FLORIDA LAKES SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA includes more than 60 musicians from around the world. Concert master and violin soloist Konstantin Dimitrov has anchored the orchestra since 2006. Now entering its 15th season, the orchestra stages a concert series of contemporary songs and classics as well as a chamber series at Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church in Eustis, and Family Christian Center in Clermont. The 2019-20 concert series, featuring six guest conductors, includes “Legends & Heroes,” patriotic poetry in music; “Dream of Angels,” the annual Christmas performance; “Shalom,” a Jewish festival; “Vienna Woods,” a springtime celebration; “Wind, Fire & Ice,” highlighting Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1; and “Cherry Blossoms,” a Japanese teahouse show. The chamber series is yet to be announced.
CLERMONT PERFORMING ARTS CENTER offers a little bit of everything on its main stage and, naturally, that includes musical theater and concerts. The theme for 2019-20 is “Impressions in Time,” and includes entertainer Tony Danza and his four-piece band’s hit show, “Standards & Stories”; “Celtic Yuletide” from “Riverdance” tenor Michael Londra; the popular “Nunsense” play performed by the Moonlight Players troupe; “Stars of the Sixties with Herman’s Hermits”; “1964 The Tribute” for Beatles fans; “Hotel California,” the original tribute to the Eagles; and the comic opera “The Pirates of Penzance.”
MOUNT DORA COMMUNITY BUILDING has an intimate 600-seat theater that has become a popular venue for rock road warriors and tribute bands. In recent years, the theater has hosted Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Blue Öyster Cult, Queen Nation, a tribute to Queen, True Rumors, which plays Fleetwood Mac songs, and a Quadraphonic Surround Sound multimedia presentation of Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin music. Three tribute artists will present “3 Eras of Elvis” on Nov. 15.
LAKERIDGE WINERY & VINEYARDS in Clermont hosts an annual free Summer Music Series each Saturday in July. Rock, blues, and pop bands perform on the outdoor stage on the grounds of the winery, and solo acts play at the Wine & Cheese Bar upstairs in the winery. One of the largest outdoor venues in the region also hosts musical acts during other events throughout the year, such as the annual three-day BBQ and Blues Festival set for Oct. 11-13. The lineup includes Beautiful Bobby Blackmon & the B3 Blues Band, Buddy Blues Band, and Marc Clermont & Blues Train.
Several cities in Lake County devote annual festivals to various musical genres. The Lake County Folk Festival is scheduled for Oct. 5 in downtown Eustis and Ferran Park on Lake Eustis. Started in 1997, the event is the longest-running free folk festival in the state of Florida. About 50 groups play folk, Americana, blues, Celtic, bluegrass, and gospel music.
Each March, the BBQ, Brews, & Blues festival serves up electrifying blues, as well as all-you-can-eat backyard barbecue and a variety of beers, at Towne Square in Leesburg.
Two inaugural events from 2018 return in September: Boho Fest, hosted by the Leesburg Center for the Arts on Sept. 21, is a “creativity festival” featuring indie bands, artisans, and crafters; and Clermont’s Sips & Salsa Festival revolves around salsa music and dancing during a street party planned for Sept. 14. Mambo LeBron and His Orchestra and Orchestra Fuego top the bill.
For a night out on the town, Lake County has numerous great bars and restaurants for live music. Oasis Saloon in Sorrento is a perfect “dive bar” with authentic rock ’n’ roll bands several nights a week. Fun people, a fun atmosphere, and good music can be found at Magical Meat Boutique British pub in Mount Dora. In Tavares, Ruby Street Grille hosts local acts like Jeff Whitfield and Defenders of Daisies as well as cover bands. JJ’s Lounge and Package in Sorrento caters to a crowd that loves classic rock, classic cars, and motorcycles. Crossroads 44 in Eustis books a mix of rock and country bands. Sip Restaurant & Jazz in downtown Leesburg features live music several nights a week.
Clermont Performing Arts Center
3700 S. Highway 27, Clermont
1996 N. County Road 452, Eustis
Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra
Epiphany Celebration Anglican Church, 1724 S. Bay St., Eustis
Family Christian Center, 2500 S. Highway 27, Clermont
JJ’s Lounge and Package
24433 State Road 46, Sorrento
Lakeridge Winery & Vineyards
19239 U.S. Highway 27, Clermont
Magical Meat Boutique
112 W. 3rd Ave., Mount Dora
Mount Dora Community Building
520 N. Baker St., Mount Dora
23800 State Road 46, Sorrento
Ruby Street Grille
221 E. Ruby St., Tavares
Sip Restaurant & Jazz
707 W. Main St., Leesburg
What do you think?