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 is President of Romanza-St. Augustine, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. He is Romanza’s Co-Founder and Board Member since 2009, previously Chair. He also serves as Public Relations Director for St. Augustine’s Romanza Festivale of Music & the Arts, The Celtic Music & Heritage Festival, and St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Albert also provides community vision and leadership as Founder, President and Chair since 2019 of the St. Augustine EpiCentre Alliance, another 501(c)(3), which is preparing to fund and build the City’s first civic Performing Arts Centre.

He has also served on Visit FLORIDA’s Culture, heritage, Rural and Nature Committee.

Albert is a retired telecom corporate executive and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA). He was Executive Director at SBC Communications (AT&T), guiding national accounting policy in San Antonio, and later SBC’s corporate “witness” in Washington, DC on accounting and regulatory compliance.

Albert is also an accomplished amateur composer. His Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra was nominated at the 2016 “Views of the World Film and Music Festival” in Montreal.

Albert is married to Romanza Board Member Pat.

Kathleen Vande Berg

Kathleen has been a Romanza Board Member since 2011. She has served as the Chair of St. Augustine’s Romanza Festivale of the Arts Committee since 2014.
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.

Pat Syeles

Pat has been a Romanza Board Member since 2014 and has served as Romanza’s Secretary and Treasurer since 2011.  She is also the editor and publisher of the Romanza newsletter. Pat served as the Finance & Administration Director of the Celtic Music & Heritage Festival from 2012 to 2016 and took over as the Celtic Festival Director in 2017. Pat is a retired estate planning and administration paralegal.

Lisa McPhillips Switkin

Lisa joined the Romanza Board in 2016. Lisa’s company, Lisa Mack Productions, has been creating high-quality, professionally produced entertainment events in St. Johns County since 1998, including Amphitheatre events and many festivals. Lisa has served as the Stage Manager of the St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival since 2012 and took over as the Entertainment Director of the Celtic Festival in 2017.

Gloria MacDonald  

Glo joined the Romanza Board in 2018. A graphic artist by profession, Glo, of GloMac Designs, moved to St. Augustine in 2017 and is now assisting in Romanza’s marketing, and directing the marketing at A Classic Theatre (ACT). Glo and her husband Mac have an extensive background in television and have become part of the production team.

Romanza’s Board of Advisors:

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