Mend the Gap

Your support today is more important than ever. 

We’re ready to present a season full of unforgettable performances and our musicians are thrilled to play for you again.  But never has the challenge to preserve the music that you know and love been greater.

Hurricane Michael and the extensive damage to Panama City’s Marina Civic Center reduced seating capacity from 2500 to 582.

Guidelines related to COVID-19 have reduced seating capacity at the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center by 50%, from 582 to fewer than 300.

Please, help us “mend the revenue gap” created by the one-two punch of the hurricane and the pandemic.

Your gift today means that the next time you join us for a concert, your orchestra will be there to share the joy of live music as a healthy, vibrant and financially secure organization. 

Please consider the role music plays in your life and support the Panama City Symphony.

We thank you!

Introducing The Panama City Symphony Orchestra!

Conductor and orchestra

An orchestra is a living symbol of a community’s thriving cultural life.

A city with a vital arts base is a city with a flourishing symphony orchestra. With a thriving international airport, enhanced infrastructure, dedicated economic development, vast growth in housing, and the commitment to rebuild Panama City “Bigger, Better, Stronger,” the strength and resolve shown by community members and supporters have moved the city forward and lifted our spirits, and have fostered the image of an emerging cosmopolitan center.

Likewise, the Panama City POPS Orchestra, once a small, local troupe of volunteer musicians, has evolved into a high-quality, professional institution that has garnered attention across the Florida Panhandle and beyond.

In that spirit of development, the Board of Directors has voted to change its name to the Panama City Symphony Orchestra, effective July 1, 2020. The reasons are as follows:

• The new name offers versatility in future programming.
• It reflects the extremely high level of our performances, truly defining the Orchestra.
• It will attract stronger and more experienced musicians, producing higher quality performances.
• It will attract audiences from culture-based communities who look to settle in Bay County, raising the stature and image of our community.
• It will afford a stronger base for attracting potential funding partners.

Only the name will change. The Conductor and the Board are committed to maintaining the Classical/Pops format that our audience expects and embraces. We are committed to engaging and educating audiences of all ages. We are committed to excellence.

We thank you for your past support and for your anticipated interest in the future success of The Panama City Symphony Orchestra.


For 25 years the Panama City Symphony (formerly the Panama City POPS) has been dedicated to presenting excellent live symphonic music which engages and educates audiences of all ages. 

It’s your support that makes this possible.  Your health, safety and well-being – and that of our musicians and community – is our paramount concern during the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  We are following CDC, state and local guidelines to maintain a safe and sanitary environment and model best practices as an important part of the community.

While we cannot eliminate the inherent risk in any environment, we promise to be your trusted partner, committed to minimizing risk and providing a safe and welcoming environment in which to experience thrilling musical moments with the Panama City Symphony.

  • Until further notice, seating at the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center will be limited to 50% capacity in order to allow for appropriate physical distancing.
  • Every other row will remain empty.  Two seats will separate each group of patrons.
  • All patrons and staff will be required to wear a face covering upon entering the building and upon duration of the performance.  Both nose and mouth must be covered.
  • The venue will be fully sanitized before and after each concert per CDC guidelines.  Hand sanitizing stations will be available.
  • In order to reduce close contact within the lobby, there will be no intermission.      Duration of concerts will be approximately 75 minutes.
  • Patrons will be asked to confirm that they are not experiencing COVID-19 symptoms before attending a concert.
  • Patrons attending a concert do so with the understanding of the hazards of COVID-19 and are familiar with the CDC guidelines regarding COVID-19.  They acknowledge and understand that circumstances regarding COVID-19 are changing daily and that, accordingly, the CDC guidelines are regularly modified and updated.  Patrons understand  that participation in cultural events is inherently dangerous and accept full responsibility for familiarizing themselves with current guidelines.   

We look forward to welcoming you back to the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center and we appreciate your cooperation and patience as we responsibly navigate the future together.

Myths & Muses - April 27, 2019. Sold Out.


Who inspired the composers of classical music? What motivated the music that survived through the ages?

Conductor David Ott and the Panama City POPS Orchestra will share the answers on stage Saturday, April 27, 7:30pm at the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center in the orchestra’s 23rd season finale, “Myths and Muses.”

Highlighting the program for the first half of the evening will be the Mozart’s romantic and powerful Symphony No. 40 in G minor, oft referred to as “The Great” symphony, played in its entirety. In the second half, The POPS will treat the audience to a menu of light classical works and popular pieces inspired by muses ranging from Mother Nature to modern fiction.

