About Romanza

Romanza promotes and produces cultural events that showcase St. Augustine’s vibrant living culture, that enhance the quality of life for residents, and that create a positive lasting impression of the Nation’s Most Romantic City for visitors.


  • St. Augustine’s Romanza Festivale of the Arts– 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. Augustine’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade – annual heritage family event. The ONLY  St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Northeast Florida!
  • Romanza Gatherings – monthly Arts & Culture mixers
  • Other Special Events

“Romanza” in Spanish, is a love song.

“Romanza” in Italian, is a love affair

“Romanza” in St. Augustine means Music, Dance, Theatre, Art, Cuisine, Heritage and Romance.

Romanza – St Augustine is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.


Romanza’s Board of Directors and Officers

Albert Syeles

Albert Syeles is the Co-Founder of Romanza and President since the founding of the organization in July, 2009.
Albert is a film score composer/music director, songwriter and recording artist. His Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra “Christabel” was nominated for “Best Film Score for a To Be Produced Film” in 2016 at the “Views of The World Film & Music Festival” in Montreal.
He is a former Executive Director of SBC Communications (AT&T) and is also a Certified Management Accountant. Albert is a graduate of Duquesne University and has lived in downtown St. Augustine with his wife, Pat, since 2005.

Kathleen Vande Berg

Romanza Board Member as of November 2011 and currently Romanza Board Chair. Since moving to Florida in 2003, Kathleen has been active as the Conductor of the St. Augustine Community Chorus, the St. Augustine Chamber Singers, the Flagler College Singers, the organist/choir director at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church, and accompanist and Music Director for First Coast Opera.
Kathleen 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.  She is a graduate of Central College and Georgia State University.
In her application for the Board, Kathleen 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

Pat has been the Romanza Secretary and Treasurer since 2011. She is also Project Manager of the Celtic Music & Heritage Festival, and the Romanza Newsletter editor and publisher. Pat is a retired estate planning and administration paralegal, formerly with law firms in Washington, D.C. New Haven, CT and Pittsburgh, PA.

Lisa McPhillips

Lisa’s company, Lisa Mack Productions, has been creating high-quality, professionally produced entertainment events in St. Johns County since 1998.  Lisa has served as the Production and Stage Manager of the St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival since 2012.  She is also a talented musician and singer.

Ashlee Raven Salle

Ashlee is the owner and founder of Raven Promotions and Social Media, which she established in St. Augustine in 2013. Her expertise in the social media field enables her to connect with and promote a wide range of local businesses that include restaurants, art galleries, musicians, and artists.  Ashlee also hosts cutting-edge art shows and events that bring a new, exciting energy to St. Augustine, the nation’s oldest city.

Romanza’s Board of Advisors:

Doni Dowie (Sister Cities / Lexes Associates)
Benedetta Dubetz (Amici’s Restaurant)
George Gardner (former St. Augustine Mayor)
Lorna MacDonald (Raintree Restaurant)
Jean Rahner (A Classic Theatre)
Robert Silverman (Winter Properties, Atlanta, GA)
James Vande Berg (President, Founder of Compassionate St. Augustine)