Lopez Tabor Duo at Cathedral Basilica

The Lopez Tabor Duo, Alfonso Lopez, violin, and Michelle Tabor, piano, have performed and toured together in the southeastern U.S. and Venezuela since 2004.  Alfonso Lopez is one of the most prominent and versatile musicians of his country.  He holds the important position of concertmaster of the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra, the national and principal orchestra, which has been nominated to receive a Latin Grammy award for Best Instrumental CD.  He is also a conductor, teacher, and composer.  Michelle Tabor grew up in Venezuela and now lives in Tallahassee, FL.  She holds doctorate, master’s, and bachelor’s degrees in music from Florida State University, the University of Denver, and Tulane University.  This was the fourth time the Lopez Tabor Duo has performed at the Cathedral Basilica for the Art Walk.  You can find more information and videos of performances of the Lopez Tabor Duo on their website: www.lopeztaborduo.moonfruit.com

Their program on January 6th included the works of Bach: the Presto movement from the Sonata No. 2 in A Major; Beethoven’s Sonata in C Minor, Op. 30, No. 2 for piano and violin; and the works of the great Latin composers Albeniz, de Abreu and Bonet.

The concert was free and open to all. 

“Magnificat” at the Cathedral Basilica

The North Florida Women’s Chorale presented its annual holiday performance on Friday, December 30, 2016, at 6:00 p.m. in the Cathedral Basilica, St Augustine, FL.

This year’s concert featured Magnificat, a major work by the young Norwegian composer Kim Andre Arnesen. Gramophone Magazine has described the composition as “warmly compassionate music which positively glows with its soaring, beautifully arched melodic lines …”

In addition to Magnificat, the program included familiar and beloved carols and songs of the holiday season. The concert was free and open to the public.,

Directed by Kerry Fradley, the North Florida Women’s Chorale is one of the premier vocal ensembles in northeast Florida. The chorus of 40 treble voices consists of singers from Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, and St. Augustine.

For more information about the North Florida Women’s Chorale go to www.womenschorale.org

St Augustine Community Band “Nights of Lights” Concert

The Saint Augustine Community Band was originally established back in the early 1900’s with a small military style band of about 16 members.  Unfortunately, as the years went by and with the impact of the depression, the band eventually disbanded in 1950.  Over the years there were a few attempts to form a local community band but nothing ever survived long-term.

Today, after nearly 65 years of dormancy, the 70 member Saint Augustine Community Band is back in full force.  Members range in ages from 16 to 80 including high school students, amateurs and semi-professionals from all walks of life.  The band was re-formed in September of 2015 under the baton of Maestro Geoffrey S. Magnani, who retired in Saint Augustine from New York State.  There were 38 members in the initial group but within the year the membership has blossomed to 70 and still growing.  The goal is to offer instrumentalists in Saint Augustine and surrounding areas an opportunity to play in a band that is based in the city known for its rich heritage, culture and history.  Members come from as far as Jacksonville south to Palatka to play in the band.

First Coast.TV got a chance to speak with Geoffrey Magnani about this wonderful new addition to the arts in St Augustine..

With the strong prevalence of the arts in Saint Augustine, the city finally has its very own concert band back!

St Augustine Music Festival- Stephen Robinson


The Nights of Lights Concert: A Classical Christmas with Guitarist Stephen Robinson

Acclaimed by The New York Times for his “effortless virtuosity,” Stephen Robinson performs and conducts master classes at leading musical institutions and festivals worldwide. He has appeared as guest soloist with orchestras including the Cincinnati Symphony and Boston Pops Orchestras. In addition to serving as Professor of Guitar at Stetson University, Deland, Fla., since 1983, Dr. Robinson is an award-winning recording artist. The late renowned guitarist Andrés Segovia described him as “a magnificent guitarist, one of the most brilliant guitarists of our times.” New York-born Robinson began his guitar studies with Bruce Holzman at Florida State University, and also worked closely with Andrés Segovia. After graduate studies at the Yale School of Music, Florida State University awarded Robinson its first Doctor of Music in Guitar Performance.

SAO Concert: Home For The Holidays

The St. Augustine Orchestra presented its annual Holiday Concert on Friday, December 9, 2016, at 8 p.m. This popular concert, a staple of St. Augustine’s Christmas season, was held in the antique courtyard area of the Lightner Museum (formerly the Hotel Alcazar).

This year’s concert was titled “Home for the Holidays.” The orchestra and chorus also performed a number of seasonal favorites and attendees were invited to sing along.

