It’s Summer – Musicians Spread Out Far and Wide

The Symphony’s last performance of the 2016-2017 season is late May and musicians have been planning for a variety of activities to fill the summer months.

Jorge Peña, viola, and his wife, Jin-Kim Peña, have their June all mapped out. The two founded the St. Augustine Music Festival in 2007 and it has grown to be one of the largest free festivals in the area. Performances are currently scheduled for June 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, and 24 at the St. Augustine Cathedral Basilica. Get there early – seats fill up quickly. For more information visit

Les Roettges, principal flute, will be joining Jorge at the St. Augustine Music Festival and then going on to the Eastern Music Festival in Greensboro, NC. He serves as both a teacher and a performer at this event. For Les, the big event may actually be July 1 on Amelia Island when his daughter Katherine is married. Congratulations!

Nearby in Brevard, North Carolina will be Kevin and Laurie Casseday at the Brevard Music Festival which runs from June 2nd to August 18th.

Before Laurie leaves for Brevard she will be joining her fellow Florida Chamber Music musicians – Patrice Evans, Susan Pardue, Anna Genest and Annie Hertler at a June 3rd performance in the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall for their Spring Gala entitled “Tango with the Florida Chamber Music Project” and a free event on June 4th at the Oak Bridge Club at Sawgrass. Then Susan Pardue is off to Colorado for the Breckenridge Music Festival in Breckenridge, CO.

Another musician attending a festival is Kayo Ishimaru, principal harp. Kayo will be traveling up to Chicago to be part of the orchestra at the city’s Grant Park Festival held in Millennium Park. Concerts are performed throughout June and July in the “Windy City.”

It’s tough to say which musician will be logging the most miles this summer. Chi-Yin Chen, violin, who has just joined the orchestra, will be heading home to Taiwan and coming back via France and the United Kingdom. Ken Every, principal timpani, is off with his wife, Nidhi Gangan Every, to visit her home country, South Africa.

Music Director Courtney Lewis, who spent much of last summer in Salzburg, plans to stay closer to Jacksonville this year. Associate Conductor Nathan Aspinall will be going west to Oregon for a music festival in June and July and then visit family and friends in Australia in August.

They all will return to North Florida in early September to get ready for the September 16 opening Fanfare.