Key Chorale 2016-17 Season Celebrates Artistic Director's 10th Anniversary

The season will present some seldom-heard works, along with a premiere by composer Ola Gjeilo.

By Kay Kipling July 11, 2016

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Key Chorale and Circus Sarasota combined talents for Cirque de Voix last season and will do so again this year.


Key Chorale, Sarasota’s symphonic chorus with more than 100 members, has announced its 2016-17 season, which will also be the 10th anniversary season for artistic director Joseph Caulkins.

The season kicks off officially with the third Sarasota Choral Festival, Oct. 25, 28 and 29, which unites the chorale with more than 150 other singers from the community—vocalists from high school and up who may not be able to commit to singing year-round, but can participate in this shorter rehearsal process. (The festival is one of several events scheduled for the Arts & Cultural Alliance’s two-week-long InspireSarasota celebration.) The culmination of their time together is a performance at downtown’s First Church of the seldom-presented Alexander’s Feast, an ode with music by Handel and a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton, on Oct. 29.

The season continues with a holiday concert, Nov. 27 at First Church, featuring Messe de Minuit Pour Noel by Marc-Antoine Charpentier, a composer from the time of Louis XIV who was almost forgotten until a revival of his work in the 1980s. One of 11 masses scored for voice and orchestra, the piece is set for four voices, two flutes, strings, organ and continuo.

Soprano Mary Wilson returns to Key Chorale for a February concert, performing Mozart’s unfinished Great Mass In C Minor, which he composed in thanks for his wife Constanze’s recovery from illness. Constanze actually sang the “Et incarnates est” at the work’s premiere; Wilson will perform it here.

Next up is the annual Cirque des Voix, which brings together the talents of the chorale with Circus Sarasota performers. Caulkins says composer Ola Gjeilo has been commissioned to write a musical suite to accompany an aerial performance by NEA recipient Dolly Jacobs for a world premiere here March 24, 25 and 26; that work will also be showcased in July 2017, when Cirque des Voix heads to Washington, D.C., as performers at the prestigious Smithsonian Folklife Festival.

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Soprano Mary Wilson and Key Chorale conductor Joseph Caulkins.


The last concert of the year, set for May 5 at Venice Performing Arts Center, is an annual collaboration with Sarasota County schools featuring Pine View, Venice and North Port high school singers in “Tomorrow’s Voices Today.”

There are a couple of fund-raising events on the calendar for the ensemble as well, including a luncheon Oct. 24 and a jewelry sale Nov. 19 and 20. For more details and to purchase tickets, head to

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