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St. Augustine Music Festival to Celebrate Juneteenth

The 15th Annual St. Augustine Music Festival features two free concerts and an exhibition to celebrate the emancipation of enslaved Americans. The 15th annual St. Augustine Music Festival (SAMF), to be held this year on…

The 15th Annual St. Augustine Music Festival features two free concerts and an exhibition to celebrate the emancipation of enslaved Americans.

The 15th annual St. Augustine Music Festival (SAMF), to be held this year on Juneteenth, will feature the music and art of Black artists. Celebrated annually on June 19, Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved Americans.

St. Augustine Music Festival at the Cathedral Basilica

As this year’s event coincides with the holiday, two concerts of spiritual and classical works will be performed by world-class musicians, all rejoicing in the triumphs of the civil rights movement. Between the concerts, guests can view an African American art and photography exhibit on display. The free event will be held at the St. Augustine Amphitheatre on June 19, 2021.

At the matinee performance, an inspiring selection of negro spirituals will be performed by the SAMF orchestra, the Ritz Chamber Players, and a multi-community choir. The selections include works by two of the greatest African American women composers, Margaret Bonds and Florence Price, as well as works by Jesse Williams, Keith Hampton, and Roland Carter. The musical performance will be accompanied by words from Dr. Martin Luther King.

The evening performance will feature old and new classical compositions performed by the SAMF orchestra and the Ritz Chamber Players. The pieces of music include “L’Amant Anonyme Overture” by Joseph Boulogne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges, the first known classical composer of African ancestry. Pieces by other classical composers Beethoven, Stravinsky, and Jessie Montgomery will also be performed.

Ritz Chamber Players

An African American art and photography exhibit will be on display between concerts. The artwork will be curated by the Lincolnville Museum & Cultural Center and the St. Augustine Art Association.

Conceived as a free classical music concert series to celebrate the rich artistic and cultural traditions of St. Augustine, the annual festival has become a highlight of the summer season. SAMF provides the opportunity for attendees to deepen their appreciation for this beautiful genre of music in an environment that is dignified, uplifting, and welcoming for all. The event is sponsored by the St. Johns County Tourist Development Council and the St. Johns Cultural Council, which promotes arts, culture, and heritage activities and events in St. Augustine, Ponte Vedra, and the beaches.

For more information, visit https://www.staugustinemusicfestival.org/.