A November to Remember by Claudia Polzin, Independent Consultant

November is the month that we begin to get crazy with planning for all of the holiday events. I dare to say that some even begin to do the cooking and baking and freezing for Thanksgiving and Christmas in early November. This writer confesses that she used to be one of those people but has come to realize that we don’t have to work ourselves to exhaustion so that we don’t enjoy any of the holidays.

Admittedly in November, not many of our venues are in full swing but there is still much to do and enjoy. Beginning November 1 through the 19 The Naples Players will be performing Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly. After Mr. Darcy swept Elizabeth Bennet off her feet, we fast forward two years to the Bennet family’s Christmas celebration at the Darcy residence, Pemberly. Please note that due to construction at the Sugden Theatre, all performances will be at Naples United Church of Christ in McSpadden Hall.

Looking for a touch of nostalgia? November 4 The Girls of Motown will be performing a musical journey celebrating the golden age and legendary artists of Motown. There are two performances at the Norris Center – at 4:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The concert bands are back November 5 featuring the Gulf Coast Big Band and November 12 the Naples Concert Band – both at 2 p.m. in Cambier Park.

November 8 at 7 p.m. at the North Naples Church you can enjoy a salute to Veterans featuring members of the Naples Philharmonic and former Euphonium soloist with the US Army Band – “Pershing’s Own.” This salute to Veterans and to our country will definitely set your feet to tapping and get you ready for Veterans Day.

At this point I found it interesting to do some research on Veterans Day – as many of us know it was originally Armistice Day and observed annually on November 11 – other countries also celebrated but called it Remembrance Day – it is the celebration of the end of major hostilities in World War I. Major hostilities were ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. In 1954 the day was renamed to Veterans Day at the urging of many Veteran’s groups.

Veterans Day is separate from Memorial Day in that it pays tribute to the service of all Veterans, while Memorial Day is dedicated to honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in the military. Armed Forces Day, on the other hand, acknowledges and celebrates those currently serving in the armed forces. To add a layer of complexity, in 1971, Veterans Day was shifted to the fourth Monday in October in compliance with the Uniform Monday Holiday Act but was subsequently returned to its original date of November 11 in 1978.

But in keeping with what Life in Naples is – do we find more concerts to enjoy in this month of November  – yes –  November 12 at Trinity-by-the-Cove Episcopal Church there is a concert of the Gesualdo Six. This award-winning group was founded in Cambridge, England in 2014 for a performance of the Tenebrae Responsories for Maundy Thursday. This acapella group of six talented vocalists has traveled the world and performed to rave reviews. If you love quality vocal music this is a must for you in November.

November 17 you can move uptown to Faith Lutheran Church and hear a concert of Anthems of Praise featuring music director J. Matthew Swingle performing favorite hymns on the newly acquired 9’ Steinway concert piano. These favorite hymns were written/arranged by Mark Hayes.

We cannot talk about November and not mention Thanksgiving – November 23. For many this is the official start of the Holiday Season – and shopping. The inaugural Thanksgiving took place in October 1621 following the Pilgrims’ initial harvest. This festive occasion spanned three days and saw the participation of 90 Native Americans, specifically the Wampanoag people, alongside 53 survivors from the Mayflower. In 1863 President Lincoln made it an official holiday and declared it a national day of Thanksgiving and Praise.

Enjoy the month of November, explore Naples and find some unexpected places to enjoy entertainment.


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