SEU Concert for Military Veterans

Sinfonia – Connecting the Arts & Community

In engagement with the Imperial Symphony Orchestra, Southeastern University is proud to present Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community. This night of music will be held on March 20, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. at Victory Church in Lakeland, and it will serve as a tribute to the military members in communities.

This presentation will honor past and present military members through the unifying power of music, arranged by special guest conductor, Joseph DeBeasi.

Joseph DeBeasi

Joseph DeBeasi

About Joseph DeBeasi

DeBeasi’s impressive credits includes the composition of original scores for Clint Eastwood’s Oscar-nominated American Sniper, Eleven Eleven, and the soon-to-be-released Alpha. He has worked on more than 60 feature films, including The Revenant, Prisoners, The Book of Eli, Because of Winn-Dixie, Dirty Dancing and Maid in Manhattan.

New, Unique Music

For this event, DeBeasi has arranged a customized score from American Sniper as well as a specially commissioned piece, funded by Southeastern University’s College of Arts & Media, that focuses on the journey of adjustment our military members undertake upon returning home from deployment. The audience of Sinfonia will be given the unique opportunity to hear the original performance of this new piece, as Sinfonia will be its world premiere.

Importance to the Community

“Sinfonia is purposed to unify community through the power of the arts––specifically music. The narrative we’ve chosen to do this through––and the aspect of the community we’ve focused on for this particular event––are the past and present military members that are often under-appreciated or over-looked,” said Dr. Craig Collins, dean of the College of Arts & Media at SEU.

“Many believe that a veteran’s war is over when they return home. What we often don’t realize is that, for many veterans, their war to truly return home still rages for years after they’ve returned from deployment,” Collins explained. “Music and art can help tell their story and bring healing, as it can for every group in our community. The arts are vital to the creation of a healthier, more unified future.”

In preparation for this event, Collins and DeBeasi spoke last fall to area veterans and widows to get their experiences to incorporate into the Sinfonia music. “We got an appreciation for what our heroes went through when they served and when they came home. To be able to retell that through ‘Sinfonia’ is a positive opportunity,” DeBeasi said.*

An Experience for the Eyes and Ears

ROTC Cadets from Florida Southern College, Southeastern University, and Polk State College will serve as the color guard for the presentation of the American flag and the state flag of Florida at this event. These groups coming together for this common purpose will be a visual symbol of the unity that will be communicated through the music.

To create a stronger appreciation for the military and strengthen relationships with community leaders, several guest conductors will also appear at the event. Rep. Colleen Burton (R-Lakeland) and Drew Watson, SEU’s athletic director, will conduct pieces written specifically for them. They will hear these pieces for the first time at Sinfonia and share the emotions the music evoked for them. “When Dr. Collins approached me with this, I was surprised,” said Watson, noting that as these types of requests don’t usually come to athletic directors. “However, I was filled with gratitude. I have always loved music and appreciated our military, so I am so excited to have the opportunity to be a guest conductor for Sinfonia.”

Retired naval aviator C. Scott Franklin, who is President and CEO of Lanier Upshaw and a Lakeland City Commissioner, will conduct Camp Kirkland in a Salute to the Armed Forces. Other guest conductors include SEU Band Director William Lake and Victory Church’s Music Minister Eddie Hawks, both of whom have an impressive repertoire of musical abilities.


“We want as many people as possible to experience this unique tribute, and to be unified in military appreciation, so we are keeping the ticket prices very reasonable,” said Collins. “Sinfonia is our gift to the community and to our military.”
Tickets can be purchased through SEU’s College of Arts & Media; costs are $5 for active and retired military, $10 for students and $15 for general admission. VIP experiences are also available. 

Thank You to Our Sponsors

The SEU community is grateful that Sinfonia has been given generous support through sponsorships from Visit Central Florida and The Ledger, Victory Church and AT&T.

Event Information

Sinfonia: Connecting the Arts & Community
March 20, 2018
7:30 p.m.
Victory Church, Lakeland
Purchase Tickets


More Information

2017–2018 Performance Series
Degree Programs in the College of Arts & Media
ROTC at Southeastern University
Financial Aid Resources for Veterans at SEU

American Sniper (2014), Original Motion Picture Score and Suite by Joseph S. DeBeasi, courtesy of Warner Bros. and Malpaso Productions.
*Source: TheLedger.com


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