Gloria Musicae’s 39th season starts with a new name: Choral Artists of Sarasota. The season, entitled “Celebrating the Classics,” showcases exciting new arrangements and pairings of classics by Bach, Handel, Orff, Brahms, Clara Schumann, and more.
(Sarasota, FL) Gloria Musicae launches its 39th season with more of the innovative, cutting-edge programming that has become the organization’s hallmark under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt. It also has a brand-new name: Choral Artists of Sarasota.
What’s in a name?
Holt explains that, after organizational review sponsored by the Gulf Coast Community Foundation, the board decided a new name would better reflect the group’s mission and function. “The ensemble is comprised of professional singers—choral artists,” says Holt. “There’s no mistaking who we are with our new name.” He adds that the new name also reflects “our regional affiliation. We join with other organizations, including Sarasota Orchestra, Sarasota Opera and Sarasota Ballet, by showing our pride in our hometown.”
The Choral Artists of Sarasota comprises 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers. In addition, as part of the organization’s educational outreach, eight young singers, ages 16 to 22, are invited to join the group each year. One of these gifted singers will be awarded the Barbara Diles Apprentice Scholarship, a funding program to support vocal training at an institution of higher learning or to support private lessons.
“A vital part of our mission is to engage young people to participate in choral music—both as singers and audience members,” says Susan Burke, executive director of Choral Artists of Sarasota. She adds the organization also provides other educational outreach initiatives, including behind-the-scenes dress rehearsal “sneak previews” for area students.
Holt says that the 2017-2018 season, “Celebrating the Classics,” pays homage to the organization’s new name by showcasing some of the most famous and beloved of all choral music. “We’ll shed new light on masterpiece classics with a few twists thrown into the musical mix,” he says. “Audiences who experience Choral Artists performances are captivated by the vocal polish, musical artistry and innovative programs that characterize my vision for the ensemble. We continue on the next chapter of our musical journey with unique collaborations, thrilling choral masterpieces, and a commitment to artistic excellence and elegance.”
The Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 2017-2018 season features:
· J.S. Bach: Mass in B Minor: Choral highlight of the BachFest Sarasota, celebrating the master musician, J.S. Bach. One of Bach’s last completed compositions, this performance includes soloists Adelaide Boedecker, Thea Lobo, Blake Friedman and Calvin Griffin. Saturday, November 18, and Sunday, November 19, at Church of the Redeemer.
· Too Hot to Handel: With sizzling hot soloists, a gospel choir and a bluesy, jazz-inspired score, Handel’s “Messiah” comes to life in a brand-new way. Sunday, December 10, at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall.
· Carl Orff: Carmina Burana: In collaboration with Sarasota Contemporary Dance, this concert features the quintessential dramatic flair of “Carmina Burana” with cutting-edge choreography. Featured soloists include Catherine Wethington, soprano, Timur Bekbosunov, tenor, Jason Stearns, baritone, and the Sarasota Young Voices. Saturday, February 3, and Sunday, February 4, at Church of the Palms.
· Johannes Brahms: Ein Deutsches Requiem and Clara Schumann: Piano Trio in G Minor:Brahms’ choral masterpiece is presented in a new arrangement for chamber ensemble, featuring Emily Martin, soprano, and Marcus DeLoach, baritone. Paired with the Brahms is the “Piano Trio” by Clara Schumann—highlighting the unique relationship between these two giants of the Romantic era. Sunday, April 15, at First Church.
· Showtime! An appearance with the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota highlighting the music of the screen with soloists Jennifer Sheehan, soprano, and Tad Czyzewski, tenor. Featured music includes tributes to vocal legends Mario Lanza and Judy Garland and a medley of hits from Mamma Mia! Sunday, May 13, at Sarasota Opera House.
· A Patriotic Spectacular: The Choral Artists of Sarasota raise their voices in song to celebrate national Independence Day with a rousing concert full of inspiration, patriotism and choral fireworks. Wednesday, July 4, at First Church.
In addition to the season’s offerings, the women of Choral Artists of Sarasota will appear with the Sarasota Orchestra in March in a performance of Holst’s “The Planets.” A vocal quartet from Choral Artists will perform PDQ Bach’s “Liebeslieder Polkas” for the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota as part of BachFest Sarasota on Wednesday, November 15.
Season packages and individual tickets, ranging from $20 to $75, go on sale August 1 for the 2017-2018 season. For more information about the Choral Artists of Sarasota, visit www.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org or call 941-387-4900.
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.ChoralArtistsSarasota.org.