News & Updates

FOR RELEASE: January 20, 2009


MOUNT DORA: The 12th Annual Mount Dora Music Festival will present an ambitious performance calendar as some of the nation’s most talented performers take the stage February 19-22, 2009. Celebrating singers and songwriters, this year’s four-day event is designed to appeal to all ages and musical tastes and will feature programs in folk, country, jazz, blues, big band, classical, orchestral and rock ‘n roll.
Making their Mount Dora debut, the Grammy award-winning group, The Association, will headline Saturday night’s Showcase Concert at the Mount Dora Community Center at 7:30 p.m.  Considered to be one of the most popular and successful rock ‘n roll bands of the 1960’s, The Association will perform their hits Cherish, Never My Love, Windy, Along Comes Mary, and Everything That Touches You.
Country music fans are in for a real treat when Nashville singers and songwriters Billy Kirsch, Tony Haselden, and Georgia Middleman from the legendary Bluebird Café share their stories and the inspiration behind their music at Friday night’s Showcase Concert at 7:30 p.m. at the Mount Dora Community Center. The Bluebird Café Nashville has gained worldwide recognition as a home for songwriters where the “heroes behind the hits” perform their own songs; songs that have been recorded by chart-topping artists in all genres of music. Kirsch, Haselden and Middleman have written hits for Steve Wariner, Wynonna Judd, Kenny Rogers, Alabama, Lee Greenwood, George Strait, Toby Keith, Shenandoah, Shania Twain, Trisha Yearwood, Faith Hill, Martina McBride, Marie Osmond and many others. Grammy-and Emmy-nominated songwriter Kirsch will also present a special Saturday morning workshop, ‘The Art of Songwriting’, on February 21st, at 10 a.m. at the Donnelly Park Pavilion. The workshop is an introduction to the process of songwriting - what makes a hit song a “hit” from musical composition to lyrical structure.

Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and folk music legend Livingston Taylor will present a special Sunday night Showcase Concert at the Mount Dora Community Center at 7:00 p.m. Taylor released his self-titled debut album in 1970.  Twelve albums and 40 years later he’s still touring and entertaining audiences across the country. His first hit Carolina Day set the tone for his intimate, laid-back style, which was followed by I Will Be In Love With You and Going Around One More Time, a song covered later by his brother James Taylor.

Jazz and blues lovers will love Lipbone Redding and the Lipbone Orchestra when they take the Donnelly Park Stage during a free Saturday afternoon concert at 2:00 p.m. This singer, songwriter, storyteller, and guitarist is a uniquely talented musician best known as a “voicestrumentalist.” By blending New Orleans swing, Memphis grooves, and New York City style with uncanny riffs of vocal tromboning, trumpeting, and booming mouth percussion, Redding has created a unique beat box-style sound that accents each jazz tune, blues ballad, and soul standard. Accompanied by his two-man orchestra drummer Rich Zukor and bassist Jeff Eyrich, Redding will also host a free workshop for teens, Rhythm and Rhyme, at the W.T. Bland Public Library at 11:00 am, Saturday, February 21st.

Also performing a free concert Saturday on the Donnelly Park Stage at 1:00 pm is the Central Florida Youth Big Band under the direction of Skip Perry. Eighteen middle and high school musicians representing seven area schools will perform a variety of styles from swing and Latin, to funk and rock.

Other performances during the four-day weekend include the Florida Lakes Woodwind Ensemble, a free concert presented Thursday at 1:00 p.m. at the Mount Dora Community Church; the 60-member Florida Lakes Symphony Orchestra will perform ‘Rule Brittania’ a ticketed event Thursday at 7:30 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church;  Singer Suzy Park and Pianist Wes Hamrick will perform America Sings, America Swings-Songs of the 1940s, a free concert Friday at 11:30 a.m. at the W.T. Bland Public Library.

“This year we are reaching out to everyone,” says executive director Nancy Howell. “We considered a number of acts and settled on a variety of performers we feel will give our audience the kind of quality performances and entertainment value they are seeking.”

The Mount Dora Music Festival is sponsored by Mainstreet Leasing, Lake County Tourism, City of Mount Dora, Daily Commercial, and Sundrop Systems. General admission and discounted group tickets are available to all concerts, while a limited number of VIP tickets with reserved seating and an after-concert reception with the band are available only to The Association. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Music Festival hotline at (352) 385-1010 or contact executive director Nancy Howell at (352) 383-2627. Tickets can also be purchased online at or at our ticket outlets: First National Bank Trust Department, Donnelly Euro Footwear, and Mount Dora Area Chamber of Commerce.

Contact: Nancy Howell, Executive Director (352) 383-2627