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Director of Marketing & Public Relations

December 2, 2013

Special "Sunset & Symphony" Holiday Concert at Bok Tower Gardens Dec. 7 with Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra

LAKE WALES, Fla. — Bok Tower Gardens’ 12th Annual Sunset & Symphony concert takes place Saturday, Dec. 7 at 6 p.m., with pre-show events beginning at 4:30 p.m. The Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra and Singing Tower carillon will perform together in a special holiday edition of one of Central Florida’s favorite outdoor concerts in celebration of the 85th anniversary of the Gardens.

The event is sponsored by Citizens Bank & Trust, Lake Wales Medical Center, Visit Central Florida, WEDU-TV, WUSF Radio, and the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

Flaming torches will illuminate the Olmsted-designed pathways leading up to the 205-foot Singing Tower, housing one of the world’s great carillons and featuring the Gardens’ world-class carillonneur, Geert D’hollander. Guests are encouraged to prepare elaborate picnics and experience a magical evening as the sun sets atop Iron Mountain.

“As a special 85th anniversary event, we chose to move this year’s Sunset & Symphony concert to December and believe a holiday-themed concert with new ticket prices will appeal to greater range of audiences,” said Jennifer Beam, director of visitor services and programs at the Gardens. “We want to offer events that appeal to the whole family – that’s what Bok Tower Gardens and the holidays are all about.”

The Orlando Philharmonic will perform a program of holiday classics, such as “The Nutcracker Suite,” “Sleigh Ride,” “T’was the Night Before Christmas,” “Carol of the Bells,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” and “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” among others. The performance features guest conductor Paul Hostetter, and guest vocalists Priscilla Bagley and Kevin Kelly.

“The Orlando Philharmonic is proud and grateful for more than a decade-long association with Bok Tower Gardens,” said Executive Director David Schillhammer. “There is no more beautiful location in all of Florida for an event like this, and we appreciate the Garden’s longstanding commitment to presenting Orlando Philharmonic concerts and other great music performances on their beautiful site.”

Concert tickets include general Gardens’ admission so guests may enter anytime during the day for picnics. The Holiday Home Tour at Pinewood Estate also will be open until 6 p.m., but requires an additional entry fee. The Instrument Petting Zoo, a chance to meet the musicians and learn about their individual instruments, begins at 4:30 p.m. Families can try their hands at a variety of instruments with the help of Orlando Philharmonic musicians on the Olmsted House lawn.

The popular picnic contest will award prizes for Most Original, Best Holiday Themed, and Best Overall. Judging takes place at 5:30 p.m. and winners will be announced during intermission. Pre-ordered boxed picnic selections are available from the Blue Palmetto Café, with food and beverages available for sale at the Hilltop Café concession from 3:30 to 8 p.m. The Gift Shop and Visitor Center will remain open until after the concert. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets, insect repellent and flashlights. Handicapped parking and shuttle service will be available.

Tickets are $20 for the general public and $18 for members. Day-of-concert ticket prices are $25 for both the general public and members. Children ages 5 to 12 are $10 in advance; $12 at the gate; under 5 are admitted free. Group discounts are available.

Tickets may be purchased online at, by calling the Gardens at 863-734-1222.


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