The Choral Artists of Sarasota salute Independence Day with rousing songs celebrating America, including perennial favorites “God Bless America,” “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” “This is My Country,” “the Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “America, the Beautiful” and more. A new setting of the Gettysburg Address will be featured, as well as a salute to our armed forces. The concert will be dedicated to the memory of June LeBell.

(Sarasota, FL) The Choral Artists of Sarasota celebrate Independence Day with “Voices of Freedom,” featuring rousing songs celebrating America, July 4, 4:30 p.m., at First Church, 104 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota. Under the direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, the concert features traditional patriotic songs, a new musical setting of the Gettysburg Address, a tribute to the heroes of World Wars I and II, and a salute to our armed forces. Free parking is available at the Zenith Garage on Mira Mar Court. Tickets are $30 for advance purchase; $35 at the door. Student tickets are $15 at the door on day of concert. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit www.gloriamusicae.org or call 941-387-4900.

“This concert features musical pieces that form the heart and soul of our collective national sense of pride and patriotism,” says Dr. Joseph Holt, Choral Artists’ artistic director. “Choral Artists celebrates through music the thread of “liberty and justice for all” that characterizes our nation. Complete with all the choral fireworks of our most cherished national anthems, we salute our American Independence Day with a variety of music that engages and entertains.”

Holt explains that he chose arrangements that “complement some of our major historical moments, defining us as uniquely American, and providing us strength and comfort during times of adversity.”

With the recent passing of long-time singing member, board member and executive director, June LeBell, Holt has decided to present this concert in her honor.  “June LeBell was a much beloved member of the Choral Artists of Sarasota family and it was her vision to present these July 4 performances by the ensemble, then called Gloria Musicae. It is fitting that we honor her memory and musical contribution by dedicating this performance to her.”

In addition to patriotic standards such as George M. Cohan’s “You’re a Grand Old Flag,” John Philip Sousa’s “Star and Stripes Forever,” Julia Ward Howe’s “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America,” the performance includes a setting of the Gettysburg Address by Mark Hayes, a traditional Bach chorale with words by Pete Seeger set in the 60s, and an unusual pairing of “My Country Tis of Thee” with “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” arranged by Moses Hogan.

“This July 4th concert is the perfect prelude to an evening of downtown dining and enjoying the fireworks over Sarasota Bay,” says Holt. “There’s no better way to celebrate our great American heritage and national pride!”

 About the Choral Artists of Sarasota

The Choral Artists of Sarasota, now in its 39th season, features 32 of the region’s most notable professional 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, ages 16 to 22, are invited to join the group each year. For more information, visit www.gloriamusicae.org.

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