Writing a social column for The Venice Gondolier Sun^p could be listed as one of the best jobs in town. There is joy in getting to meet people. Reoccurring events often provide a chance to turn people into friends. It’s what happened with Bill Antholz.

This director of Venice Encore always had twinkle in his eye that raised the anticipation level for every song the group and soloists sang. He was accommodating when it came time for photos. His previews usually included cute personal stories about the music.

Bill will be missed. His passing was a shock and a hurt. His chorus announced their first performance, their holiday concert, without him was bittersweet but they knew his message would be, “Let’s sing.”

Our love and sympathy to Bill’s wife, Jan, accompanist in life and on the stage.

The art of the tea

Women gathered in fancy hats and gloves at the Venice Art Center for the annual holiday tea, which is always a culinary extravaganza with various restaurants donating tea sandwiches and pastries. Debbie Campbell and her crew made sure the food plates looked luscious and tasted that way too. Ladies enjoyed songs by La Voci de Venicia, the Venice High School Chorus. This holiday gathering reminds everyone it’s Christmas time in the city.

The Venice Art Center celebrates the new year with classes, lectures and art shows. Visit veniceartceter.com or call 941-485-7136.

Single Mingle

The Friendship Center at 2350 Scenic Dr. invites seniors to mingle on Jan. 25 from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Harmony Lane provides music for dancing and listening. Refreshments will be served with wine and beer available for $2 and nonalcoholic drinks for $1.

Members pay $10 and non members $12. Payment and reservations due in advance. Call 941-584-0075. Sounds like fun.

One of our best

The special person of this week is Bill Antholz, who inspired musicians and music lovers to have a song in their hearts. Bill loved entertaining groups and hearing the audience sing praises of the song selections recalling memories of school glee clubs.

Bill leaves a wonderful legacy of young musicians who earned Venice musical scholarships thanks to donations from Encore. Thinking of Bill will always be heartwarming. Attending Venice musical and Encore concerts will bring a smile knowing somewhere Bill is watching and directing.

Bill Antholz is one of the men who made Venice a great place to live.

Fran Valencic is the social columnist for the Venice Gondolier Sun. She welcomes your tips and ideas. Contact her at Fran Valencic@comcast.^pnet.^p

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