Season ends for the snowbirds but begins for us locals – PLENTY TO DO!

Claudia Polzin
Consultant to Nonprofits

Many of us remember when season ended and there was virtually no art activities to be enjoyed in our community. This has changed considerably – but admittedly April is not as busy as January. But there is still plenty to do – and the end of the month of April, the Stay in May Festival gears up offering events throughout our community. So let’s see what we can venture out to enjoy in April: Our very own Dixieland Jazz Band will be performing three times during the month of April – April 1 and 16 they will be at their usual home base – Cambier Park. But a special performance will be held on April 30 at the Norris Gardens as a part of the Stay in May Festival. This performance celebrates the Tenth Anniversary of the beautiful Norris Gardens and will begin at 4:30 p.m.

Many of our musical groups have been around for many years – but maybe you do not realize that- one is the Naples Concert Band, which has been bringing music to our area for 45 years. They will open the month of April on April 2 in Cambier Park at 2 p.m.; and conclude the month with a performance on the 22nd combining the Naples Concert Band and the Bonita Springs Concert Band at 2 p.m., – enjoy their last month of concerts for this season!

The regional Opera Company – Gulfshore Opera will be performing Madame Butterfly on April 2 at St. Leo’s Parish Hall in Bonita Springs. Enjoy this well- loved opera in a unique setting – and support this opera company which brings this art form to our three-county area.

The Elements of Jazz – will be the featured event from 2-4 p.m. at the Naples Botanical Gardens on April 9 – enjoy this beautiful outdoor setting – remember to bring your preferred seating and dress appropriately for the weather. While you are there explore the origami and beautiful gardens that surround you while you listen to the elements of jazz. The week of April 18-23 brings some incredible variety to our city – April 18 at Bower Chapel on the campus of Moorings Park – you will be treated to clarinet, viola and piano and the works of Mozart, Schumann and Bartok. April 22, the Naples Music Club, who has been providing scholarships to middle and high school students for over 40 years, will have their annual Scholarship Winners concert. This concert will be held at First United Methodist Church in Naples and you will be amazed by these talented young people.

Rounding out this week is a completely different experience on April 19 the Naples Players opens their production of I Hate Hamlet in
Blackburn Hall – come prepared for uproarious laughter. As promised on April 25 – the Stay in May Festival begins with the opening of the exhibit From Shanghai to Naples, featuring the work of Deena Gu. This exhibit will be in the Watson Gallery of the Naples Art Association.

Some new features of the Festival this year are a Health and Wellness series – feature mindful meditation, these sessions will be held on April 26, May 6 and May 10. If you are a lover of Bluegrass, Rock and the classics – you don’t want to miss the DePue Brothers on April 26 at 7 p.m. in the
Hilton Hotel – this renowned group will be performing for the first time in Naples. One of Naples treasures will be performing on April 27
at 7 p.m. at Vanderbilt Presbyterian Church as a part of the Stay in May Festival – Steffanie Pearce, Soprano will present a Journey Through American Song – folk, spirituals featuring some of your favorite composers.

End the month with a great Naples favorite – Dick Hyman – on April 28 at 2 p.m. at the Naples Art Association; and don’t forget to come and celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Norris Gardens on April 29th.

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