San Marco Chamber Music Society sets sight for Germany

San Marco Chamber Music Society sets sight for Germany
Ellen and Eric Olson with Anna Miller and Piotr Szewczyk

More than 60 eager patrons gathered on Jan. 13 at Friday Musicale in Riverside to enjoy “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (A Little Night Music) performed by the San Marco Chamber Music Society. 

Coinciding with the Society’s mission statement “to educate and enrich the lives of people of all ages and incomes by presenting world-class chamber music concerts that are open and free,” the mission of that evening concert was to raise funds for the Society’s upcoming trip to Germany. The musical ensemble traveling to Germany will include co-founders Eric Olson (oboe) and Ellen Olson (viola), Aurica Duca and Clinton Dewing (violins), Nick Curry (cello) and Les Roettges (flute).  

            “Our goal is to expand our mission of presenting world-class chamber music concerts,” said Ellen Olson, “and this time as good-will international music ambassadors performing in some of Hamburg and Berlin’s most historic spaces, including churches, opera houses, palaces and concert halls, where we will raise funds for charities of their choice wherever we perform.”

            In addition to showcasing some of Jacksonville’s finest musicians on the international stage, the June 2019 trip will include several local patrons traveling with the musicians to each venue. 

Audiences in Germany will be treated to a brilliant new piece composed by Jacksonville Symphony violinist Piotr Szewczyk specifically for the San Marco Chamber Music Society, entitled “The San Marco Suite.” Two movements from the San Marco Suite, “Midnight Waltz” and “Hendricks Avenue,” were performed Sunday evening at the fundraiser, after which composer Szewcyzyk approached the stage and joined the audience in applauding the players.

            “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” was a spirited evening featuring wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres and later, dessert wines and sweets, as well as a live and silent auction with several items that drew heavy bidding. Particularly popular were the in-home concerts offered by various members of the ensemble, as well as a framed original painting by Artist Anna Miller, inspired by the San Marco Chamber Music Society. Also quite popular with the guests was the Society’s new CD, “Songs and Dances,” just released by Albany Records. 

San Marco Chamber Music Society performing at Friday Musicale.
San Marco Chamber Music Society performing at Friday Musicale.

            “We made good progress Sunday night towards our goal of $45,000 for the Germany trip,” said Ellen Olson, “and we have 13 people going, including our six musicians. We’d love to have two more people accompany us.” 

The San Marco Chamber Music Society has several concerts coming up at their regular venue of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 3976 Hendricks Avenue, the next one being “Got Vivaldi?” on Sunday, Feb. 10 at 7 p.m. 

For information on the Germany trip, or upcoming concerts, visit, or call Erik and Ellen Olson at (904) 731-1310.

By Susan D. Brandenburg

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