Anastasia State Park, with help from its “Friends” organization, will team up with the Amp (St. Augustine Amphitheatre) to present A Toast to the Coast concert starring Southern California beach rock reggae duo, the Wheeland Brothers, and guest Sean McCarthy, from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, April 19, on the beaches of Anastasia State Park. Food trucks and concessions will be available for food and beverage purchases.
The Wheeland Brothers are Southern Californians who grew up surfing the Pacific waters off Orange County. They describe their music as a combination of fun, catchy melody and lyrics with the cool attitude and positive energy of reggae, as well as the down-to-earth, organic honesty of acoustic rock, ukulele lullabies and flip-flop hip-hop.
The park is located on Anastasia Island at 300 Anastasia Park Road. The concert, appropriate for all ages, is free and open to the public. Parking admission is $8 per vehicle with two or more occupants; $4 for a single occupant or, become a member of the Friends of Anastasia State Park organization for $25 per year and receive 12 free vehicle admissions to the park. For Friends membership, go to friendsofanastasia.org/become-a-member. For park information go to www.floridastateparks.org/anastasia.
That’s just the beginning of 2019 beach music concerts. The St. Augustine Beach Civic Association recently announced its tentative schedule for the 2019 Wednesday Music by the Sea free concert series which begins May 8 and runs through Sept. 11. Free Wednesday concerts will take place at St. Johns County Pier Park Pavilion from 7 to 9 p.m. Food service, with dinners provided by local eateries will be available for purchase starting at 6 p.m., or you may bring your own food and beverages. Look for more details in future columns.
There are options for those who prefer indoor concerts.
• The April Directors Concert, a fundraiser for the Gamble Rogers Youth Music and Arts Scholarship program, takes place on Saturday, April 6 at the Lohman Auditorium, 9505 Oceanshore Boulevard in the Town of Marineland. Doors open at 6 p.m. and music begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are not required. Organizers quip, “We pass the hat in real folk-hootenanny style, to raise funds for music education in public schools in the area.”
Performers will include Jamie Defrates, Bob Patterson, Charley Simmons, Paul Linser, John Dickie and Davis Loose. There will also be a fundraising bake sale before the show and during intermission. One hundred percent of the funds raised at this event will go towards the youth scholarship program. Cash donations made up to $1,000 will be matched by an anonymous donor. For information, go to www.gamblerogersfest.org.
• The Jacksonville University orchestra and choirs will close out the 2018-19 concert series at St. Anastasia Catholic Church starting at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 14 with a joint concert of choral and orchestral favorites. The JU Choral Union, an ensemble comprised of students, faculty, staff and community members, will sing an array of songs, all by women composers. The group is directed by Wayne Bailey, Visiting Artist-in-Residence in Choral Music.
The University Singers, JU’s top vocal ensemble, will present excerpts from Haydn’s Missa Brevis No. 1 in F major and other selections. The ensemble is under the direction of Dr. Timothy Snyder, Dean of the Linda Berry Stein College of Fine Arts. The two choral groups will join the orchestra in performances of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Mack Dilberg’s arrangement of Come, Thou Font of Every Blessing. The concert will conclude with the JU Orchestra, under the direction of Dr. Marguerite Richardson, in a performance of Felix Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 5, The Reformation. Dr. Richardson is Associate Professor of Strings and Director of Orchestral Activities at the university.
The free concert series, now in its ninth season, is arranged by Peter Morin, music director at St. Anastasia Catholic Church. A free-will collection will be taken at the concert for those who wish to contribute to the event expenses. Free parking is provided at the church which is located at 5202 A1A South on Anastasia Island. For information call 471-5364.
• Members of the South Anastasia Communities Association will focus on “Clams, Oysters and Mangroves: Estuarine Restoration and the Whitney Lab” at its meeting April 3. Research scientist Todd Z. Osborne, Ph.D., will update the association on his research which focuses on the biogeochemical processes in soil and water, with a long-term involvement in the project of Everglades restoration. His newer research includes sea level rise and soil carbon storage, wetland fire frequency and exotic/invasive vegetation responses and salt marsh restoration in coastal Florida and Georgia. The presentation, which begins at 7 p.m., is open to the public. It will be held at the Center for Marine Studies, Whitney Lab campus, 9505 Oceanshore Boulevard, off A1A South in the Town of Marineland. A social gathering with light refreshments will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the foyer. Osborne is a research assistant professor in the wetland and biogeochemistry lab at the University of Florida Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience. SACA is a nonprofit neighborhood association founded to preserve the south end of St. Johns County’s rural and coastal character. For information, email [email protected]
• St. Augustine Alligator Farm Zoological Park offers a unique series of summer week-long camp adventures for kids entering first through sixth grades. Each camp has a different theme. Camps will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays from June 3 to Aug. 2 and include zoo tours, hands-on animal presentations, shows, crafts, games and more. Fees include lunch, snacks and a camp T-shirt. The cost is $225 per week for members, $250 for non-members. Each camp is limited to 32 children. For older students, entering 7th through 12th grade, the Alligator Farm, located at 999 Anastasia Boulevard on Anastasia Island, has openings in the volunteer Counselor-in-Training Program. CIT volunteers assist counselors with groups of campers as an extra set of eyes, ears and hands to help with crafts, games and other activities. For registration and information go to [email protected] or call 824-3337 ext. 29.
• R.B. Hunt Elementary School, located at 125 Magnolia Drive on the island, reminds parents of children who will be eligible for kindergarten in the fall that registration is open online. Visit the R.B. Hunt website at rbh.stjohns.k12.fl.us and click on the registration tab at the top. Then click on the “Register My child” button to the right. Contact the support line at 866-752-6850 or email [email protected] if you have difficulties using this online tool. The school will host a kindergarten evening in May. Call the school office at 547-7960 for information.
• The Council on Aging is seeking donations of rider mowers to be used by its volunteer team of Cutters and Clippers to assist seniors who require help to maintain their lawns. The Cutters and Clippers team is part of the COA’s Care connection division which runs entirely on donations. Every Thursday from March through November, the volunteers mow lawns for St Johns County seniors. To donate, or for more information on the program, contact Michael Large, Care Connection’s Coordinator, at 209-3648.