St Augustine Music Festival / Final Concert 6

The St. Augustine Music Festival, presented FREE to audiences of all ages, features musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joined by internationally renowned artists presenting a variety of classical compositions in the historic Cathedral Basilica located in picturesque St. Augustine, Florida. Now in its 10th year, the event is garnering national attention as the largest free classical music festival in the USA, attracting more than 5000 attendees over two weekends. The festival provides the opportunity for new and avid concert goers to appreciate live classical music of the highest quality in the Cathedral’s uplifting setting.

This video covers highlights of the final concert 6, held on Saturday, June 25th.
Musical pieces by R. Wagner, A. Copland, P. Tchaikovsky and B. Moore.

Through the support of generous donors at all levels SAMF is now a beloved summer event, furthering St. Augustine’s stature as a city where music and the arts flourish.

All concerts were free and started at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica. No tickets were required.
Took place on June 16-18, June 23-25, 2016.

St Augustine Music Festival / Concert 5

The St. Augustine Music Festival, presented FREE to audiences of all ages, features musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joined by internationally renowned artists presenting a variety of classical compositions in the historic Cathedral Basilica located in picturesque St. Augustine, Florida. Now in its 10th year, the event is garnering national attention as the largest free classical music festival in the USA, attracting more than 5000 attendees over two weekends. The festival provides the opportunity for new and avid concert goers to appreciate live classical music of the highest quality in the Cathedral’s uplifting setting.

This video covers highlights of concert 5, held on June 24th, featuring a Trio for Clarinet (Clarinet, Viola and Piano) and a Cello Sonata.

Through the support of generous donors at all levels SAMF is now a beloved summer event, furthering St. Augustine’s stature as a city where music and the arts flourish.

All concerts were free and started at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica. No tickets were required.
Took place on June 16-18, June 23-25, 2016.

St Augustine Music Festival / Concert 4

The St. Augustine Music Festival, presented FREE to audiences of all ages, features musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joined by internationally renowned artists presenting a variety of classical compositions in the historic Cathedral Basilica located in picturesque St. Augustine, Florida.  Now in its 10thyear, the event is garnering national attention as the largest free classical music festival in the USA, attracting more than 5000 attendees over two weekends.  The festival provides the opportunity for new and avid concert goers to appreciate live classical music of the highest quality in the Cathedral’s uplifting setting.

This video covers highlights of concert 4, held on June 23rd, featuring Scott Watkins at the Piano.

Through the support of generous donors at all levels SAMF is now a beloved summer event, furthering St. Augustine’s stature as a city where music and the arts flourish.

All concerts are free and start at 7:30 p.m. in the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica. No tickets are required.  
June 16-18, June 23-25, 2016.

“Americana” an Organ Recital

Music at Grace presented yesterday (May 28 at 5pm) an organ recital by Shannon McKay entitled “Americana” at Grace United Methodist Church, 8 Carrera St.  Admission was free.

This diverse program included Calvin Hampton’s Music for a Festival as well as his setting of America the Beautiful, spirituals arranged by Adolphus Hailstork, settings of early American hymn tunes by a variety of composers, and a transcription of Barber’s Adagio for Strings.

McKay has been principal organist at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine for 25 years. She also spent five years first as organist, later as music director, at Memorial Lutheran Church, St. Augustine. Ms. McKay began piano studies at the age of eight at Peabody Conservatory Prep School, Baltimore, and later went on to win a piano scholarship to Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri.

“Cantus” Sings The Four Loves

Romanza was excited to present the 9 member male vocal ensemble “Cantus” as the headliner this year. The Cathedral Basilica in St Augustine, FL, hosted this outstanding chamber group on Thursday, May 12, at 7:30 pm. They performed their touring program, The Four Loves. Cantus shapes The Four Lovesto span multiple cultural traditions, including pairing the Beach Boys’ Their Hearts were Full of Spring with Indian composer A.R. Rahman’s Wedding Qawwali.

Acclaimed as the “premier men’s vocal ensemble in the United States” (Fanfare), Cantus is known world-wide for its trademark warmth, blend and its engaging performances of music ranging from the Renaissance to the 21st century. The Washington Post has hailed the ensemble’s sound as having both “exalting finesse” and “expressive power” and refers to the “spontaneous grace” of its music making.

