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About Romanza, St. Augustine Cultural Events

Mission: Romanza promotes and produces performing arts and cultural events that celebrate the romantic splendor of St. Augustine to enhance both the quality of life for residents and the lasting impression of The Nation's Oldest City for visitors.


   • Romanza Festivale - annual 10-day long celebration of St. Augustine Arts, Culture and Heritage
   • St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival - annual large music and culture event
   • St. Patrick's Day Parade - annual heritage family event
   • Romanza Gatherings - monthly Arts & Culture mixers
   • Other Special Events

Romanza attracts local, regional and international audiences by featuring headliners and an exceptional cast of regional and emerging stars. Venues include traditional auditoriums as well as a collection of unique historic and cultural spaces most within comfortable walking distance.

"Romanza" in Spanish, is a love song. A chorus of voices celebrating St. Augustine's rich cultural legacy, natural and architectural beauty, unparalleled history and creative energy.

"Romanza" in Italian, is a love affair. Here, Romanza is a love affair with St. Augustine. It's a collection of unforgettable experiences in music, dance, visual arts, theater and cuisine, all steeped in this truly unique historical setting.


"Romanza Festivale, It's not one thing... It's EVERYTHING!
Music, Dance, Theatre, Art, Cuisine, Heritage and... Romance!
In the Nation's Most Romantic City.... St. Augustine

imag"Romanza Festivale" is a multi-day, multi-arts celebration centered in stunningly beautiful, historic downtown St. Augustine, Florida. It is an annual signature event for St. Augustine's "Anniversary Years" leading up to the City's 450th birthday and beyond:

With your help, Romanza Festivale launches in May 2012, to kick off four years celebrating St. Augustine as "the oldest continually occupied European Settlement in the Continental United States".

Nearly 40 organizations are planning over 50 productions & exhibitions in a week-long extravaganza to help kick off St. Augustine's 450th Anniversary Years. Click here for more information about Romanza Festivale.

Romanza Festivale is produced by Romanza - St. Augustine, Inc., a 501(c)(3) Florida not-for-profit organization. click for Romanza's Strategic Plan 

Romanza's Board of Advisors:

George Gardner (former St. Augustine Mayor)
Lorna MacDonald (Raintree Restaurant)
Robert Silverman (Winter Properties, Atlanta, GA)
Gayle Nick (Aviles Street Merchant's Assn.)
Joyce Hayes (Cuna Street Merchants Assn. / Starving Artist)
Jean Rahner (A Classic Theatre)
Frederic Sterry Smith (Sterry Piano)
Sue Agresta (Lincolnville Redeveloment Corp.)
Doni Dowie (Sister Cities / Lexes Associates)

Romanza's Board of Directors and Officers

Albert Syeles

Romanza Co-Founder, Board Chairman, President and CEO.
Romanza Board Member since founding in July 2009.
Film score composer/music director, songwriter and recording artist: Syeles-Bio and links
Former Executive Director of SBC Communications (AT&T).
Certified Management Accountant.
Graduate of Duquesne University.
Albert has lived in downtown St. Augustine with his wife Pat since 2005.

Phebe Wehr

Romanza Co-Founder, Executive Vice President and COO.
Romanza Board Member since founding in July 2009.
Board Member of First Coast Opera.
Former Board member of the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival.
Active with EMMA Concert Assn., St. Augustine Art Assn., and Limelight Theatre.
Managed and/or owned a number of retail businesses as well as a wholesale dealership.
Graduate of Duke University.
Phebe has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

John Cunningham

Romanza Board Member as of November 2011.
Associate Member - Fraternal Order of Police, Member-National Rifle Assn., Member-Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, Member-Saint Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau

John served in the U.S. Navy for 20 years, cumulatively, circumnavigating the world at least three times. He held a variety of positions from the lowest deckhand in charge of a paintbrush to department head responsible for combat and electronic systems readiness for 13 ships.

Since retirement from Naval service, John moved to St. Augustine with his wife and two children. With his wife Sherri's help, they operate two small businesses (including Ann O'Malley's Deli & Pub) and are actively involved in Romanza's Celtic Festival, St. Patrick's Day Parade, Big Band Dance, and many other community and cultural events.

