St. Augustine Community Chorus to perform ‘Carmina Burana’ for 70th anniversary season finale

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The St. Augustine Community Chorus is ending its 70th anniversary season with a bang, singing what is considered by critics to be one of the greatest pieces of music of the 20th century — “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff, with the Bel Canto Singers of Daytona. 

The concert is being held as part of the Romanza Festivale of the Arts, and will take place on Saturday, May 11 at 4 p.m. at Kirk Auditorium (Florida School for the Deaf and Blind).  The performance will be performed earlier on May 4 in Daytona, home to the Bel Canto Singers, at the Central Baptist Church.  

“This is a memorable and dramatic piece of music sung in Latin and German that many will recognize as key parts of this famous cantata have been used in movies, TV shows and commercials,” said Mike Sanflippo, music director for the St. Augustine Community Chorus. “We are pleased to be working with the Bel Canto Singers of Daytona for this first time to present this music with an enlarged chorus.”  

The Bel Canto Singers of Daytona are under the musical direction of Dr. David J. Redman. The program will begin with a selection by the Welsh composer Karl Jenkins, “Adiemus,” which is also recognizable from its use in TV ads, including for Delta Airlines.  

The St. Augustine Youth Chorus, under the direction of Kerry Fradley, will also play a role in this concert. “Carmina Burana” calls for a children's chorus in two of the movements, and they will join the chorus in the final movement as well. They will also sing in “Adiemus.” 

The program will be accompanied by two pianists and six percussionists with a large battery of instruments including various drums and timpani, marimbas and more. 

According to the St. Augustine Community Chorus, “Carmina Burana” was written by composer Carl Orff in 1935-1936 and once performed, he wanted his publishers to destroy everything he had previously composed (they didn’t) as he felt this was the true start of his career. The libretto was based on over 200 medieval songs and poems that Orff encountered in an 1847 edition of a book called “Carmina Burana” by Johann Andreas Schmeller, which had original text from monks dating from the 11th to 13th centuries. He and a student with a background in Latin, selected and organized 24 of these poems to music. 

Tickets for the show are on sale now at www.staugustinecommunitychorus.org. Tickets are $20 for adults ages 18 and over; $12 for youth ages 11 to 17; $5 for active military; and free for children 10 and under. 

The St. Augustine Community Chorus has been celebrating its 70th Anniversary this season, and recently received a proclamation from the City of St. Augustine acknowledging its history and encouraging the public to celebrate and support its concerts. 

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