Despite a delayed start to its season the orchestra, conductor and board of directors were committed to performing, pledging to be a ray of hope for a community ravaged by fate, and upholding its promise to elevate Panama City as a cultural center in spite of numerous obstacles.

“This has been another wonderful year for The POPS,” remarks Connie Gittard , President of the organization’s Board of Directors. “The musicians have never sounded better and our community has recognized just how talented our local orchestra truly is. We are grateful for the community’s support, and we look forward to another outstanding season.”

In a letter written to his Board of Directors five days after the disaster, POPS Conductor and Music Director David Ott expressed optimism. “Take note that music is more than merely hearing lovely sounds. It reaches to the core of the soul and beyond. It inspires, heals, dramatizes and epitomizes the aspirations of man’s hopes.”

Raffle Drawings

Also that evening, The Panama City POPS will conduct two raffles: one of the framed original “Maestro” by local artist, Roy Zenner, the featured work of art on this season’s Panama City POPS Orchestra marketing materials, currently on display at the Panama City Center for the Arts in downtown Panama City; and a pair of sapphire and diamond earrings donated by David Adamson Designer Jewelry. Proceeds from the raffle will benefit the orchestra’s annual fund.

About the Painting

The POPS acknowledges and thanks local artist Roy Zenner for his outstanding artwork which adorns the cover of this program.

“Maestro,” acrylic on board, framed and signed by the artist will be on display at each POPS concert. Between concert dates it may be seen hanging at the Panama City Center for the Arts.

Roy is a lifelong artist with success both in commercial and fine arts working in Detroit, Atlanta and San Diego. His clientele included automotive, magazine illustrations, architectural renderings, advertising brochures and catalogs. His fine art subjects are primarily people, places, and things that draw his interest. Acrylic is his main choice of media, but has also works in collage and mixed media. Zenner does not have an identifying painting style, because of the leftover influences of his commercial art days. “Use whatever technique or style it takes to fit the subject matter.”

About the Jewelry

The POPS appreciates Designer Jeweler David Adamson’s continued generosity in donating another piece of exquisite jewelry that someone will wear home at the end of the season: a pair of half-hoop earrings featuring 1 carat total weight diamonds set in 18k white gold and valued at $4989.00.

Getting There

The Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center is located at 501 Mosley Drive,
Lynn Haven, FL, 32444. Free parking is behind the venue, just off Minnesota Avenue.

Panama City POPS concerts start promptly at 7:30 pm.

Heroes and Super Heroes. By Popular Demand! March 9, 2019.

Local Heroes to be Honored by POPS Orchestra

A year ago when the Panama City POPS Orchestra was planning its 2018-2019 musical offerings, a family-oriented performance honoring local first responders and military servicemen and women and their families took shape.

“Heroes and Super Heroes” takes place this Saturday with not one, but two performances. The 7:30pm performance is sold out, and a second performance has been added at 4:00pm.

The matinée was added to allow The POPS to continue with its origin plan of offering free tickets to all local military units and local law enforcement and fire protection agencies.

“Now more than ever the Board of Directors is committed to honoring those who have been on the front lines protecting our community and defending our country,” states POPS Board President Connie Gittard. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize these dedicated individuals and their families.”

Invitations were sent to commanding officers of the local municipal organizations and military installations. All active and retired professionals and their families are invited
to the 4:00pm concert. Admission is free, however, reserved seat tickets are necessary and may be obtained by calling 850-785-POPS (7677).

In light of the sold out status of the 7:30 concert, the general public may also purchase reserved seat tickets to the 4:00 performance at

The Panama City POPS concerts are traditionally a combination of familiar, classical works and popular arrangements, with an occasional entertaining surprise folded in.
“Heroes and Super Heroes” pays tribute to the champions of our day with masterworks by some of classical music’s most memorable heroes, as well as modern media’s scores and soundtracks.

“If you’ve always wanted to hear directly from Ludwig van Beethoven with regard to his inspiration for the masterpiece, Eroica, that evening will be the time to do that,” hints POPS Conductor and Music Director David Ott with a sly smile. “There have been sightings of the composer during our rehearsals, and Beethoven just might make an appearance at the concerts.”

