Key Chorale, Sarasota’s Symphonic Chorus, is much more than a just another choral group. While known for creative and innovative programming, Key Chorale audiences know that every concert will reach further and exceed all expectations. Key Chorale is also an integral part of the arts and cultural community of Sarasota and prides itself on giving back in new, meaningful ways each year. This year we have three very special events planned for our community.
Sarasota Choral Festival
On October 14, 2014 Key Chorale launched the inaugural Sarasota Choral Festival. The festival was opened to singers in our community who always wanted the experience of singing with a professional choir but are unable to make the time commitment to being a Chorale member. The response was fantastic and we were delighted to welcome fifty singers who had the unique opportunity to rehearse and perform Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna under the baton of Artistic Director and Conductor, Joseph Caulkins.
The community singers and Chorale members rehearsed for three days, finishing the week with a concert on October 18, which included a screening of the documentary, Shining Night: A Portrait of Composer Morten Lauridsen.
Q&A with Joseph Caulkins
What was your favorite moment during the festival?
As the singers arrived, they needed to check the seating chart and see where they we going to be seated. A few minutes before rehearsal started I looked at the long line forming down the aisle of Church of the Palms. It was a LONG line! Seeing the anticipation on the faces, as they waited in place, watching them making new friends with our Chorale members, I knew this was going to be a successful event.
Were you nervous about only having three rehearsals to prepare the community singers?
I certainly was anxious to hear the group for the first time. You just don’t really know what to expect with a first-time event like this. With an open invitation, you can never know for sure what the level of singers will be like. Once we did our first warm-ups, I was thrilled by the sounds we were creating.
There are so many people who love to sing in our community and we were very pleased with the number and quality of singers that participated. They brought a lot of joy and enthusiasm to their music making and that was really infectious all week!
What is “Off-Key” Chorale? It is collaboration!
Neuro Challenge Foundation, Inc. created a partnership with Key Chorale of Sarasota and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota with the support of the Sarasota Memorial Institute for Advanced Medicine (IFAM).
This choral group is comprised of Parkinson’s patients, family members, and other interested persons. They will meet for eight weeks beginning October 21 from 1:00 to 2:00 PM at the Institute for Advanced Medicine in the group exercise room of Sarasota Memorial HealthFit. Led by Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins, the Off-Key Chorale provides an opportunity for Parkinson’s patients to improve and strengthen their voices through singing, and provides a fellowship activity for people whose social opportunities are often limited by this disease.
Neuro Challenge Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers through service, education and research.
Tomorrow’s Voices Today
In September 2013, Key Chorale launched a new education outreach program, Tomorrow’s Voices Today. The program was developed to create a unique mentoring opportunity and a chance for high school students to be led by a professional conductor.
This year’s program will showcase three exceptional high school choirs from Booker, Sarasota, and Riverview High schools.ach school’s choir performs independently, then joins Key Chorale in a festival chorus that will be led by Maestro Joseph Caulkins. This is a unique mentoring opportunity and a chance for the high school students to be led by a professional conductor helping to create a spark that lasts a lifetime.
Tomorrow’s Voices Today provides an opportunity for each school group to present their best work to a wider audience than would ordinarily be the case and will incorporate three compositions using all the school ensembles and the 100+ trained voices of Key Chorale. The Chorale will present the world premiere of a new orchestration for Three Days by the Sea by composer Gwyneth Walker and the Festival Choir will prepare a work by Walker who will be in attendance and coach the students on her compositions.
Read Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins’ thoughts on the importance of mentoring young people, Who Lights the Spark?
Tomorrow’s Voices Today
April 30, 2016
Riverview High School