Friends of the Orchestra Volunteers Organize to Support Concert Activities

The Friends of the St. Augustine Orchestra met on Sept. 19 at the Pelican Reef home of Bob and Linda Masterson to establish committees for specific support functions for the coming season’s concert performances. The cocktail reception was attended by 35 volunteers, patrons, and musicians from St. Johns and Duval counties. Music Director and Conductor William McNeiland and President Martha Graham   outlined the orchestra’s specific needs for hands-on assistance before, during, and after each concert.  As a result four committees were established:

Hospitality: (Chair: Lee Bailey) to manage admission, ushers, distribute programs, collect survey forms and contribution envelopes, and concession sales (refreshments, souvenirs).

Concert Support: (Co-Chairs: Gene Moniot, Mitch Kolesaire)  Truck/trailer/u-haul rental to pick up and return percussion instruments, rented chairs, set up and take down spotlights in cooperation with the Lightner Museum and other concert sites.

Marketing/Public Relations: (Chair: Linda Masterson) Write program information, , update the orchestra’s website as needed, maintain data base of sponsors, donors, volunteers; create & distribute press releases; work to improve visibility and image of the orchestra.

Fundraising & Social Events: (Chair: Fred Skinner) Seek to establish ongoing corporate and individual sponsorships and solicit ads for the programs. Develop and implement fund raising projects/ social events.  Continue to seek grants from the Tourist Development Council, as well as from other appropriate grant sources such as the Cultural Council and the State License arts grants programs.

Persons interested in participating in the work of any of these committees on behalf of the St. Augustine Orchestra should contact Linda Masterson at [email protected] , or Martha Graham at 904-669-0194. In addition to these fund-raising efforts, the Orchestra will offer special “squeeze light” souvenirs (see photo) displaying the orchestra’s new logo at a modest price.

The orchestra’s opening concert is scheduled for Friday Oct. 26 at 8:00 pm at the Lightner Museum 25 Granada St., St. Augustine, with an encore performance on Sunday Oct. 28 at 3 pm at Christ Episcopal Church 400 San Juan Drive, Ponte Vedra Beach. Admission is $15 at the door for Friday concerts and $10 for Sunday concerts. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted free. The music of American composers such as Howard Hanson, Aaron Copland, and John Williams will be featured in these concerts, titled “An All-American Celebration”.  Acclaimed Jacksonville pianist Joseph Williams will star as soloist with the orchestra playing George Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”. For more information log on to

Back Row:   Linda Masterson, Brenda McNeiland, & Michael Insalaca
Middle Row:   Becky Brown, Mike Schillace,  Fred Skinner, Bill McNeiland, Sarah Page, & Martha Graham
First Row:  (kneeling) Mitch Kolesaire, Bob Masterson, Dorothy Barrett, & James Philcox