About SACC

The St. Augustine Community Chorus is a non profit organization and depends on the good will of audiences and donors for support in our musical endeavors. Our mixed chorus is comprised of local and regional amateur singers from the area who love good music and enjoy sharing it with audiences.

The chorus traditionally presents three concerts a year: a holiday program including portions of Handel’s Messiah and other music; a mid-season program of popular songs and show tunes; and a spring program featuring major choral works. The concerts are held at the Cathedral Basilica, Ancient City Baptist Church, or St. Augustine High School Performing Arts Center.

We encourage new choir members in all voice parts, and are especially interested in singers for both tenor and bass sections. New singers are welcome throughout the year! No auditions are required, but regular attendance is expected. To join, simply come to the first scheduled rehearsal, at which time you will be asked to sign in, pay dues, and receive music. Membership dues are $35.00 per concert (to help defray costs).

New members are encouraged to join during the first few rehearsals associated with each of the three yearly concerts.
Rehearsals are on Tuesdays at Memorial Presbyterian Church from 6:50-9 pm.

 

Please feel free to contact us for any other questions or comments you might have.

History of SACC

In 1948, the late William Dixon formed the St. Augustine Choral Society, under the sponsorship of the St. Cecilia Society.  As its director from 1948 through 1951, he conducted the chorus in its initial performance of Handel’s Messiah at Trinity Episcopal Church, a tradition which continues to the present.  After an absence of almost 20 years, Mr. Dixon returned to St. Augustine and again led the Choral Society from 1970 to 1978.

SACC 1949

photo by P.A. Beaudoin, St. Augustine, courtesy of Catherine Dixon

“The St. Augustine Choral Society scored a new triumph with its presentation of  Elijah by Felix Mendelssohn, in Trinity Episcopal Church on Tuesday, March the twenty-ninth (1949).” Quote from a local paper.

In 1978, Wayne Joranlien conducted Messiah in the Lightner Museum.  Sister Patricia Consier,O.P., music director at the Cathedral, became conductor of  the St. Augustine Community Chorus, as it was now known, in 1980, and annual performances of Messiah at the Cathedral continued under her leadership until 1990.

In 1990, Dr. Janet Graham, minister of music and organist at Memorial Presbyterian Church, assumed the role of conductor of the Chorus, and continued its tradition of presenting an annual Christmas Concert featuring Messiah.  Dr. Carl Peters II, minister of music at Ancient City Baptist Church, joined her as co-conductor in the mid-1990s, and introduced the Pops and Masterworks Concerts to the Chorus’ annual concert series.  Dr. Peters left St. Augustine in 2003 to accept a position in California.

In April 2006, Dr. Graham passed away after a long illness.  For so many years the “heart and soul” of the St. Augustine Community Chorus, she is missed by chorus members and the entire community.

The Chorus selected two new conductors, Ms. Kathleen Vande Berg and Dr. Theodore K. Mathews, in 2004.  Ms. Vande Berg, with a background in choral conducting in New York and Atlanta, conducts the Chorus’ spring Pops Concert at the St. Augustine High School Center for the Visual and Performing Arts.  Dr. Mathews, formerly professor of music and glee club conductor at Agnes Scott College, directs the Chorus’ Masterworks Concert in May at Ancient City Baptist Church. Dr. Mathews and Ms. Vande Berg also share conducting duties for the traditional Christmas Concert in December at the Cathedral Basilica in downtown St. Augustine. Dr. Mathews retired in 2014 and moved to California. Ms. Vande Berg retired from the Chorus in 2015, but will remain as Director of the St. Augustine Chamber Singers.

After a national search, the Chorus welcomed Michael Sanflippo as the new director of St. Augustine Community Chorus in March 2015. Mike recently settled in Palm Coast, after more than two decades living and working in the Northern New Jersey area. There he directed several choruses including the Apprentice Chorus of the Newark Boys Chorus School, the training chorus for the celebrated Newark Boys Chorus. Additionally in Newark, Mike developed a challenging and thriving music theory and ear-training program that he taught to all the boys in the school. He directed two community choruses, Concord Singers (Summit, NJ, a women’s chorus) and Harmony Singers (Wayne, NJ, a mixed ensemble) as well as a music program at Community United Methodist Church in Roselle Park. Mike holds degrees from Philadelphia College of Performing Arts and Teachers College of Columbia University, and spent a year at the Kodály Pedagogical Institute in Kecskemet, Hungary. In addition to his work with SACC, Mike is Director of Music at Grace United Methodist Church here in town.