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 Collage Concert Series – Fall and Winter 
  • Romanza Gatherings – Arts & Culture mixers
  • Other Special Events





in Spanish, is love song.

in Italian, is love affair.

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

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

Romanza's Board of Directors and Officers

Lisa McPhillips Switkin

Lisa is Chair of Romanza’s Board of Directors.
She joined the Romanza Board in 2016.

Lisa has served as the Stage Manager of the St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival since 2011 and took over as the Production Director of the Celtic Festival in 2017.

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.

Albert Syeles

Albert is Romanza’s co-Founder, President, and Board Member since 2009.
He also serves as Public Relations Director for each of Romanza’s events.

Albert is also Founder and President of St. Augustine’s EpiCentre Alliance since 2019.

He is a retired telecom corporate Executive Director, and a Certified Management Accountant (Institute of Management Accountants).

Albert is also an award-winning composer. In 2022 and 2023, he won eleven first place awards for Best Composer or Best Film Score at international film festivals in London (2), Toronto (2), Las Vegas, Munich, Rome, Istanbul, and India (3).

Kathleen Vande Berg

Kathleen is Vice President of Romanza, Chair of St. Augustine’s Romanza Festivale of Music and The Arts since 2014 and has been a Romanza Board Member since 2011.

She serves as Corporate Secretary on the EpiCentre Alliance Board.

She is an accomplished instrumentalist who spent her career as a Music Educator.  She currently serves as the accompanist for the North Florida Women’s Chorale, the Music Director at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church and as former director of the Community Chorus and the St.  Augustine Chamber Singers.

Kathy has been honored with a ROWITA Award (Recognizing Outstanding Women in the Arts), the International Women’s Day award from the EWLI (Enterprising Women’s Leadership Institute), and was knighted by the Menorcan Easter Society for service to the community. 

Pat Syeles

 Pat has been Romanza’s Secretary and Treasurer since 2011 and has served as a Romanza Board Member since 2014.

Pat took over as Director of the Celtic Music & Heritage Festival in 2017 after serving as its Finance & Administration manager from 2012 to 2016.

She is also the editor and publisher of Romanza’s e-newsletter.

Pat is a retired estate-planning-and-administration paralegal.


Gloria MacDonald 

Glo joined the Romanza Board in 2018. She co-produces the Romanza Collage concert series with Kathleen Vande Berg

A retired broadcast television administrator, and a talented graphic artist by profession, Glo, of GloMac Designs, assists with the Romanza Festivale website and Romanza’s marketing, while also Directing the marketing at A Classic Theatre (ACT) theatre company.

Glo and her husband Mac have an extensive background in television and have become part of ACT’s 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 (Founder of Compassionate St. Augustine)