2011 – 2012 Season

As luck would have it the date for the March performance of the Panama City POPS Orchestra falls on St. Patrick’s Day, and the evening’s program promises to have everyone feeling their Irish. The concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the Marina Civic Center.

The Panama City POPS concerts are traditionally a combination of familiar, classical works and popular arrangements. This program will open with Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 5” (popularly referred to as “Beethoven’s Fifth”) and will be played in its entirety.

“Our audience has asked for complete symphonies and the orchestra has been more than happy to accommodate,” states Connie Gittard, President of the organization’s Board of Directors. “We opened the season with Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9-The New World Symphony and the piece literally brought the audience to its feet.”

After intermission the mood will change as the orchestra program transports to the Emerald Isle. The complete second half will be dedicated to stirring Celtic melodies and Irish ballads and will include some very special guests and solo performances.

“If your thoughts of Ireland bring up memories of pipes and pennywhistles, they’ll be part of this concert, and you will want to be, too,” remarks Maestro Eddie Rackley. “We’re also delighted to feature the vivid choreography of students from the Niall O’Leary School of Irish Dance.”

Founded in Dublin in 1995 and in the New York metropolitan area in 1996 by Niall O’Leary, a former All-Ireland and World Champion, the school opened its first Florida branch in Tallahassee in 2007. Classes are taught all year long to children and adults from Tallahassee to Pensacola. Mr. O’Leary is a much sought-after choreographer and dance instructor, and has choreographed shows and competitions in both Ireland and the U.S. He is director of the largest Irish dance school in New York City and also practices as an architect.

The season’s final concert is scheduled for May 5. All concerts are performed at the Marina Civic Center and start at 7:30 pm.