Choral Artists of Sarasota Presents

“Patriotic Spectacular”

July 4 at 4:30 p.m.  at First Church, Sarasota

The Choral Artists of Sarasota salutes Independence Day with rousing songs celebrating America,

including a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., a homage to Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday, and songs devoted to peace and justice.

The concert also features a salute to our armed forces.


(Sarasota, FL) The Choral Artists of Sarasota celebrates Independence Day with “Patriotic Spectacular,” featuring rousing songs celebrating America and the concept of peace and justice, 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, spirituals, and a tribute celebrating Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with a choral suite from West Side Story. The concert also includes a moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the 50th anniversary of his assassination. For this, Nate Jacobs, artistic director of the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe, will narrate the Florida premiere of “His Light Still Shines,” composed by the late Moses Hogan. Songs devoted to the cause of peace and justice will also be highlighted, with renditions of “We Shall Overcome,” “We Won’t Give Up” from the musical Indivisible, a klezmer-style Hebrew hymn to peace, the American spiritual, “We Shall Walk Together in the Valley of Peace,” and others. The concert also includes a salute to our armed forces and traditional patriotic favorites, “America, the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”  Free parking is available at the Zenith Garage on Mira Mar Court. 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.

“This concert features songs that reflect love of country and our eternal struggle to find peace in our day,” says Dr. Joseph Holt, Choral Artists’ artistic director. “As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools,” and I find no better time than now to re-examine the eternal words of this great civil rights hero. Finding peace and harmony is a basic tenet of freedom and independence – a lofty goal for being an American.”

Holt explains that he is pleased to include the Florida premiere of “His Light Still Shines.” The work is a moving tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., both composed and arranged by the late pianist, conductor, and arranger of international renown, Moses Hogan. “Hogan incorporates several well-known spirituals, including “Done Made My Vow to the Lord,” “Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen” and “Hold Out Your Light,” with original music that underscores words that enshrine the legacy of MLK,” says Holt. “The work includes quotes from Dr. King, narrated by Nate Jacobs, an iconic figure in our community whose voice resonates with drama and clarity.”

In addition to popular Americana musical fare, Holt adds that the concert includes a tribute to Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday with a choral suite of West Side Story. “As one of the quartet of composers that defined American culture through music, Bernstein is a leading musical giant of the 20th century. Alongside Irving Berlin, George Gershwin and Aaron Copland, his contributions to American culture are staggering and we proudly salute those accomplishments in this medley of favorites.”

The concert also features songs promoting peace, including the “Anthem of Peace,” a powerful message in song based on the Estonian folksong, “The Power of Song,” combined with the American spiritual, “We Shall Walk in The Valley of Peace.”  Other works related to peace include “Anthem” from the musical, Chess, and a new setting of the Irish tune “Danny Boy” with words invoking peace.

Traditional favorites will include “America the Beautiful,” performed as a stunning a cappella arrangement, “My Country Tis of Thee,” a barbershop arrangement of “Stars and Stripes,” “God Bless America” and a tribute to the armed forces.

“Celebrating our national pride and reflecting upon the values and virtues that define us as Americans is our gift to the Sarasota community as only the Choral Artists of Sarasota can offer,” says Holt. “This July 4th concert is the perfect prelude to an evening of downtown dining, enjoying the fireworks over Sarasota Bay, and saluting patriotic fervor!”


About the Choral Artists of Sarasota

The Choral Artists of Sarasota (formerly Gloria Musicae), now entering its 40th 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