In the last year the Cathedral Basilica has hosted the Vienna Boys Choir, the renowned Spanish group La Folia, and the Thisted Church Choir of Men and Boys from Denmark; and, this Friday evening, Father Thomas S. Willis has invited Historic City News readers to attend another notable performance.
Tomé Olives, a native Menorcan and organist of the Cathedral on the island of Menorca, will be in concert at the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine on Friday, September 6 at 6:00 p.m., performing as part of the Cathedral’s ongoing First Friday Art Walk Concert Series.
“What a treat for our parish and city to be able to have Mr. Olives play here,” Father Willis, rector of the Cathedral Basilica said. “The fact that our city prides itself on the heritage of the Menorcans, since their arrival here in 1777, makes this a double delight.”
Menorca is part of the Balearic Islands in the western Mediterranean Sea. The city of Ciutadella of Menorca is one of the two main cities on the island. Many families in St Augustine and North Florida trace their ancestry back to Menorca; when, in the late 1760’s, Andrew Turnbull attempted to colonize the area of what is now New Smyrna Beach. When it failed, the Menorcans, under the spiritual leadership of Father Pedro Camps, made their way to St Augustine seeking safety and asylum.
Olives, born in 1972, has served as titular organist of the Cathedral of Ciutadella de Menorca for the past 19-years. He studied organ in Barcelona, Munich as well as Paris. Olives is a published composer for organ and chamber works.
Like the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Augustine, the church where Olives serves is also a minor basilica. Only the pope may grant the designation of minor basilica upon a church. The title recognizes the church’s spiritual and historical significance.
“This is another reason his visit is so special,” Fr. Willis remarked. “These concerts provide an avenue for local, national and international artists to enhance the musical arts in St Augustine.”