Sinfonia Gulf Coast celebrates American music at its upcoming performance of “The Bernstein Beat” on Friday, Jan. 24 at 7:30 p.m. at Destiny Worship Center in Miramar Beach.

The performance features Sinfonia’s full orchestra performing several of Bernstein’s works including the beloved “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story.” Sinfonia concertmaster Mari Thomas will perform the regional premier of American composer Michael Daugherty’s violin concerto entitled “Fire & Blood.” The piece is a musical depiction of the life size murals by artist Diego Rivera, who was commissioned by Edsel Ford to depict and represent the Detroit auto industry.

Jamie Bernstein, daughter of iconic composer-conductor Leonard Bernstein, will host the evening. Bernstein will share her insights on growing up surrounded by music and incredible personalities in addition to providing the highlights from that morning’s performances of “The Bernstein Beat” for more than 2,000 Okaloosa and Walton third through eighth graders.

The morning performances, conceived and hosted by Bernstein, are made possible by funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, St. Joe Community Foundation and Destin Commons and are provided free of charge to participating schools.

The performance will be at Destiny Worship Center and begins at 7:30pm. Tickets range from $29.50-42.50 and can be purchased online or by calling the box office. For more information or to purchase tickets, please visit or call (850) 269-7129  


Students invited to paint the music

More than 2,900 students in grades 3-8 in Okaloosa and Walton Counties have participated in “Paint the Music,” a partnership between Sinfonia Gulf Coast and Mattie Kelly Art Foundation’s All Kinds of Art. Students were provided sound samples of the music of Leonard Bernstein to visually interpret what they heard.

The music ties in with the live selections that many of them will experience at the Jan. 24 concert “The Bernstein Beat,” which will be hosted by Leonard’s daughter Jamie. Representative artwork from each participating school will be on display in the lobby of Destiny Worship Center from Jan. 22-28.

Modeled after the groundbreaking “Young People’s Concerts” with the New York Philharmonic, Jamie Bernstein celebrates this legacy with an interactive and engaging performance of her father’s music. The performance features Sinfonia Gulf Coast, Music Director Demetrius Fuller and Bernstein in a high-energy concert complete with audience participation and excerpts from Bernstein’s most beloved symphonic works.

 “Paint the Music” and “The Bernstein Beat” is made possible by the generous support of the St. Joe Community Foundation, Destin Commons and by a “Challenge America” grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.