About 120 guests gathered Nov. 1 at the North Naples home of William Noll, but with a destination farther south in mind. Occasioned by what began a dozen years ago as a trickle of interest in creating a state-of-the-art home for the area’s community arts and cultural organizations, the movement has segued into a growing show of enthusiasm for the project, a cultural and performing arts center in the Bayshore area of East Naples.
Orchestrated by the Bayshore Cultural and Performing Arts Center (CAPA) board of directors, performances by member ensembles and solo artists filled Noll’s personal concert hall, prompting him to ask the attendees to “make believe that my home is Bayshore North.”
Collier County Commissioner Donna Fiala, honorary event chairwoman whose bailiwick includes the Bayshore area and who supports CAPA , invited all to share the dream of the projected center. Bill Drackett briefly spoke on behalf of Windstar Bay Lovers of the Arts followed by a presentation by David Jackson, executive director of Bayshore Gateway Triangle Community Redevelopment Agency.
The program began with Noll, Classic Chamber Concerts Series executive director, in his role as emcee, introducing Naples Music Club 2009 Scholarship winner the violinist McClaran Hayes. After McClaran performed virtuoso Bach, a fellow winner, guitarist Joseph Peliska, performed the Jose Luis Merlin “Suite Del Recuerdo.”
The 14-year olds were succeeded by baritone Ron Bowman, president of Naples Opera Society, accompanied by Ron Doiron of the Bach Ensemble. In tribute to Erich Kunzel, late pops conducting icon and former CAPA president, who died only two months ago, Noll asked for a moment of silence before launching into Franz Lizst’s Rigoletto-Paraphrase. Kunzel’s sister-in-law, Margret Chevalier, was an honored guest at the event.
After his performance, Noll pledged $1,000 towards the establishment of “The Maestro Circle” in honor of Kunzel, and by evening’s end, matching pledges had brought the fund to an initial $4,000.
The formal program concluded with performances of combined vocal and instrumental quartets by the Naples Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Conductor Robert Herrema.
Guests then circulated around the house and pool/garden to enjoy wines, provided by Windstar on Naples Bay club general manager Lonnie Eberhard, and an extensive dinner buffet catered by Real Macaw owner Jeanne Harvey and her staff. CAPA ensemble members, the Paradise Coastmen singers, Naples Concert Band–Paradise Brass Quintet, and Bob Zottola and the Expandable Jazz Band, performed informally throughout the evening.
CAPA President Steve Kutler along with Chellie Doepke, a vice president, were available to advocate for the center, which would showcase local visual and performing artists for the community-at-large as well as the area.