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Plaza Live’s whopping early Christmas present + upcoming benefit show

December 30, 2013

One week ago, on Dec. 23, just before Santa started doling out his goods, an anonymous donor one-upped the jolly elf by gifting the Plaza Live $1 million to put toward renovations. This brings their funding up to $3 million, thanks in part to previous major donations from named philanthropists Marc and Sharon Hagle ($750,000), Bryce West ($500,000) and Kenneth and Ann Hicks Murrah ($500,000). Plaza Live Board President Michael Elsberry pledges these funds will be used to better the venue since it became the home of the Orlando Phil, saying in a press release, “The Orlando Philharmonic is blessed with generous patrons who understand and appreciate the importance of our institution to this community. This gift will help us to transform the Plaza into the administrative, performance and educational hub for our musicians, and those who support and appreciate them: our patrons and supporters.  All of us thank the donor for this special gift.”

Among the renovations planned are improvements to the lobby, expanded office space, a sheet music library for the performers, updated dressing rooms and storage space, and additional improvements to the building’s exterior, as well as its two theaters. This is great news for both the supporters of the Orlando Philharmonic as well as local music fans who enjoy the more commercial music that rolls through the venue, which in 2014 includes Leon Russell (Jan. 16), Keb’ Mo’ (Jan. 31), Art Garfunkel (Feb. 20), Hopsin (Mar. 6), and lots more in between and, undoubtedly, to be announced.

The Plaza will continue its bid to make the venue its best possible version of itself by holding Party at the Plaza from 6:30 – 11 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, the first joint fundraiser between the Plaza Live and the Orlando Philharmonic, which features five stages of live music, plus silent auctions, good eats, dancing and more. The headliner is Michael Andrew and the Atomic Big Band:

But you can expect the music to include notes of bluegrass, jazz, funk, rock, opera, classical and, basically, cover all the ground the venue hopes to every year, all in one night. More details here.

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