Date ArticleType
10/4/2017 Member News
Key Chorale’s 33rd season celebrating choral music

SARASOTA, FL, October 4, 2017 - Key Chorale, Sarasota’s Symphonic Chorus, will begin its 33rd season with the 5th annual Sarasota Choral Festival, sponsored by the Woman’s Exchange, and held from October 3 to October 7, 2017. Participation in the festival is open to all singers high school age and older, no audition required, and is the perfect opportunity for singers who cannot commit to an entire season to celebrate their love for choral music. Last year, 160 voices participated in the 3-day festival, which includes rehearsals, master classes, and guest lecturers.

The festival will culminate in a performance entitled “Mystical & Divine,” with professional orchestra, on October 7, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Sarasota. The concert repertoire includes Franz Schubert’s Mass in G Major, Gerald Finzi’s Romance for string orchestra, and Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs, featuring baritone Jason Burke.

On October 22 at 4:00 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, the Key Chorale Chamber Singers, a select professional core ensemble of 25-30 members of Key Chorale, will present “American Roots,” an exploration of the rich history of American choral music from Colonial times to Appalachian shape note songs, Shaker melodies, and even a touch of Bluegrass. The concert will feature composers such as William Billings, Aaron Copland, Kevin Siegfried, Carol Barnett, and more.

Key Chorale will ring in the holiday season with a performance of exquisite festive music specially programmed by Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins and guest conductor and composer Dale Warland, 1995 winner of the Chorus America Michael Korn Founder’s Award, the highest honor for a choral conductor in the United States. For more than 30 years The Dale Warland Singers were acclaimed as America’s premiere choir. Their annual Echoes of Christmas radio broadcasts were beloved by public radio listeners worldwide. Harp, oboe and cello combine with the Key Chorale and Chamber Singers in a stunning program of Dale's favorite settings and carols of the season. The concert will be performed twice, first on November 26 at 4:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Sarasota, and again on November 28 at 7:00 p.m. at Venice Presbyterian Church. While in residency, Dale will coach the State College of Florida Concert Choir and will also join Key Chorale as a special guest at its annual luncheon on Monday, November 6 at the Sarasota Yacht club.

In February, Key Chorale will present Franz Joseph Haydn’s Mass in Time of War and Beethoven’s rousing Choral Fantasy for piano, soloists, and chorus. Joining Key Chorale for the Choral Fantasy is acclaimed guest pianist Jeffrey Biegel, one of the most respected and prolific artists of his generation in performance and recordings, as well as a chamber music collaborator, champion of new music, composer, arranger and educator. Joining Jeffrey are six professional soloists: sopranos Kathryn Mueller and Lorraine Murphy, mezzo-soprano Robyn Rocklein, tenors Matt Morgan and Rob Davis, and baritone Dan Cartlidge. The performance will take place on February 17 at 4:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church. During his residency, Mr. Biegel will offer a piano master class open to the public and will coach the State College of Florida Concert Choir, in addition to appearing as the special guest at a Key Chorale cocktail reception on February 15.

The Key Chorale Chamber Singers will perform their second concert, “French Impressions,” on March 10 at 4:00 p.m. at Holley Hall. In honor of the 100th anniversary of the death of Claude Debussy, this professional core choral ensemble will present works from French Impressionist composers Debussy, Ravel, Fauré, and Duruflé, including Debussy’s Trois Chansons and Fauré’s heavenly Cantique de Jean Racine, and pianists Nancy Yost Olson and Stephen Fancher will perform Debussy’s Petite Suite for Piano Four Hands.

Cirque des Voix®, Key Chorale’s dynamic collaboration with The Circus Arts Conservatory, returns to the Big Top in March to celebrate the music of film composer Danny Elfman. This dynamic blended presentation of the musical and circus arts, unlike anything in the country, features the 100+ voices of Key Chorale, a full orchestra, and spellbinding circus acts. Best known for his work in collaboration with director Tim Burton, composer Danny Elfman created one of the most distinctive bodies of work in contemporary film music. His evocative music is showcased in this integrated homage to characters such as Batman, Beetlejuice, Spiderman, Edward Scissorhands, and even Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure. Performances will take place on March 23 at 7:30 p.m., March 24 at 2:00 p.m., and March 25 at 5:00 p.m.

The 33rd season closes with the 5th annual presentation of “Tomorrow’s Voices Today,” a collaborative concert featuring Key Chorale and Sarasota County high school choir students. This year, the choirs from Riverview High School, Booker High School, and Sarasota High School will join the voices of Key Chorale under the baton of Joseph Caulkins to create a festival chorus of over 200 voices of all ages. The concert will be held at Riverview High School April 27.

About Key Chorale
Since its inception in 1985, Key Chorale has been performing and promoting choral music of the highest quality that embraces the character of our community. The chorale is comprised of 110 auditioned voices with a professional base of section leaders and core singers. Under the baton of Joseph Caulkins, now in his 11th season as Artistic Director, Key Chorale has become a producer of collaborative musical events that embrace and support our community, and recently released their latest album, Arise – Choral Music of Ola Gjeilo, featuring 2 world premiere recordings commissioned by Key Chorale. Available at

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The Greater Sarasota Chamber
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1945 Fruitville Road
Sarasota, Florida 34236
Phone: (941) 955-8187 | Fax: (941) 366-5621