FORT MYERS, Fla. (Nov. 20, 2023) – The Southwest Florida Symphony, the only professional orchestra in Lee County and fourth oldest orchestra in the state, is pleased to announce its return to Fort Myers Senior High School for a special Holiday Pops concert on Saturday, Dec. 9. The symphony will be joined by local favorite guest artist Maestro Andrew Lipke for an incredible evening of classic holiday songs, including an extraordinary blues version of “I’ll be Home for Christmas” which features a surprise guest soloist, to commemorate the orchestra’s homecoming to the beloved venue. The performance begins at 7 p.m.

Individual tickets are priced at $20. To purchase tickets or learn more, visit

Southwest Florida Symphony, formerly the Fort Myers Symphony, held its premier concert at the Fort Myers Senior High School auditorium on April 15, 1961, conducted by the founding Music Director Arlo Deibler and assisted by members of the Florida West Coast Symphony Orchestra. Fort Myers Senior High School has seen prominent local alumni, including Deibler, Barbara B. Mann, Frank Mann, Mary Lee Mann, Berne Davis, Eunice Bremner, Alexandra Bremner, Kevin Anderson, Connie Mack IV, Charles Ghigna, Nick Thompson, Jenna Persons, Gary Russell Libby and more.

Lipke, a Philadelphia-based critically acclaimed and sought-after arranger, producer, composer, performer and educator, was born in South Africa and attended The University of The Arts. He has performed as a vocalist with several prominent American orchestras, including the Indianapolis Symphony, North Carolina Symphony and Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, in addition to touring the country with the critically acclaimed Led Zeppelin tribute band Get The Led Out. He has produced dozens of records for local and regional artists and released five solo albums.

The Southwest Florida Symphony made its debut as a community orchestra on April 15, 1961, playing in schools and community centers, with a roster of only 24 volunteer musicians. Today, the symphony boasts a roster of 70 world-class professional musicians and is Lee County’s only fully professional orchestra and fourth oldest in the state. The Southwest Florida Symphony’s 63rd year continues the orchestra’s tradition of artistic excellence and innovation as Music Director Maestro Radu Paponiu leads another season of spectacular performances. Maestro Paponiu, the sixth music director in the organization’s history, also serves as the associate conductor and youth orchestra director for the Naples Philharmonic in addition to guest-conducting with orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.

For more information about the Southwest Florida Symphony, upcoming season performances and subscription and ticketing information, visit or call 239-418-1500.


Amy Ginsburg, Southwest Florida Symphony, 239-418-0996, Angela Bell, Gravina, Smith, Matte & Arnold Marketing and PR, 239-275-5758,