The second half of the concert will be a variety of modern media’s scores and soundtracks revering super heroes from all walks of life. “Think Superman and Star Wars,” says Ott. Folks attending the concerts are encouraged to wear their favorite super hero costume, and free super hero capes will be given out to junior super heroes in the audience. Live super heroes will be roaming the lobby during intermission and following the concert, available for photos with concert-goers.

Sponsors of “Heroes and Super Heroes” are Summit Bank, the Charles A. Whitehead Foundation, Curiosity Marketing Group, Commercial Disaster Recovery and M&H Construction Services LLC.

Season Finale

Who inspired the composers of classical music? You’ll know on April 27 when you hear the works of Debussy and Rimsky-Korsakov. The POPS also welcomes acclaimed guest clarinetist, Richie Hawley, performing Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto in A Major.” The virtuoso is Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Woodwinds at the Shepard School of Music, Rice University, Houston, TX. Reserved seat tickets are available now.

Getting There

The Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center is located at 501 Mosley Drive,
Lynn Haven, FL, 32444. Free parking is behind the venue, just off Minnesota Avenue.

Panama City POPS concerts start promptly.

For more information about The POPS call (850) 785-POPS (7677).

Cruising the Med Concert Panama City FL

POPS Orchestra Season Launches from the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center Stage

Following two engagements of musical merriment during the holiday season, The Panama City POPS has announced that it will perform its 2018-2019 season from its temporary home, the Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center at Mosley High School.

The January 19, March 9 and April 27 regular season concerts will take place as scheduled.

“We are so fortunate to have access to this brand new stage in this state-of-the art venue,” stated POPS board president Connie Gittard of the year-old facility. “The administration and staff at Mosley have been most accommodating and generous, and have made the transition effortless. We are most grateful that POPS music will be available in the coming months.”

POPS Conductor and Music Director David Ott added to Ms. Gittard’s words. “We have pledged ourselves to be the ray of promise for a community ravaged by fate. Hopes for a spectacular season have never been higher. POPS concerts will be dynamic, beautiful and, most importantly, healing.”

Pre-season enthusiasm was high following a very successful fundraising dinner theatre show sponsored by Pineapple Willy’s and The Wicked Wheel in late September. Eight additional dates featuring a combination of POPS concerts and special events were planned for the 2018-2019 calendar. Three of those were cancelled as a result of Hurricane Michael.

The season resumed with two free holiday concerts: November’s “Beach Home for the Holidays” POPS concert with Lorrie Morgan, hosted by Visit Panama City Beach, followed by December’s “Holiday by the Bay” sponsored by Bay Automotive.

Ticket Sales

Season tickets will be honored and will be mailed to all 2018-2019 season subscribers prior to the January 19 concert. General admission tickets are $25.00 and may be purchased at Seating is limited in the 582-seat venue.

Cruising the Med

On January 19, The POPS departs for a melodious tour of the Mediterranean and dazzles with the music of some of Italy’s and Spain’s most beloved composers.

Traditionally a combination of familiar, light classical works and popular arrangements, this evening’s fare features Rossini’s glittering “Overture to La Gazza Ladra”
(The Thieving Magpie); de Falla’s infectious “Three-Cornered Hat”; Lecuona’s immortal “Malagueña”; and many other works to transport you on a southern European holiday!

Heroes & Super Heroes

The March 9 concert pays tribute to the champions of our day with some of classical music’s most memorable heroes, as well as modern media’s scores and soundtracks. Bring the entire family!

Myths and Muses

Who inspired the composers of classical music? You’ll know on April 27 when you hear the works of Debussy and Rimsky-Korsakov. The POPS also welcomes acclaimed guest clarinetist, Richie Hawley, performing Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto in A Major.”

Moments with the Maestro

Due to space limitations at the venue, the pre-concert lecture series, “Moments with the Maestro” will not take place. The series is expected to resume with the 2019-2020 season at the Marina Civic Center.

Getting There

The Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center is located at 501 Mosley Drive,
Lynn Haven, FL, 32444. Free parking is behind the venue, just off Minnesota Avenue.

Panama City POPS concerts start promptly at 7:30 pm.

For more information about The POPS call (850) 785-POPS (7677).

Holiday by the Bay Concert

Announcing Holiday by the Bay 2018

Monday, December 17, 2018, 7:30pm

Join The Panama City POPS Orchestra for a joyous evening of your favorite holiday music at the Orchestra’s temporary home, Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center, 501 Mosley Drive, Lynn Haven, FL 32444.