Nikita Mndoyants Comes to EMMA

The world-renowned Cleveland International Piano Competition is held every three years for artists ages 18 to 30. It culminates in two sold-out performances in Severance Hall that feature the four finalists performing with The Cleveland Orchestra. Throughout this period, solo, chamber music, and concerto performances by the contestants, guest artist recitals, films, discussion groups, and social events provide multiple opportunities for patrons to engage in a full-immersion experience of music, learning, and entertainment. First prize consists of a cash award of $75,000 (U.S.), a New York recital debut, and more. The announcement of the winner will take place on stage in Severance Hall shortly after the last finalist has performed on Saturday, August 6, 2016. This years winner is 27 year old Nikita Mndoyants who began to play piano and compose music at an early age. He has toured throughout China, Estonia, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Portugal, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.S. Mr. Mndoyants won first prize at the Paderewsky International Piano Competition in 2007 and was a finalist at the 2013 Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. He has performed in several festivals, including the Chopin Festival in Duszniki-Zdroj (Poland) and the International Keyboard Institute and Festival in New York. He also has been artist in residence at the International Music Festival in Wissembourg (France) since 2012. Mr. Mndoyants has worked with renowned conductors including Leonard Slatkin, Eri Klas, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Charles Ansbacher, and Alexander Sladkovsky. Giving his first chamber performance with the Borodin Quartet in 2004, he has continued to cultivate his passion for chamber music, working with such ensembles as the Brentano, Eben, Zemlinsky and Szymanowsky Quartets. As a composer, Mr. Mndoyants received first prize at the 2014 Myaskovsky International Competition of Composers. His piano and chamber works are made available by publishing houses Composers, Muzyka, and Jurgenson, and have been performed by Daniel Hope, Nicolas Stavy, the Szymanowski and Zemlinsky Quartets, Moscow State Symphony Orchestra, and others.  He has released solo and chamber recordings on the Classical Records and Praga Digitals labels.

St Augustine Orchestra’s Benefit for Matthew Survivors

Scott Gregg, Musical Director and Conductor joins SAO as permanent conductor in the season opener on November 2, 2016 in the Lightner Museum, a free concert. Attendees made contributions, all proceeds went to local survivors of Hurricane Matthew. 

Danse Bacchanale from “Samson and Delilah”

D Minor Symphony
Carmen Suite 
The Pink Panther
Selections from Les Miserables

Rare Song Three Concert at Grace

Rare Song Three brought to the First Coast the music of its founding, performing at Grace Methodist.

We find that while Drake and other adventurers were expanding England’s domain abroad, the homeland was being musically invaded by Italians in the form of madrigals and instrumental fantasies and soloistic ornamentations. This year’s program, entitled “An Italian Conquest in Imperial England”, presents this invasion and its assimilation in the flowering of Elizabethan and Jacobean Renaissance music.

RareSong Three consists of members of RareSong who concentrate on both solo and small ensemble music:

Patricia DeWitt (recorder, viola da gamba, soprano) holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the University of Michigan, is an early music specialist and organist and a retired college administrator.

Peter DeWitt (harpsichord, recorder, tenor) is a retired theory and organ professor (DMA, University of Michigan) and composer, and an active supply organist in the First Coast.

Marcy Brenner (viola da gamba), an Oberlin music graduate and freelance musician, performed and studied early music while living in Austria.

Hurricane Relief Concert at Center for Spiritual Living

The 1st Annual Octoberfest this last Sunday, Oct. 16th turned into the Hurricane Matthew Relief at the Center For Spiritual Living, in St. Augustine. Admission was a food or fund donation to go directly to the St. Johns Food Pantry. Everything collected was donated! It was a night of great music and great friends! The musicians were outstanding and brought all those happy feet to the dance floor. Shirley Williams-Collins was there for First Coast.TV to release her camera magic on the crowd.

St. Benedict the Moor Blues Fest 2016

The hurricane left as music comes back to our beloved city, so St. Benedict the Moor Church in St. Augustine hosted its annual Blues Fest on Friday and Saturday, October 14 and 15, 2016. The festival featured some of the best blues performances and best BBQ food in St. Augustine. The musical line-up included Billy Buchanan, Amy Hendrickson, Gene Johnson Road Blues, and Little Mike and the Tornadoes, just to name a few.  All proceeds from the Blues Fest benefit the renovation of the St. Benedict the Moor Catholic Church.