Vande Berg is the powerhouse behind Romanza Festivale

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St. Augustine’s Romanza Festivale of Music and The Arts is coming up quickly — April 29 to May 15 — and organizers are working diligently to bring it all together.

The festival presents daily events featuring dozens of concerts, shows, exhibits and much more at locations throughout the Nation’s Oldest City. Dozens of talented arts and cultural nonprofit organizations will be featured. Most events are free.

It takes a lot of people collaborating to present dozens of events over 17 days to create Romanza Festivale, but it takes a force of nature to plan, coordinate, create a schedule, find venues, work the budget and make it all run smoothly. That force of nature is Kathleen Vande Berg.

A native of Iowa, Vande Berg graduated from college with a degree in applied music, organ performance with minors in music education and English. For 30 years she taught in all educational levels from preschool to college in New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Georgia and Florida. Since retiring from the White Plains, New York, Public Schools in 2003, she has been active in the cultural life of St. Augustine.

Vande Berg and her husband, Dr. James Vande Berg, are residents of the Westminster St. Augustine community where she serves as chair of the PlayReaders Committee, is a member of the Social Committee and is currently presenting a series of organ recitals during the Lenten/Easter season. She was named the 2020 Volunteer of the Year for Westminster.

Kathleen Vande Berg conducts the St. Augustine Chamber Singers, accompanies the North Florida Women’s Chorale and serves as music director and organist at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal Church. As chair of the Romanza Festivale of Arts and Culture for the last eight years, Vande Berg has planned this year’s Festivale, featuring more than 35 events.

She also serves on the board of the Epicentre Alliance for the Performing Arts as secretary. She is the recipient of the ROWITA award, was an EWLI International Women’s Day honoree and knighted by the Menorcan Easter Society for outstanding community service.

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