The ensemble’s 44th season is entitled “United in Song” and features five concerts, including the Florida premiere of “The Children’s March.”
(August 30, 2022) Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 44th season, entitled “United in Song,” features five concerts in October, December, March, April, and July. A season highlight includes the Florida premiere of “The Children’s March,” a moving oratorio by composer Andrew Bleckner that takes audiences on a journey to an historical event during the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s, with Charlayne Hunter-Gault as narrator. Other performances include “Say a Little Prayer,” featuring spiritual songs from different cultures and faiths; “Peace on Earth,” a holiday concert with traditional holiday carols that are interspersed with “In Terra Pax,” a work of childlike serenity by British composer Gerald Finzi; and an April concert featuring Bach’s pastoral setting of the Twenty-third Psalm paired with Mozart’s Requiem, a poignant contemplation of eternity. The group’s popular July 4th concert, “American Fanfare,” will be performed at the Sarasota Opera House with the Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble.
Artistic Director Joseph Holt says, “These performances speak to our common humanity as people of faith, people yearning for peace in a discordant world, people seeking justice, people finding consolation in music, and people enjoying the freedoms afforded us by our American principles. Five performances that bring us together through song, a symphony of vocal sound that expresses our inner thoughts and emotions. ‘United in Song’ takes us on a journey of renewal, with hope for a brighter future for all.”
Holt will also illuminate the creative process, presenting “Meet the Music” prior to each concert throughout the season. Each will focus on the upcoming concert with a special guest joining the conversation and performance. “Meet the Music” programs are held at Art to Walk On at 16 South Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota, 5:30-7 p.m., with a wine and hors d’oeuvre reception. Planned dates are October 20, December 1, February 23, April 13 and June 22. Guest artists for the performance season include sopranos Adelaide Boedecker and Danielle Talamantes; Laurel Semerdjian, alto; tenors John Kaneklides and J. Warren Mitchell; and baritones Kerry Wilkerson and William Socolof. Ticket holders can also attend the final piano rehearsal as a bonus; see the website for details.
This year’s season is sponsored, in part, by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org or call 941-387-4900.
The Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 2022-2023 season schedule:
Say a Little Prayer: Experience comfort, consolation, and compassion as the Choral Artist singers raise their voices to heaven. Featuring “Amazing Grace” and the Kaddish, along with Buddhist and Native American chants, the universality of prayer from faiths around the world is celebrated in song. Sunday, October 30, 5 p.m., at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets: Tickets: $35; students $5.
Peace on Earth: The holidays will ring with traditional holiday carols resounding with themes of peace that are interspersed with “In Terra Pax,” a work of childlike serenity that is both intimate and universal by British composer Gerald Finzi. Guest artists: Danielle Talamantes, soprano, and Kerry Wilkerson, baritone. Sunday, December 11, 7 p.m., at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets: $35; students $5.
The Children’s March: A moving and dramatic oratorio by Philadelphia composer Andrew Bleckner, which takes us on a journey to an historical event during the Civil Rights Era of the 1960s. Incorporating traditional African-American styles and spirituals, the work shows the incivility of segregation through the innocence and optimistic spirit of children. Guest artist: J. Warren Mitchell, tenor and Choral Artists soloists Maiya Stevenson, soprano; Amy Jo Connours, alto; Krista Laskowski, mezzo-soprano; Baron Garriott, tenor; John Whittlesey, baritone and Jesse Martin, baritone. Narrated by Charlayne Hunter-Gault. Sunday, March 5, 7 p.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. Tickets: $35; students $5.
Bach Du Hirte Israel, höre (Shepherd of Israel, hear us) Cantata, BWV 104 and Mozart Requiem, K.626: Passages of life expressed through the beauty of majestic choral music: Bach’s pastoral setting of the Twenty-third Psalm paired with Mozart’s Requiem, a poignant and dramatic contemplation of eternity. Guest artists: Adelaide Boedecker, soprano; Laurel Semerdjian, alto; John Kaneklides, tenor; William Socolof, bass. Sunday, April 16, 7 p.m., at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets: $35; students $5.
American Fanfare: Celebrate America with choral fireworks, rousing marches and patriotic fervor. Old Glory and Uncle Sam are feted in this annual performance featuring the Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble and Choral Artists of Sarasota. Musical fireworks abound in this annual salute to America. July 4, 4:30 p.m., at Sarasota Opera House, 61 North Palm Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets: $35; students $5.
The Choral Artists of Sarasota comprises 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers. Eight young singers, ages 16 to 22, are also invited to join the group each year, as part of the organization’s educational outreach. One of these gifted singers will be awarded the new Ann Stephenson Moe Apprentice Scholarship, a funding program to support either private lessons or vocal training at an institution of higher learning. “Ensuring the future of choral music means investing in the next generation of music lovers,” says Susan Burke, executive director of Choral Artists of Sarasota. “That means engaging young people on their own terms.”
About the Choral Artists of Sarasota
The Choral Artists of Sarasota, entering its 44th season, features 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers and eight apprentice singers. The group celebrates the rich, artistic expressiveness of choral music through innovative repertoire, inspired performances and stimulating educational outreach. Under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, Choral Artists of Sarasota performs a repertoire spanning four centuries, and includes symphonic choral works, intimate madrigals, folk songs, close-harmony jazz, and Broadway show music. The ensemble also specializes in premiere performances of lesser-known choral works—particularly music by living American composers. Choral Artists of Sarasota has performed premieres by René Clausen, Dick Hyman, Robert Levin, Gwyneth Walker and James Grant. As part of the organization’s educational outreach, eight young singers from area schools, colleges and universities, ages 16 to 22, are invited to join the group each year. For more information, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org.