Kira Omelchenko in Black & White

Dr. Kira Omelchenko is an assistant professor of music and the director of orchestra and string studies at Florida Southern College.  She is also the Artistic Director of the St. Augustine Youth Orchestra.  She took a moment from her busy schedule to talk with First Coast.TV.

Prior to Florida Southern College, she served as the director of orchestra and strings studies at The University of Tampa.  She specializes in orchestra conducting, operatic conducting, and violin performance and instruction.  As a violinist, Dr. Omelchenko has performed with Opera Tampa and with IBEX productions in concerts with Andrea Bocelli and the Mannheim Steamroller. 

As a recent 2014 winner the American Prize in Music in Opera Conducting, Dr. Omelchenko is also the recipient of the 2012 Sigma Alpha Iota Conducting Scholarship, the ASTA string grant, as well as numerous other faculty research, summer stipends, and professor grants.  She has lectured and presented at conferences such as NSEE, NAfME, ASTA, and FMEA. As an active lecturer, clinician, and adjudicator, Dr. Omelchenko has conducted at several All-County Orchestra Festivals, as well as worked with Middle School and High School students at Orchestra Summer Music Camps at Florida Southern College, The University of Tampa and the University of Iowa.

Dr. Omelchenko has served as the music director of St. Ambrose University Community Symphony Orchestra in Davenport. She was also the assistant conductor to opera production at the University of Iowa, the University of New Mexico, as well as the International Opera Lyric Academy in Viterbo, Italy. During her studies in Iowa, she was also a conducting fellow with the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Symphony. 

International conducting fellowships include studies in Vienna, Rotterdam and Amsterdam conservatories in the Netherlands, and participation in an opera masterclass with Dejan Savic in Bulgaria. As guest conductor, she has conducted the Bulgarian State Opera in Burgas and at the Seasons Music Festival Orchestra in Yakima, Washington, where she participated in a masterclass with David McDade from the Seattle Opera.  Conducting masterclasses include studies with Gustav Meier, Mark Gibson, Harold Farberman, Apo Hsu, Raymond Harvey and Lawrence Golan.  In 2015 Dr. Omelchenko was selected to participate in a conducting festival in St. Petersburg, Russia where she conducted the orchestra in the Mariinsky Theatre.

Her critical edition of G.F. Bristow’s Overture to Rip Van Winkle will be recorded and released by the Royal Northern Sinfonia (England) and New World Records in 2015.  A native of Kansas, Dr. Omelchenko holds a doctoral degree in music from the University of Iowa and degrees from the University of New Mexico and Knox College. 

The showcase at Sterry Piano with the St Augustine Youth Orchestra is Saturday, Oct. 24th at 4pm

A Vinyl Renaissance

The St Augustine Record Fair will be presented by ToneVendor and the St. Augustine Amphitheatre, over 30,000 music-related items—including new and used vinyl records, CDs, posters, turntable equipment and supplies, memorabilia, collectibles and more—will be available to music lovers and enthusiasts. Fans will find nearly every type of music genre represented.

There will plenty of activities for the whole family—including a bounce house, art activities, face painting, a scavenger hunt, and more. Live music will be provided by local bands throughout the day with DJ sets by Jake Brown of Hear Hear DJs.

The event will be held on Sunday, October 11, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Que Viva España! Fiesta 450!

Part of the Fiesta 450 was the Viva España segment, which featured a FREE Spanish-themed musical salute to St. Augustine directed by Gary Cadwallader on the main stage of the St. Augustine Amphitheater (4:00-5:30pm). Local arts organizations participating in this performance were the St. Augustine Orchestra, the St. Augustine Community Chorus, the St. Augustine Youth Chorus, Limelight Theater, and First Coast Opera. Here are some of the highlights.

Spanish Bands Rock The House

On September 3rd, three bands from Aviles, Spain came to the Flagler Auditorium and rocked the house. They proved that superior musicians produce superior and amazing music.

The bands were, Tejedor, Alexandra in Grey and Morrigans, and they played to a full house. The bands were hosted by The St Augustine Sister City Association, Inc.. It was truly an amazing evening of music.

“St Augustine Suite” by Piotr Szewczyk Astonishes In Its Beauty

The “St Augustine Suite” by Piotr Szewczyk was performed for the first time on June 27th, 2015, at the Cathedral Basilica in the City of St Augustine. The suite was commissioned by the festival to commemorate the 450th anniversary of St Augustine.

The large cathedral was packed to the point that many were turned away. It started with Mozart’s symphony no.41 and piano concerto no.22. Then came the gem of the evening, the St Augustine Suite by Piotr Szewczky. At the end of the suite the thunderous applause and roar of the crowd proved that a master piece had been performed. First Coast.TV was able to have a brief word with the festival’s musical director Jorge Peña about the suite.

St Augustine Music Festival Part 1

The Cathedral Basilica in St Augustine, FL, was packed for the Ninth Annual St Augustine Music Festival. The Music Festival and its musicians brought back to life the music of world famous master composers on a stage of almost perfect acoustics.

The Music Festival will continue this coming weekend of June25 – June 27 at 7:30pm with an all different program, ending with the world premier of Piotr Szewczyk’s St Augustine Suite, which was commissioned by the festival to commemorate the 450th anniversary of the City of St Augustine. This is a must not to be missed!

The “1565” Song by Eli Grimes

Eli Grimes wrote a song for St Augustine for its 450th birthday. He talks about his inspiration and he tells us how he got it together for us to enjoy.

Listen @cdbaby

Jorge Peña and the St Augustine Musical Festival

First Coast.TV sat down with Jorge Peña and talked about the St Augustine Musical Festival coming up later this month.

The St. Augustine Music festival features musicians from the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra joined by internationally renowned artists presenting a variety of classical compositions. Be sure to join us for the 2015 Ninth Annual St. Augustine Music Festival, scheduled again by popular request over two consecutive weekends, June 18-20 and June 25-27. It will be celebrating the 450th birthday of the City of St. Augustine with special concert programs, including the world-premiere of a composition commissioned in honor of this notable anniversary.

Mama Blue & Vibe Rock the House

Mama Blue (Vocals) and Vibe (Keyboards) were at the gazebo located at the Plaza de la Constitucion in St Augustine delivering a variety of songs to the crowd. Funk, Blues, Jazz and more were some of the tunes flooding the area of the plaza. The crowds just loved it. Mama Blue and Vibe were part of the Romanza Festivale music events happening all around town.

Salsa Comes to St Augustine

Live salsa and Latin music by this incredible band the Jax English Salsa Band at the Colonial Quarter. The people danced in the aisles to the rhythms of Colombia, Cuba and Puerto Rico . They played as part of the Romanza Festivale and later First Coast.TV got to talk to the band afterwards.