The Sound of Live Music

     There is nothing quite like the sound of live string music. No matter how many times you listen to the strings on a recording, it just doesn’t touch the experience of listening to strings live. When listening live, the vibration of the strings sends an energy through the air. It is almost electric. It creates a response in your body that is indescribable until you experience it.


The Bergonzi Quartet will play at Live! at the Promenade on Feb. 8

 I was a child the first time I went to a live string performance and I was hooked. The emotion of the music pulls and tugs at your body as you sit in your seat. No matter how many times I listen to a recording on a CD, it just doesn’t compare to that live experience.

     This coming Tuesday, a cultural jewel in the form of a string quartet will visit Bonita Springs. The Bergonzi Quartet will play at Live! at the Promenade on Tuesday, Feb. 8 at 7 p.m. The Bergonzi String Quartet, named for the illustrious violin maker Carlo Bergonzi, celebrates its 11th anniversary as Quartet-in-Residence at the University of Miami. Recognized as one of Florida’s cultural gems, the Quartet has also held the same position with Festival Miami and a visiting quartet at the prestigious Society of the Four Arts in Palm Beach. The Quartet regularly tours North America and has begun a series of recordings of the Mendelssohn chamber works for strings. Many will recognize violinist and concert master Glen Basham of the Naples Philharmonic.

Tickets to the Bergonzi Quartet performance are $30 for Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs members and $35 for non-members.

     The Bergonzi Quartet is just one of many performances that will come to Live! at the Promenade, the performance series offered by The Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs in conjunction with The Promenade at Bonita Bay.

     The indoor performance space at The Promenade is equipped with a stage and lighting as well as comfortable chairs and tables. Complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres accompany each performance.

     On Feb. 10 Flute Loops will present “Flute Cocktail.” Audiences will discover all types of flutes from around the world with this group of flutists. They will have bass, alto and soprano flutes, piccolos, penny whistles, recorders and more.

Rebecca Richardson
Rebecca Richardson

     On Feb. 24 the Bonita Bay Singers will present an evening of song. This large choral group performs pop, Broadway, patriotic and other varieties of music.

The Live! series continues throughout the year with dance, music and theater performances of all types. Information and a full brochure of performances is available online at, by calling 495-8989 or at the Center for the Arts 26100 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs, Fl.


Open House and Members’ Exhibition

Members' Exhibition Open House
Members' Exhibition Open House Feb. 4, 7 p.m.

I am not an artist. I haven’t taken an art class since middle school.
But, I love art. I think that art is the most interesting thing that
humans do.
This year my New Year’s resolution was to take a painting class. I
enrolled in Patty Kane’s beginning watercolor class at the Center for
the Arts of Bonita Springs and am currently in week three.
Watercolor goes against everything my brain says. My brain says, “put
that red circle there.” I set out to do this on wet watercolor paper
and end up with a pink abstract shape running everywhere. My brain
says, “paint a yellow flower with a green leaf.” I do this but the
colors run into each other. This is when I surprise myself. Instead of
taking the brush and trying to fix the “mess”, I just let it go. I let
the paint run. I begin doing something else. I am surprised later to
see that what I thought would be a mess, really made the painting
quite interesting. My vase of flowers still doesn’t look much like a
vase of flowers, and it appears to be sliding sideways off the paper,
but that’s ok. I’m happy with the lessons because I’m learning how
this mysterious world of watercolor works.
I also find that painting is extremely therapeutic. It gives my brain
a little down time, which is much needed. I leave the class feeling
calm and focused and am able to perform other tasks in my life with
much more efficiency and enthusiasm.
It took me a year of staring at the course catalog to figure out which
course I wanted to take. I always knew I wanted to take Kane’s
watercolor class, but the times didn’t always work out for me. I
finally just jumped in and made it work.
Choosing which class to take, can sometimes be difficult. It is hard
to stare at a list of names and classes and figure out what fits your
need. I find it helpful to seek out the instructors and talk to them.
They are always open about what they do in their classes and are
helpful at finding a fit.

Potter Rinny Ryan demonstrates how to throw a pot on a potters wheel at a Center for the Arts of Bonita Springs Open House.

There are a few ways to do this, but one of the best ways is probably
by attending an Open House. The Center for the Arts hold Open House
events once a month during season. The next Open House will be held at
6 p.m. on February 4 in conjunction with the Annual Members’
Exhibition. At the open houses artists are present showing and selling
work. Instructors are there showing work and talking about their
classes. Many of the artists that aren’t instructors have been
students and taken many classes. I find that everyone is very willing
to talk about what classes worked for them and why.
The Open Houses are always free and always held in conjunction with an
opening reception for a new exhibition. There is always complimentary
wine and hors d’oeuvres. The events are open to the public, no
invitation required.
A full list of programs and events for the Center for the Arts is
available online at or by calling 495.8989 or
at the campus at 26100 Old 41 Road, Bonita Springs.