Coulda. Woulda. Shoulda. We all have it — a list of things we could have done differently, would have done differently, and most definitely should have done differently.

That’s the benefit of hindsight and perspective, I suppose. One of my biggest regrets is that I don’t play a musical instrument. I’m sure I “could have” taken lessons when I was younger, but it wasn’t something that I advocated  for, and it’s a skill and talent I wish I had. That being said, I am an enthusiastic supporter of those who are musical, whether that be singing or playing an instrument.

More often than not, that means watching Glee and listening to Harper belt out the soundtrack to “Frozen” and her favorite “jams” while she is in the bath tub.  This week, however, I have an opportunity to see a national treasure and an American stage icon right here on the Emerald Coast.

Sinfonia Gulf Coast, which has been redefining and reimagining symphony and music since 2005 is bringing Tony award winning singer and actress Patti Lupone to The Emerald Coast Convention Center as part of their annual gala.  A six-time Tony Award winner, Ms. Lupone has been recognized for her work as Eva Peron in Evita, and created the roles of Fantine and Norma Desmond in the original London stage productions of Les Miserables, and Sunset Boulevard, among other notable performances.

During the performance, Ms. Lupone will perform songs from musicals “she could have played, should have played, and did play.”  We can expect to hear songs from “Hair,” “Bye, Bye, Birdie,” “Funny Girl,” “West Side Story, Peter Pan, and of course Evita and Gypsy. I am beyond excited to support Sinfonia and see what I’m sure will be a memorable performance.

Sinfonia Gulf Coast does more than just bring A-list entertainment to Northwest Florida. A leader in musical education, The Guest Artists in Schools has touched more than 40,000 Walton and Okaloosa County school kids and the Students4Free Program offers complementary tickets to live performances and events. Recently, the organization announced the creation of the Sinfonia Gulf Coast Youth Orchestra, a program designed to enhance the development of young musicians.

More than 50 musicians, who previously performed Northwest Florida Symphony Youth Orchestra, will become the core of two new ensembles. The Sinfonetta Strings program will focus on the development and nurturing of younger artists, with the eventual goal of their participation in the full youth orchestra. The first performance of the Symphony Youth Orchestra will be Sunday, May 18th at Grace Lutheran Church in Destin, so mark your calendars and come out and support this exciting new project.

Coulda, Shoulda. Woulda. Don’t say that about this weekend’s event and miss your opportunity to support cultural innovation, expand musical education, and see a true “diva” live and in person.


Follow Susan Moody on Twitter @susanjmoody and visit her blog, The Emerald Coast Insider, at