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2022-2023 Year in Review

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Greetings from the Board of Directors of ARIAS: Amelia Residents In Action for the Symphony.  Thank you for supporting the efforts of ARIAS as we strive to fulfill our threefold mission: increase Jacksonville Symphony exposure on Amelia Island; encourage attendance at Jacksonville Symphony concerts in Jacoby Hall; and support music education in our Nassau County schools.  We are also pleased when our efforts produce sufficient income to make a direct donation to the Jacksonville Symphony. This financial year we made a direct donation of $5,000, enabled by the support of members and income from our programs.

We hope you were able to attend our ARIAS sponsored ensemble events on the island this past season.  The Jacksonville Symphony Percussion Ensemble received rave reviews from fall attendees and the Woodwind Event in April almost sold out.  Both were intimate events full of delightful music and fascinating insights into the personal backgrounds and personalities of the musicians.  Therefore, we are excited to share our plans for the upcoming season with you.  SAVE THE DATE Sunday October 29th for Falling for Harp & Violin Duo at The Amelia Community Theater. Also, we are securing a venue for the Double Bass Ensemble to perform in the spring of ’24.   As in the past, these events include a reception and intermission dessert while ARIAS members receive a discount.

We were very pleased that 87 residents took advantage of the Jacksonville Symphony bus transportation from the Harris Teeter parking lot this year.  We had some growing pains but once reminders were emailed well in advance, the participation increased dramatically culminating in 30 riders for the finale concert.  However, ARIAS was just notified that the symphony will no longer be able to provide this transportation. The ARIAS Board is presently researching options for the upcoming season.  Your participation in our online survey is crucial in determining the future of this program. Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey when you receive the link.  The schedule for the ’23/’24 season will be set based upon these results. However, that transportation most likely will not start until the Holidays at the earliest. 

ARIAS has made advancements to enhance music education in our Nassau County Schools this year. Lyle Thompson, our Board Member in charge of Music Education, met with district elementary administrators to promote the newly revised Instrument Zoo which he redesigned as a demonstration format. It was rolled out this past spring to 4th & 5th graders at Bryceville Elementary school. Other district music educators have requested the program at their schools this fall.  

ARIAS invited district music educators, as our guests, to the ARIAS ensemble performances on the Island and a number of them were able to join us. This was a positive step towards ARIAS assisting the restoration of the Jacksonville Symphony Ensemble visits to our schools through the work of Marianne Rice as the Jacksonville Symphony Lory Doolittle Endowed Vice President of Music Education and DEI Initiatives. Ms. Rice has also provided online videos for use in the classroom and spearheads the Young Peoples Concerts at Jacoby Hall which Southside Elementary students attended this year.  

So, ARIAS keeps busy! 

If you are interested in working with us on the Board, in committees and/or would like to make an additional contribution to our efforts, please contact us by email [email protected] or mail to ARIAS, Inc. P.O. Box 16203 Fernandina Beach, FL 32035.  

Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to seeing you at the Symphony in the fall!

Best regards,

Sherilyn Van Orden, ARIAS President