In his application for the Board, John wrote:
The ability of a region to thrive is based in part on the variety of personally enriching activities available. Romanza professionally producing and promoting a diverse palate of cultural events will give residents and visitors a chance to see what St. Augustine is about. It will also give residents and visitors an opportunity to take part in events that have the possibility of adding some new, positive experiences to their lives, thereby enriching themselves personally and enhancing the 'brand' of St. Augustine.

Kathy Vande Berg

Romanza Board Member as of November 2011. Since moving to Florida in 2003, Kathy has been active as the Conductor of the St. Augustine Community Chorus, the St. Augustine Singers, the Flagler College Singers, interim Music Director at St. Paul's by the Sea, Jax Beach, and accompanist and Music Director for First Coast Opera.

Kathy is a very active as a member of the Outreach Committee of Memorial Presbyterian Church, working with Food 4 Kids, Homelessness, SERRV and Racial Reconciliation. Kathy has taught General Classroom Music, piano, guitar, music history and choral music at all school levels, as well as at Flagler College. She is married to Dr. James L. Vande Berg and has 2 daughters, Jocelyn and Kirsten.

In her application for the Board, Kathy wrote: The concept of Romanza excites me because it has the potential to make St. Augustine a haven for the arts, to bring first class performances to the area and to add another dimension to the tourism industry. The concept of 'Romanza Festivale(s)' will provide the umbrella needed to forge a new dimension for the arts in St Augustine. I would like to be part of this exciting venture."

Anne Kraft

Romanza Board Member as of November 2012.  Anne is a co-founder of The Limelight Theatre and worked there in every capacity of theater (acting, directing, teaching and administration) for 14 years until retiring in 2006.  She also served as Treasurer of the St. Augustine Community Chorus from 2010-2012.

In addition to serving on the Romanza Board, Anne is currently a member of the Limelight Theatre Advisory Board (2006-present) and Vice President of A Classic Theatre (2009-present).  She is also a member of Actors' Equity Association and the Screen Actors Guild.

A native of St. Augustine, Anne attended Ketterlinus High School and Florida State University.  She went to NYC at 19, where she worked  in a variety of theater, TV, and film opportunities, as well as a wide range of businesses for 25+ years.

Anne currently works part-time as legal assistant at the Gail E. Andrews Law Firm.  She is the mother of one daughter and grandmother of three.

Pat Syeles

Romanza Corporate Secretary & Treasurer, Romanza Newsletter editor and publisher. Writer; photo and film editor. Retired paralegal, Steptoe & Johnson and Williams Mullen, Washington, D.C.


Romanza Events


Romanza Gatherings - usually every second Tuesday 5:00-7:00

Coming Events

January 26, 2014 Gaelic Storm at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall

March 7, 2014 Whiskey Tasting, Celtic Pub Crawl and Pre-Festival Party
March 8, 2014 St. Patrick's Day Parade 

March 8 & 9, 2014 St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival

May 9-18, 2014 Romanza Festivale
May 10, 2014 Ray Charles Tribute 
May 17, 2014 Troy Sneed "All Is Well Tour" 


2013 Events

May 10-19, 2013 Romanza Festivale

March 09, 2013 St. Patrick's Day Parade heritage family event
March 09 & 10, 2013 St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival heritage music event


Previous Romanza productions:

September 16, 2012 Half Way to St. Patrick's Day Ceili & Whiskey Tasting Celebration
May 14-20, 2012 Romanza Festivale community heritage event
March 10, 2012
St. Patrick's Day Parade heritage family event
March 10 & 11, 2012 St. Augustine Celtic Music and Heritage Festival heritage music event
December 2011 Immaculata Strings Holiday Concerts - Children's orchestra from St. Petersberg
October 2011 Pirate Parade - participating boat featuring reenactors and Michelle Rayna's pirate ship
October 2011 Sentimental Journey - WWII heritage, Big Band Dance
March 2011 St. Patrick's Day Parade heritage family event
March 2011 St. Augustine Celtic Music and Arts Festival heritage music event
January 2011 An Evening of Swing WWII heritage, big band concert and dance
October 2010 Viva Romanza Classical guitar dinner fundraiser
June 2010 Black History Tour, Presented by Romanza Special heritage tour of the city
March 2010 Romanza Begins at Zorayda Museum tour, authors, music, art and cuisine
December 2009 Regatta of Lights boat entry "Ariel" featuring reenactors, & Michelle Rayna singing "Mission in St. Augustine"