles 

Steve Miles is Professor of Music and Director of New Music New College (NMNC).  As a composer, Miles has focused on music for the voice producing songs, theater compositions, and choral works.  Miles also was Provost of New College from 2011 to 2017.

Join us for Classical Conversations 7 on April 5, 2018 at 10:30 a.m. in David Cohen Hall at the Symphony Center. Coffee and light refreshments are offered at 10:00 a.m. and the cost at the door is only $15.  Mr. Gainsley will be discussing the entire program, featuring Rachmaninoff’s final work, Symphonic Dances.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2018 06:00 pm – 09:00 pm
Location: Michael's on East, 1212 South East Avenue, Sarasota, Florida, 34239
Category: Grande Finale Dinner-"Masterful Musical Mash-Ups"

A spectacular dinner party topped off by the amazing Lost Chord Trio – featuring the keyboard genius of Jerry Bilik and the artistry of bassist, John Miller and percussionist, George Nickson. The audience participates to inspire the musicians as they "mash-up" pop and classical music genres into one new masterfully artistic composition. Guaranteed to be the talk of the season!

Individual tickets are $100 per person ($50 tax deductible). Patron tickets, with preferred seating and acknowledgment, are $150 per person ($95 tax deductible). Reservations will be accepted in February 2018.

The Grande Finale is sponsored in part by the following: SunTrust Wealth Management, ImageFIRST, Hugh Steele, David Green, and Billy Robinson. Thank you for your support!




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