St. Augustine Orchestra takes “Christmas ‘Round the World”

              Music Director/Conductor William McNeiland has chosen some of the world’s best Christmas music for the orchestra’s December programs. Festive works from France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Poland, and Puerto Rico will be featured. In addition, the program includes a group of Latin-American melodies, called “Salsa Carols”, and a special arrangement of Leroy Anderson’s “Christmas Festival”. Two vocalists, Caitlin Hannan and Kathryn Coulter, will sing sections from Handel’s “Messiah” followed by a special arrangement of the traditional French-English Carol “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, inviting audience participation. Both are students at Stetson University, DeLand. FL, and both are taking double majors. Ms Hannan is studying for her Bachelors Degree in Music and Masters Degree in Business Administration. Ms Coulter is pursuing degrees in vocal performance and music theory.

Ms. Coulter has sung starring roles in many opera performances and has also directed musical theater productions. Ms Hannan has received the Presidential Academic scholarship along with Stetson University’s Music scholarship and other scholarships. In addition, she was the only female in Florida accepted to sing in the National Honors Ensemble, performing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

The Orchestra’s first concert will take place on Friday December 14 at 8 pm in the Lightner Museum’s Antique Courtyard, 25 Granada St., St. Augustine. Admission is $15 at the door. The encore performance, presenting the same program, is on Sunday December 16 at 3 pm at the Christ Episcopal Church, 400 San Juan Dr. in Ponte Vedra Beach. Admission to Sunday’s concert is $10 at the door. Children 12 years old and younger are admitted free.

The all-volunteer St. Augustine Orchestra is celebrating its 51st consecutive year of successful concert performances during this 2012-2013 season.  The Orchestra continues to invite new member musicians interested in joining, and who are proficient on their instrument, to contact Victoria Scarlett at 655-7944, or by e-mail at [email protected]. Especially welcome are violists, violinists, bass players, oboists, flutists, and horn players. Rehearsals are held every Tuesday evening at 7 to 9 pm at Murray Middle School. Members of the Orchestra will also be participating in a number of musical programs in cooperation with sponsors of St. Augustine’s 450th Birthday Celebrations starting in January 2013.  These sponsors include Flagler College, Florida Power & Light Company, St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, the St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra and The Beaches Visitors and Convention Bureau, and Romanza.