Talk of the Town: A Night at the Copa

Recently, at the sold-out-in-advance gala to benefit both the Reilly Arts Center and the Ocala Symphony Orchestra, 160 guests donated nearly $81,000 to the arts and culture in our lovely community. The gala was held at the Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club. Guests arrived early to sip complimentary beer and wine while viewing an eclectic display of silent auction items. During dinner, music by Mike and Jessica Matthews and their band The Kings of Swing set the mood, as did the live auction. Ocala Symphony Orchestra CEO and Maestro Matthew Wardell spent the evening thanking guests for their generous contributions.

The Night at the Copa event committee was led by the Reilly’s Executive Director, Pamela Calero, and assisted by Marketing and Patron Coordinator Natasha Herrera. Event committee members included Ana Soler, Kelsie Ruff, Kristina Donohue, Megan Whittaker, Olivia Ortiz, Dana Demilio, Robin Fannon, Hilary Hoover and Maureen Fannon. Kudos to the event committee for organizing such a successful evening. Sponsors for this gala included Bill and Cindy Nassal of Stone Cliff Farm, Jim and Melodee Schneider, Chuck and Anne Koch of Oak Lane Farm, Golden Ocala, Regions Bank and Gateway/CenterState Bank.

The new president of the Ocala Symphony Orchestra’s Board of Directors, Bill Nassal, observes, “We are proud of Ocala. Ocala is the only town of its size in the country with a full symphony orchestra that also operates its own 700-seat entertainment complex. These accomplishments are due to the support given by our Ocala patrons. Last season, 110 events were held at the Reilly and 45,000 attendees graced the Reilly’s doors.”

With an eye to the future, Nassal also notes, “The OSO/Reilly Board of Directors has been supplemented by a new associate board of young local business professionals, which brings another generation of Ocala business people into Ocala arts.”

The Reilly is committed to inspiring the next generation of music and arts lovers. Through such OSO programs as the Symphony for Schools and the Young Artist Competition, among other events, the Reilly and OSO encourage young talent to thrive. The OSO has made a real commitment to our youth.

Building on a firm foundation with the promise of an illustrious future, the Board of Directors for the OSO and the Reilly Arts Center recently elected the following officers: William Nassal, president; Robert Reilly, vice president; Jim Schneider, treasurer; and Susan Gilliland, secretary.

The coming season at the Reilly Arts Center will see many popular and even sold-out events. In its third season, the Reilly Arts Center will feature a lively variety of performances. The Ocala Symphony Orchestra offers a subscription package of five concerts plus additional concerts such as Live Orchestra + Silent Film: Metropolis on Saturday, October 28, 2017. Be sure to reserve your seats early for the special holiday-themed events. For ticket information, visit or call the box office at (352) 351-1606.


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