The $10,000 grant will help support the group’s audience development and diversification plan.
(September 20, 2022) The Community Foundation of Sarasota County recently awarded ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ) a $10,000 grant, which will help support the group’s implantation of an audience development and diversification plan. The grants were issued from the Edward K. Roberts Emerging Needs Fund and the Dr. S. Carroll Buchanan Memorial Fund.
“As ensembleNEWSRQ embarks on its most ambitious and expansive season to date, we are faced with the challenge to more deeply develop and diversify our audience,” says George Nickson, enSRQ’s co-founder and artistic director. “We’re grateful that the Community Foundation recognized this vital need and grateful for its very generous support.”
Samantha Bennett, enSRQ’s co-founder and artistic director, explains that enSRQ’s 2022-2023 season includes world premieres of new compositions, innovative collaborations with movement artists and vocalists, the re-examination of contemporary masterworks by George Crumb and Louis Andriessen, and the staging of the group’s largest complement of musicians to date at the Sarasota Opera House.
“At this exciting moment in our growth, we understand how important it is to take the time to properly mount and sustain a strategic marketing and communications plan,” says Bennett. “An important objective of that plan is to increase our membership base with a focus on diversifying its demographic profile. The current generation of contemporary classical composers and performers is a diverse assemblage of musical minds and we’re confident that we can attract an audience that reflects that diversity. With the Community Foundation’s support, we will finally have the resources we need to meet the challenge of audience development.”
enSRQ is celebrating its seventh season with contemporary masterworks, compelling new compositions, exciting collaborations, and world premieres. Bennett and Nickson have curated a six-program season that shines a light on the evolution of contemporary music in the 21st century. Other highlights of enSRQ’s season includes tributes to recently passed composers, George Crumb and Louis Andriessen; world premieres of newly commissioned works by the renowned British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and the emerging American percussionist/composer Shaun Tilburg; and a collaboration with Sarasota Contemporary Dance. This season concludes with a first-ever concert at the Sarasota Opera House featuring 40 musicians.
2022-2023 Season at a Glance
- First Voices: October 10, 7:30 p.m. The ominous reverberations of “Talowa’ Hiloha” (“Thunder Song”) by Jerod Impechchaachaaha’ Tate opens the season with a focus on the historically underrepresented voices of Indigenous composers. The evening also features the luminous “Imago” by Andean composer Inti Figgis-Vizueta, and Gabriela Ortiz’s “Pico-Bite-Beat”—an imaginative and intriguing musical exploration of Mesoamerican cuisine. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. Live streaming will also be available to viewers for this concert.
- Collaboration With Sarasota Contemporary Dance: December 1-4. As enSRQ has redefined the limits of new music, Sarasota Contemporary Dance has pushed the boundaries of modern dance with its inventive choreography by Leymis Bolanos Wilmott. Its multimedia exploration of global rhythms, dance, and song is the perfect collaboration. This concert will also showcase stunning scenic and projection design by Sharon McCaman, the St. Petersburg-based multidisciplinary artist. Performances are in the Asolo Repertory Theatre, 5555 N. Tamiami Trail. Live streaming will also be available to viewers for this concert.
- Crumb: January 16, 7:30 p.m. “Black Angels,” the epic lament for the troubled years of the Vietnam era is a tribute to George Crumb (1929-2022), the Pulitzer Prize-winning composer whose works are among the most frequently performed compositions in today’s musical world. Renowned soprano and enSRQ favorite, Lucy Fitz Gibbon returns to sing Crumb’s evocative “Madrigals,” and the emotionally powerful “Demeter Prelude” by Crumb’s protégé, Margaret Brouwer will also be performed. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. Live streaming will also be available to viewers for this concert.
- Vespers For A New Dark Age: February 6, 7:30 p.m. The voices of the Dallas-based Verdigris Ensemble rise in collaboration with ensembleNEWSRQ to present the compelling choral works of two internationally acclaimed composers: “The Branch Will Not Break” by Christopher Cerrone—as inspired by the poetry of James Arlington Wright; and “Vespers for a New Dark Age” by Missy Mazzoli—set to the poetry of Matthew Zapruder. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. Live streaming will also be available to viewers for this concert.
- And The Hits Keep Coming: March 20, 7:30 p.m. The virtuosic versatility of the percussionist is celebrated in a program featuring Krizts Auznieks’s “Prelude and Ether” for marimbas, vibraphone, and piano; Emma O’Halloran’s “Shell” for marimba quartet; and the world premieres of newly commissioned works for percussion ensembles by the renowned British composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and the emerging American percussionist/composer Shaun Tilburg. First Congregational Church, 1031 S. Euclid Ave., Sarasota. Live streaming will also be available to viewers for this concert.
- 1976: April 17,7:30 p.m. Forty musicians ensemble to perform a double bill of contemporary classics, both composed in 1976. HK Gruber’s vastly entertaining “Frankenstein” (a “pandemonium for baritone chansonnier and ensemble”) opens the program, and Louis Andriessen’s iconic and groundbreaking “De Staat” concludes it. Sarasota Opera House, 61 North Pineapple Ave., Sarasota. Live streaming will also be available to viewers for this concert.
Founded in 2015 by violinist Samantha Bennett and percussionist George Nickson, ensembleNEWSRQ (enSRQ) is a versatile chamber music ensemble in Sarasota, FL, dedicated to playing and advocating for the music of contemporary composers. Through thoughtfully curated and innovative programs, enSRQ demonstrates how contemporary music is a reflection of our world and cultural experience. The ensemble strives to manifest the creativity of the current generation and inspire audiences to participate in musical culture in a profound way.
About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County About the Community Foundation of Sarasota County: The Community Foundation of Sarasota County is a public charity founded in 1979 by the Southwest Florida Estate Planning Council as a resource for caring individuals and the causes they support, enabling them to make a charitable impact on the community. With assets of $520 million in more than 1,570 charitable funds, the Community Foundation awarded grants and scholarships totaling $27.5 million dollars last year in the areas of education, the arts, health and human services, civic engagement, animal welfare and the environment. Since its founding, the Community Foundation has been able to grant more than $350 million to area nonprofit organizations to our community thanks to the generosity of charitable individuals, families, and businesses. For more information, visit www.CFSarasota.org or call (941) 955-3000