TFO’s first-ever Pride Weekend! Why now?

This week is The Florida Orchestra’s first-ever Pride Weekend, celebrating Tampa Bay’s vibrant LGBTQ community with the music of Bernstein’s Broadway (Oct. 5-6), conducted by Michael Francis.

As part of the festivities in the lobby, members of the Tampa Bay Pride Band will perform, and Come Out St. Pete and the Gay Men’s Chorus of Tampa Bay will set up information tables. The weekend leads up to National Coming Out Day on Oct. 11.

TFO’s Community Engagement Department organized the lobby activities as a natural evolution of our commitment to involve all aspects of the Tampa Bay community, from age and race to sexual orientation and gender identity. For the past two summers, TFO has had a great experience connecting with people through our participation in the St. Pete Pride Festival.

Weekends like this celebrate all that makes Tampa Bay wonderfully diverse, including the vibrant LGBTQ population. We are here to serve the entire community.

Obvious? Regardless, sometimes it needs to be said. It’s important for everyone to feel recognized and represented in their home community, especially by the premier arts organization that has served Tampa Bay for more than 50 years.

We should also note that TFO often invites community groups to perform in the lobby and have tables at our concerts. However, lobby festivities are separate from the concert, which is a fantastic program conducted by Music Director Michael Francis.

Bernstein’s Broadway marks a century of an American original, Leonard Bernstein, with selections from West Side Story, Candide, On the Town and more to open the Raymond James Pops series. Concerts are 8 pm Friday at the Straz Center in Tampa and 2 pm and 8 pm Saturday at the Mahaffey Theater in St. Petersburg. Tickets start at $18, plus fees, at FloridaOrchestra.org.

Whether you come this weekend to celebrate the LGBTQ community or simply to see an outstanding orchestra performance, the power of music is strong.

We welcome everyone at Florida Orchestra concerts and events.

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