With our 13th music festival behind us, our full house EACH EVENING speaks to the tremendous interest and enthusiasm in the largest, free classical music festival in the USA performed in the beautiful Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine. As always, our audience lined up early each evening waiting to enjoy yet another festival of great classical music. This year, we recognized donors from $150 and up with early entry and seating to the Basilica. With the festival over for 2019, we’re already busy planning 2020.
So, where do we go from here? The year 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of the countrywide adoption of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing and protecting women’s constitutional right to vote. We plan to recognize women in music from performers to composers. The year 2020 is also Beethoven’s 250th birthday. Quite a milestone for one of the great composers! We’re talking about ways to expand SAMF throughout the year and, of course, your ideas are welcome, and we hope that you will share them with us.
We’re always looking to bring you the traditional along with a unique musical experience. On the second night of our first week this year, we featured “Percussion Fest,” a two-man percussion ensemble featuring a wide-range of music written for percussion instruments. We heard pieces written for “clapping hands” and drums, along with melodic memories – classical to contemporary – performed on marimba and vibraphone. Two outstanding percussionists, Joseph Becker from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Kevin Ritenauer from the New World Symphony of Miami, treated us with a skillful performance. On the second night of our second week, we were treated to the piano virtuosity of Dr. Scott Watkins. Scott shared the story of his discovery of a piece of music written by Howard Hanson, noted music educator and composer which he then performed; Symphonic Rhapsody. Not to be forgotten are the other evenings that featured various chamber ensembles performing music from Mozart to Schoenberg. We’re hoping you had the opportunity to enjoy Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night on Saturday June 22nd. It was a memorable evening with an outstanding performance of this challenging and poignant work.
We hope that you will share your SAMF experience with friends and colleagues. We plan to keep our website updated with our activities and events as well as Facebook and other media. Please be sure to “like” us on Facebook and “share” our posts, so we can reach out to others about our unique and special organization.
With sincere gratitude,
St. Augustine Music Festival