Classical music, Impressionist art come together during ‘Music at the Museum’

Lightner Museum, St. Augustine Orchestra again team up for special event


Area residents had an opportunity to enjoy complementary music and art recently when the Lightner Museum teamed up once again with the St. Augustine Orchestra to present “Music at the Museum: A Spring Extravaganza.”

The two-day event, held Thursday and Friday, May 20 and 21, was a follow-up to “Music in the Museum: Holiday Nights at the Lightner,” presented in December.

The event was structured to meet the demands imposed by the pandemic, which hasn’t yet completely vanished.

The orchestra normally presents both a holiday and a spring concert each year, but COVID-19 made that impossible. So, an alternative was proposed: Have the orchestra perform in different ensembles at different places throughout the museum. That way, guests could stroll about the museum while taking in performances staggered to allow audiences to see each.

The holiday event was a tremendous success, selling out each of the two nights, so it made sense to present the spring concert the same way.

“We really loved working with the St. Augustine Orchestra on our last event during the holidays, and we really wanted to partner with them again this spring,” said Angela de Gregory, volunteer coordinator and events manager for the Lightner Museum.

This time, the entire museum was open to the guests, and ticket sales exceeded those of the December event. Organizers expected about 200 guests for each of the two nights.

With vaccinations becoming widely available and coronavirus cases decreasing, many guests seemed to be more than ready to begin attending cultural events again.

“People can just ‘be out’ and enjoy something,” said de Gregory. “It’s been so long. And everybody’s a little more at ease, which is really great.”

Guests were able to hear the brass ensemble perform in the grand lobby, the string ensemble in the former pool area and the woodwind ensemble in one of the gallery spaces.

In addition to the music, guests had another opportunity to view the museum’s three impressionist art exhibitions.

These were: “American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection,” “St. Augustine in a New Light: American Impressionism from the Collection of the Lightner Museum” and “Antwan Ramar: Contemporary Impressions.”

The first focused on late 19th century and early 20th century American art. The second included works from the same era but with a focus on St. Augustine. Both are on display until July 5.

In the third, Ramar presented a contemporary vision of landscape painting that embraced historic traditions and techniques. That exhibit concluded Sunday, May 23.