Although EMMA has been doing business for years as the EMMA Concert Association, the organization’s original name was Emil Maestre Music Association. Started by a small group of music lovers, among them Frieda Bringmann and Irene and Peter Allemano in April 1979, the organization was named after a famous Spanish cellist, Emil Maestre, who retired to St. Augustine. EMMA was incorporated in September of the same year. EMMA has always been a nonprofit all-volunteer organization with a mission to produce quality music and dance performances at modest ticket prices. Since then the organization has lived up to this commitment and never failed. The volunteers serving on the EMMA board of Directors change as times goes by, but they all embrace the work with the same enthusiasm and spirit of accomplishment that bonds the group together.
In 1989, the volunteers felt a little overwhelmed by their duties which resulted in the formation of the EMMA Guild under the leadership of Jane Cassell Sims. Today the board and the Guild work hand in hand and the wheels of EMMA turn in sync to produce one successful concert after another.
Originally EMMA held concerts in many different places in town including the Lightner Museum, the Presbyterian Church, Kirk Auditorium (The Florida School for the Deaf and Blind), the Episcopal Church and the Riverview Club; it was not until 1993 that EMMA found a permanent place for its performances. After forming a partnership with Flagler College, the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College has become EMMA’s home.
Every concert season EMMA has produced an Evening Series of six performances, an Afternoon Series of four performances, a Holiday Pops concert and one free concert for the community. In addition to these major productions, each winter EMMA presents a series of four Words and Music concerts in the beautiful Flagler Room in the main building of Flagler College.
EMMA also brings concerts to local school children and supporting music education programs in schools.
The EMMA Board is responsible for programming, finances, ticket sales, concert operations, publicity, advertising, publication of brochures and the EMMA playbill “Footnotes”. Also among the Board’s duties are Sponsorship and the ‘Gift of Music’ Endowment Fund. The EMMA Guild organizes the Opening Night Gala and a Spring Fundraiser and handles sales of Footnotes advertising, concert ushering and mailings.
President – Tina Van Ghent
Vice President – Joanne Everett
Secretary – John Nolton
Treasurers – Helen Smith
Advertising – Ingrid Moynihan
Concert Operations – Ian Coubrough and Debbi Coubrough
Endowment Funds – Susan Ott
Endowment Funds Treasurer – Bob Ott
Historian – Mary Siess
Marketing and Publicity – Victoria Woltner-Cornelius
Schools Outreach – Jack Page and Kathryn Trillas
Publications – Ingrid Moynihan
Scholarships – Joanna Everett
Season Program – Leo McCarthy and Mary Siess
Sponsorship – Helene Sullivan and John Nolton
Tickets and Subscriptions –
Words and Music – Joanne Everett and Mary Siess
Websites and Facebook – Mary Siess
EMMA Guild Officers:
President – Doni Dowie
Vice President – Ann Valdes
Secretary – Denise Baudinet
Treasurer – Cyd Petrov