Sunday, December 11, at Church of the Redeemer
Ring in the holidays with a traditional concert featuring carols resounding with themes of peace interspersed with “In Terra Pax,” a work of childlike serenity that is both intimate and universal by British composer Gerald Finzi.
(November 15, 2022) Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 44th season, entitled “United in Song,” continues with “Peace on Earth,” Sunday, December 11, 7 p.m., at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. The Choral Artists singers, conducted by Artistic Director Joseph Holt, will sing 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 celebrated British composer Gerald Finzi. Soloists include Danielle Talamantes, soprano; Kerry Wilkerson, baritone; Susan Versage, piano; and Dr. Ann Stephenson-Moe, organ. Kevin Trapasso, associate conductor, will also conduct some of the selections. Tickets are $35; students $5. A “Meet the Music” session with Holt is Thursday, December 1, 5:30-7 p.m., at Art to Walk On, 16 South Palm Avenue in downtown Sarasota. The event, free to all ticket holders for the concert, includes a wine and hors d’oeuvre reception and a presentation by Holt with musical guests highlighting the program. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org or call 941-387-4900.
“The music of the holiday season is nurturing and soothing and some of the most familiar and recognizable tunes bathe us in a cradle of comfort,” says Holt. “Selecting peace as a central motive for this concert has provided inspiration to program some of our most cherished carols alongside newer songs with a similar message.”
The program includes “In Terra Pax” by Gerald Finzi. “This piece, one of the most beloved settings of the Christmas scene from the 20th century, is the cornerstone of this performance,” says Holt. He adds that Finzi incorporates the poetry of Robert Bridges with passages from St. Luke’s version of the Christmas story, creating a work that is sublime and dramatic and features baritone and soprano soloists. “Using musical quotes from ‘The First Noel,’ Finzi weaves a musical thread that is mystical, spiritual and splendidly glorious in scope,” says Holt. The two guest soloists for this work are Danielle Talamantes and Kerry Wilkerson, who have appeared on past programs with Choral Artists.
Other familiar classics of the season, including “O Holy Night,” “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing,” “Silent Night,” and “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day” are featured throughout the concert in creative arrangements, underscoring the overall message of peace for all during this season.
Holt says that Choral Artist’s “United in Song” season “takes us on a journey of renewal, with hope for a brighter future for all. 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. The five performances we will present in our 2022-2023 season bring us together through song, a symphony of vocal sound that expresses our inner thoughts and emotions.”
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.
The Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 2022-2023 season schedule:
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.