As one of the country’s only two full-time vocal ensembles, Cantus has grown to prominence with its distinctive approach to creating music. The ensemble is heard frequently on public radio as regular guests on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor and on Performance Today’s annual Thanksgiving program: Thanksgiving with Cantus.

Cantus is the recipient of numerous awards including Chorus America’s highest honor, the Margaret Hillis Award for Choral Excellence. Integral to the Cantus mission is its commitment to preserve and deepen music education in the schools. They work with more than 5,000 students each year in workshop settings across the country.

The Grass Menagerie Plays Sweet Bluegrass

Bluegrass Trio, The Grass Menagerie played on Thursday at the Ancient City Baptist Church, as part of the Romanza Festivale.
Bluegrass is one of the musical genres that Americans claim as their own. Bluegrass developed and was influenced by Welsh, Scottish, Appalachian and English traditional musical styles. As it developed it also took on influences of African-Americans by including elements of Jazz. Grass Menagerie is a group established almost 5 years ago for events wanting the bluegrass feel but with an added factor – variety! The instrumentation lends itself to the strict bluegrass rooted music (banjo, guitar, bass) but the music selection – even though traditional bluegrass tunes are included in their sets – takes it to another level by including standard jazz, pop, rock, and country covers.

Terry Thrift, guitar
Tyler Stubbs, banjo
Ernie Ealum, bass

The Duffy Bishop Band

Wednesday, May 11, 2016, The Duffy Bishop Band performed at the Colonial Quarter

Duffy Bishop is a force of nature.  A powerful blues blaster, a sultry soul singer, a presence who connects with her audience in a deeply personal way no matter the occasion. Duffy’s long anticipated eighth album, Find Your Way Home, was released in 2014.  Based in Portland, Oregon and St. Augustine, Duffy is in the Cascade Blues Association and Washington Blues Society Hall of Fame and a recipient of both organizations’ Lifetime Achievement Award.  She has won the CBA’s Female Vocalist Award so many years in a row that they renamed it the Duffy Bishop Female Vocalist Award.  With her long-time collaborator, guitarist and husband Chris Carlson, they have played venues across the USA, Canada, Norway, Japan, Hong Kong and Austria.

Indian Music Concert & More

In over four decades of performing, Arvid Smith has sought to work in as many styles and walk on as many paths as his strings could lead him.  Mr. Smith’s performance (May 10th, noon, Ancient City Baptist Church)) featured music based on the Hindustani music system on the twenty-string Sitar, India’s most famous instrument.  He also played other exotic south Asian instruments such as the Tanpura and the Swaramandala.  In 2014, Arvid was the recipient of the Jacksonville Community Foundation’s Arts Ventures Award which has allowed him to pursue recording his specialized blend of musical styles with traditional western sounds.  In 2016, his first CD recording of the music funded by Arts Ventures will be released.

Klezmer Music Makes You Feel Sweetly Jewish

The Chamber Music Series of the Romanza Festivale continued on Monday, May 9, 2016, with a free concert featuring the only authentic klezmer band in the area, Guy and the Yehudas. The band performed from 12 to 1 p.m. at the Ancient City Baptist Church.

Klezmer is a musical style of the Ashkenazi Jews of Eastern Europe. It was traditionally played at weddings and celebrations and consisted largely of dance tunes and instrumental display pieces. When Jewish immigrants came to America from Eastern Europe, they were influenced by the sound of American jazz and incorporated that musical style into klezmer music.

Guy and the Yehudas filled the air with incredible music and literally rocked the house, in this case, this house of worship.

North Florida Women’s Chorale in Romanza Festivale

The North Florida Women’s Chorale, directed by Kerry Fradley, is one of the premier vocal ensembles on the First Coast.  The 40 voice chorus draws singers from the Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra and St. Augustine communities.  Saturday’s (May 9th, noon) program included songs of inspiration and hope, both sacred and secular .  American hymns, spirituals and joyful songs from many cultures were presented including Wondrous Love, Psalm 23 (Stroope), Amazing Grace, Gwyneth Walker’s Love is a Rain of Diamonds and How Can I Keep from Singing.  Brittany Maroney, cellist, was the guest artist.  She accompanied the chorale and also presented a solo work.

Piano: Kathleen Vande Berg

Flute: Christina Mincek

Oboe: Ashley Floyd