ISLAMORADA, Florida Keys — Some of the best things in life are free, at least in the Florida Keys. Through the dedication and talent of Florida Keys Community Concert Band members and supporters, music enthusiasts can enjoy a season of free monthly Pops in the Park outdoor concerts in Key Largo and Islamorada.
The performances, which run Jan. 21 through April 22, are set for Saturdays at 4 p.m. Concertgoers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and quilts to bask in the Keys’ setting sun overlooking Florida Bay while soaking up the sounds of wind, percussion and string instruments.
More than 40 volunteer members, ages 18 to 80, are directed through each performance’s repertoire, a compilation of traditional concert band music, popular music, show tunes and marches.
The first performance of the New Year is set for Jan. 21. A pirate-themed jaunt titled “Sailing Away to Key Largo,” it is to take place at the Murray Nelson Center Peace Park located at mile marker 102 bayside in Key Largo.
Attendees are asked to dress in their “pirate best” and join a troupe of fun-loving costumed “pirates” in sing-alongs of rousing sea shanties and Florida-themed music. The Mangrove Swamp Band adds to the Florida fun. Attendees also can bring their own conch shells for a conch shell blowing contest.
The concert series moves back to its home base at Islamorada’s ICE Amphitheater at Founders Park, mile marker 87 bayside, for a Feb. 18 “Who Let the Dogs Out?!” family- and pet-friendly performance of animal-themed music. Pooches are welcome to attend and prance in the Puppy Parade. The Humane Animal Care Coalition is to be on hand with adoptable pets.
The March 18 “Festival of Music” concert at Founders Park is expected to be a sensational evening with movie, Broadway and patriotic favorites. An anticipated highlight is a sensory presentation of Antonio Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons.” Guests for the concert are Ukulele Joy and the Sweet Teas.
The 2023 season is to wrap up with “What a Wonderful World,” a blend of international music, story slams, poetry and narrative music set for April 22. Attendees can bring their own drums to get into the beat mentality, or use a drum provided by special guests, the Upper Keys Drum Circle.
At each concert, play-along instruments are to be provided for kids of all ages to make music of their own.
Concert information and schedule: keyscommunityconcertband.org
Volunteer musicians of all ages treat concertgoers to music ranging from pirate-themed sea shanties to show tunes and marches.