Choral Artists of Sarasota Presents Saints & Singers Sunday, April 15  First Church

The concert features a cycle of best-loved spirituals and then moves on to the music of Cole Porter and showstoppers from Broadway.


(Sarasota, FL) Choral Artists of Sarasota presents “Saints & Singers,” Sunday, April 15, 7:30 p.m., at First Church, 104 S. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota. The concert begins with a cycle of best-loved spirituals and then moves on to the music of Cole Porter and showstoppers from Broadway. Tickets are $35 in advance and $40 at the door. $15 student tickets are available with ID at the door. For tickets and info, visit or call 941-387-4900.

Dr. Joseph Holt, artistic director of Choral Artists of Sarasota, explains that the concert starts with a cycle of traditional, beloved spirituals arranged by John Rutter. The cycle includes “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” “Steal Away,” “Deep River,” “I Got a Robe,” “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child,” and a rousing rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The powerful voices of the 40 Choral Artists singers will be joined by acclaimed mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours, adding her soulful interpretations of these pieces with the chorus. Inserted during the first half will also be the local premiere of “Meditation” by James Grant, a Siesta Key resident.

“These arrangements blend nuances from a variety of musical sources, starting with the African-American traditional spiritual, which itself is a blend of many different cultures,” says Holt. “Add to the mix a heathy dose of 19th-century ragtime and jazz styles, the throbbing rhythms of the New Orleans scene and a smattering of soulful blues and you get a sense of what British composer John Rutter achieves with these beloved spirituals.”

Holt adds that the second part of the concert features the chorus in several medleys highlighting Cole Porter and a contrast of hits from Broadway featuring the women and the men separately.  “This concert starts with the Saints and moves on to the Singers, but in reality it is all about the singers that form the heart of this beloved ensemble.”

“Leading Ladies: Songs that Stopped the Show,” and “Leading Men: Songs that Stopped the Show,” both arranged by Mac Huff, showcase the women and the men of Choral Artists.  These include “Adelaide’s Lament” from Guys and Dolls, “Don’t Rain on My Parade” from Funny Girl, “Bring Him Home” from Les Misérables, “Luck be a Lady” from Guys and Dolls, “Willkommen” from Cabaret and more.

The concert also features two medleys showcasing the sublime music and witticisms of Cole Porter. Both include the top 10 hits that are most familiar to audiences, including “Begin the Beguine,” “I Get a Kick,” “Just One of Those Things,” “It’s De-Lovely,” and more.

Founded in 1979, Choral Artists of Sarasota (formerly Gloria Musicae), Sarasota’s professional chorus, presents the greatest hits of the last four centuries along with lesser known gems and the work of living composers with imaginative programming and musical excellence. The chorus consists of 32 professional singers and eight apprentices.