From The St. Augustine Music Festival
St. Augustine Suite for Chamber Orchestra, by Jacksonville composer Piotr Szewczyk, will be aired at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 14 on Performance Today, Americaâ€™s most popular classical music radio program.Â Locally, it airs on WJCT-FM, 89.9.
The original music piece was created for St. Augustine’s 450th anniversary as part of The St. Augustine Music Festival (SAMF), an annual event that features chamber music concerts during one week each June.
St. Augustine Suite is a four-movement piece that provides an almost cinematic soundtrack to St. Augustineâ€™s turbulent and romantic history. The piece begins with haunting evocations of the Timucuan natives, drifts into the majestic presence of the Atlantic Ocean, charges into battles at the Castillo de San Marcos and closes with the pulsing beacon of the St. Augustine Lighthouse.
The piece was commissioned by the St. Augustine Music Festival and given its world premiere onÂ June 27Â during aÂ SAMF concert in the Cathedral Basilica, 38 Cathedral Place, downtown St. Augustine.
Music lovers from around the world helped raise more than $10,000 to fund the piece and its performance through an online Kickstarter campaign in April.
Detroit Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Michelle Merrill led the premiere. A video of the performance, as well as contact information for making a donation for a CD recording of the performance is available at the SAMF Website, StAugustineMusicFestival.org.
Performance Today, hosted by Fred Child, is broadcast on over 290 public radio stations across the country and reaches approximately 1.4 million listeners each week.
The St. Augustine Music Festival is the largest free classical music festival in the country. With artistic director Jorge A Pena at the helm, it takes place during the last two weekends in June. The festival will mark its 10th anniversary in 2016 with another commissioned original piece by a local composer. The festival is funded through donors and sponsors committed to bringing world-class performances to all. Information and program updates are at StAugustineMusicFestival.org.