Limited seating. You must have a ticket to attend.
Free tickets available Saturday, Dec. 8 – Saturday, Dec. 15, 10:00am – 4:00pm at Panama City Center for the Arts, 19 East 4th St, Downtown Panama City (closed Sunday, Dec. 9).

Holiday by the Bay Concert

The POPS meets Southern Rock’n’Blues in October

This concert was cancelled due to Hurricane Michael.

The POPS meets Southern Rock’n’Blues on stage for a rousing night in SweetBay’s beautiful Academy Square Park!

The Allman Goldflies Band Goes Pop

The Allman Goldflies Band Goes Pops

October 13, 2018 | 6:00 PM | FREE

Founders Pavilion, 1980 Discovery Loop, Panama City, FL



On the eve of the Panama City POPS Orchestra’s 23rd season premiere at the Marina Civic Center, the Orchestra takes to the road for a night of southern rock and roll with The Allman Goldflies Band.

“The Allman Goldflies Band Goes POPS” is SweetBay’s one and only autumn night concert, Saturday, October 13, 6:00pm on the Founders Stage. Admission is free and open to the public.

Lovers of both classical and southern rock are encouraged to attend. The orchestra will open the night with a newly arranged “Star Spangled Banner,” “The William Tell Overture,” and the “Ritual Fire Dance.” The Allman Goldflies Band will then join them for a night of straight-up rock and blues.

David Ott, renowned Panama City POPS conductor and composer, has written orchestral scores for much of the Allman Goldflies Band’s acclaimed debut album, “Second Chance,” featuring original songs by Gary Allman, David Goldflies and Cindy Menfi.

Classically trained and having composed for almost every imaginable genre of music, Ott found this project refreshing and rewarding. “Arranging for rock music did present a new challenge,” Ott states, “however, David Goldflies, one of rock music’s most admired players, explained the elements of rock music in detail, offering many helpful hints along the way. His critique was always supportive. I attempted to incorporate everything he suggested.

“As a result, this music reflects a 60/40 split between the Band and the Orchestra. The Band carries the load, but the Orchestra delivers substantial work and plenty of content. With these arrangements, I’ve added orchestral introductions, short interludes for the orchestra and occasional responses back and forth between Band and Orchestra. The Orchestra acts as a true accompaniment to the Band.”

The experience is a new one for Allman and Goldflies, too. Gary Allman, AGB’s vocalist/keyboardist, continues to carry the blues and rock heritage of his famous musical family exemplified by the late Duane and Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band.
David Goldflies, the critically-acclaimed bassist, is a former member of the Allman Brothers Band (1979-1984) and has been a member of the Panama City POPS Orchestra for over twelve years, serving as its principal bassist. He produced AGB’s “Second Chance.”

The band’s winning sound is a mix of southern rock and modern blues driven by Allman’s raspy, blues-man voice and Goldflies’ intricate bass playing. Their songs clearly demonstrate that Allman has inherited the skills that made his cousins legendary, anchored by the unique perspective of Goldflies.

“Working with one of the greatest American living composers has been a fascinating process,” states Goldflies of Ott. “The orchestrations that he created in response to the scores we provided him evolved after numerous dialogues about the nature of symphonic and rock music, eventually creating the best music we could for each song. That collaboration allowed the AGB to really do what it does best – rock out and blend seamlessly into the sound created by the Panama City POPS.”

“I write from the heart,” observes Allman,“be it blues, country rock or country blues. David (Goldflies) writes funkier upbeat stuff. I think we complement each other that way.” The proof is in the ten tracks on their new album, released earlier this year and gaining critical praise across the industry trades.

SweetBay is Panama City’s master-planned, bayfront village immersed in healthy living, higher learning, natural beauty and community connection, designed to inspire natural and relaxed living with a dash of Southern charm. Take 23rd Street to Lisenby Avenue. Follow Lisenby Avenue straight into the community and park area. GPS address:
3204 Heartleaf Avenue East, Panama City, 32401.

Admission and parking are free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at each show. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged, and visitors are urged to arrive early for good seating.

Visit the Concert Page

Now celebrating its 23rd season, The Panama City POPS Orchestra performs its regular season concerts at the Marina Civic Center. The regular season premieres Saturday, October 20 with “Music of the Night.” Tickets for 2018-2019 are currently on sale at

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