Choral Artists of Sarasota to Launch 40th Anniversary Season

Six concerts will highlight the talents of the long-established ensemble.

By Kay Kipling September 7, 2018

Members of the ensemble Choral Artists of Sarasota

Choral Artists of Sarasota launches its 40th season, “Celebration,” in October—a season that offers six unique concerts from the ensemble.

Artistic director Dr. Joseph Holt says the season’s programs will be “highlighting the dynamic and vibrant excellence of this exceptional ensemble. Each concert represents a unique theme, designed to underscore the breadth of the ensemble’s origins.” (The organization is also noting the 10th anniversary of Holt’s tenure as artistic director.)

Holt is particularly excited about three April performances of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony with the Sarasota Orchestra and Key Chorale. These performances will coincide with Anu Tali’s final appearance as music director of the orchestra.

In addition, Holt continues to work with composer and part-time Sarasota resident James Grant on the commission “Listen to the Earth,” which will have its world premiere in Sarasota in 2020. The environmental-themed cantata features texts by astronauts and luminaries such as Carl Sagan, John Muir and Robert W. Service.

In the meantime, this year’s concerts commence at 4 p.m. Oct. 14 with “Then Sings My Soul,” presenting favorite Christian hymns interspersed with Jewish and Islamic music. Organist Ann Stephenson-Moe and an ensemble of brass instrumentalists join the vocalists in this event at Church of the Redeemer.

The ensemble’s holiday performance takes place at 4 p.m. Dec. 9 at First Church in Sarasota, with Holt enjoying his 10th anniversary celebration in a concert featuring “The King Shall Rejoice,” one of the Handel “Coronation Anthems,” a choral version of “The Nutcracker” and more.

The Feb. 16 concert, also at First Church, is titled “From the Heart,” and highlights Brahms’ German Requiem (paired with William Averitt’s “Over Jordan,” a setting of gospel and spiritual pieces). Soprano Jenny Kim-Godfrey and baritone Marcus DeLoach are featured in this official 40th anniversary performance.

“Peace and Joy” is the theme for the aforementioned April 5, 6 and 7 performances with the Sarasota Orchestra, at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.

Then audiences can pay tribute on Mother’s Day with “An Afternoon of Operetta,” May 12 at the Sarasota Opera House, in a concert presented by Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota. Expect melodies from Offenbach, Von Suppé and Gilbert and Sullivan.

Finally, the traditional annual Independence Day concert offers choral fireworks, featuring the Sarasota premiere of Jerry Bilik’s “Independence,” favorite patriotic selections, and a setting of “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” with the Sarasota Concert Band, July 4 at the Sarasota Opera House.

For more information on the season, or Choral Artists’ other projects, visit or call 387-4900.

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