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, the Board Chairman, President and CEO since the founding of the organization in July, 2009.  Albert is a film score composer/music director, songwriter and recording artist.  His web bio contains links to his professional recording activities.  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.

Phebe Wehr

Phebe Wehr is a Co-Founder of Romanza and serves as the Executive Vice President.  She has been a Romanza Board Member since its founding in July, 2009.  She has served on the Board of First Coast Opera and the Great Connecticut Traditional Jazz Festival.  She is active with the EMMA Concert Association, the St. Augustine Art Association, and Limelight Theatre.  Phebe has managed and/or owned a number retail businesses as well as a wholesale dealership.  She is a graduate of Duke University and has 3 children and 4 grandchildren.

Kathleen Vande Berg

Romanza Board Member as of November 2011. 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 also serves on the Celtic Music & Heritage Festival Committee and is 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.

Linda Hof

Romanza Board Member,  Celtic Festival Chair, and St. Johns County teacher. Linda is in her 14th year of teaching History, currently at St. Augustine High School in the Cambridge Program. She served as Field Manager of the Celtic Music & Heritage Festival 2013 & 2014 and was the 2015 Celtic Festival’s Co-Chair. Her work with the Celtic Festival combines her love of history with the desire to promote the preservation of the Nation’s Oldest City.


Romanza’s Board of Advisors:

Sue Agresta (Lincolnville Redevelopment Corp.)

Irene Arriola (Saltwater Property Group)

John Cunningham (Ann O’Malley’s Irish Pub)

Doni Dowie (Sister Cities / Lexes Associates)

Benedetta Dubetz (Amici’s Restaurant)

George Gardner (former St. Augustine Mayor)

Joyce Hayes (Cuna Street Merchants Assn. / Starving Artist)

Lorna MacDonald (Raintree Restaurant)

Brian Mickley (Petros Planning)

Georgia Gayle Nick (Aviles Street Merchant’s Assn.)

Theresa O’Donnell Price (Director, Major Events, U of NF)

Jean Rahner (A Classic Theatre)

Lura Readle-Scarpetti (Mummy Cat Productions)

Robert Silverman (Winter Properties, Atlanta, GA)

Frederic Sterry Smith (Sterry Piano)

Dr. Roger Smith (Colonial Research Associates)

James Vande Berg (President, Founder of Compassionate St. Augustine)

Bridget Van Landingham (Business Solutions)