Coral Gables Congregational Church Summer Concert Series

By Abel S.

altIt would be naïve of us to think that Art can only be found in the most conventional places. The real art lover, and true supporter, looks beyond the gallery, museum, and concert hall walls and realizes that Art is everywhere. The Coral Gables Congregational Church, for instance, might not be the first place that comes to mind when searching for that next musical experience, but it most certainly should be!

Each year, the Coral Gables Congregational Church (CGCC) invites South Florida audiences to its Summer Concert Series presented by its own Community Arts Program Jazz ensembles and classical musicians compose (no pun intended) the series’ program, and this year in its 25th Anniversary season, CGCC welcomed its largest audience to date. With record breaking attendance, the 2010 Summer Concert Series kicked off with a blow out performance by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, and continued its season with musical offerings by Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis, trumpeter Nicholas Payton to a sold out house, classical pianist Awadagin Pratt, principal cello of the Cleveland Orchestra Mark Kosower, and pianist Jee-Won, among many, many others. “We’ve come to provide exceptional cultural and educationally-enriching experiences for more than 3,000 children and adults each year,” states Mark Hart, Executive and Artistic Director at CGCC, “that’s the best part about celebrating 25 seasons!”

The Community Arts Program at CGCC and its avid contributors have been long time witnesses to this incredible success and a seemingly unstoppable force in the local art/musical scene; what first started as an intimate summer evening concert series has grown into one of the most anticipated events of the season among Miami locals of all ages. More than a source of entertainment and cultural enrichment, the Summer Concert Series lends itself to the education of aspiring and emerging musicians.

An unparalleled teaching ensemble of professional musicians from The New World Symphony, the University of Miami Frost School of Music, and other outstanding institutions, CGCC CAP Conservatory for the Arts (recipient of the Artist Impact Award from the Children’s Cultural Coalition) dedicates its musical instruction in Young Musicians’ Summer Master Classes to financially-challenged kids. Active-learning ensembles like Young Musicians’ Orchestras and the newest All-Star Jazz Ensemble, are open to all youth of Miami-Dade County in a yearlong program.

With a mission to: “Serve a diverse community by providing educational and culturally-enriching experiences through the transforming power of the arts,” the Coral Gables Congregational Church Community Arts Project is overjoyed with its record breaking season and is confident in the success of the series in years to come. Like most local art organizations, the CGCC relies on the donations from its most dedicated fans for survival, and encourages musical enthusiasts to consider membership to the CGCC Community Arts Program.

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