Sarasota Choral Festival

On October 14, 2014 Key Chorale launched the inaugural Sarasota Choral Festival. 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 a full season of rehearsals and concerts, and for choral groups wanting to sing with a larger vocal ensemble to celebrate their love for choral music. The response from the community is enthusiastic and each year we welcome at least fifty singers who have the unique opportunity to rehearse and perform under the baton of Artistic Director and Conductor, Joseph Caulkins.

The community singers and Chorale members rehearse for three days, finishing the week with a public concert with professional soloists and orchestra. The festival format also provides other exciting opportunities for the choral singer at any level, such as vocal health clinics, master classes with professional voice teachers, and guest lecturers from our arts community. Ringling School of Art + Design Key Chorale Intern Frances Bukovsky created the amazing video above, “A Life of Music,” to capture Maestro Caulkins’ thoughts on the transformative power of choral music and how the Sarasota Choral Festival brings together a diverse community through a love for singing.

The 2019 Key Chorale Sarasota Choral Festival will honor first responders with Stephen Paulus’ Grammy-winning composition Prayers and Remembrances commissioned for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy. Paulus honors the victims while addressing the universal experience of those grieving and healing from loss of loved ones – in his words, “a work that would be spiritual but not necessarily religious.”
We will also be celebrating three heroes of our local Fire, EMT and Police departments whose stories will be told through compelling mini-documentaries created by Ringling College of Art & Design students. More than 150 singers of the Festival Chorus and members of the Sarasota Orchestra will present uplifting and empowering music highlighting the importance of our First Responders.

Meet our Heroes

Jose Reyes, Jr. is a Fire Medic at Sarasota County Fire Station No. 6. He has received 2 Phoenix Awards. Sarasota County Fire Department’s Phoenix Award recognizes emergency personnel for successful resuscitation of a cardiac arrest victim, resulting in discharge from the hospital. This citation bar is awarded to a member or team for saving a life from an otherwise final outcome. “Joey” is a native Crucian from St. Croix where he grew up as child and eventually joined the Navy in 1994. His passion to help people and to be a part of something bigger than himself as well as the sense of accomplishment he feels after every shift, knowing he made a difference in someone’s life, are big reasons why he has chosen to serve his community as a first responder.

Miriam Troyer
was hired in 2014 as a Firefighter/EMT at Sarasota County Fire Station 12 and became a Paramedic in April 2017 and is now a FireMedic and Paramedic In-Charge. Miriam grew up in an Amish family in Ohio with 12 siblings, including 11 brothers! Even though she was surrounded by horse and buggies, it was the sound of the siren that caught her attention. While she had never met a female firefighter/paramedic, she knew in her heart it was what she wanted to be. Miriam put herself through fire school after moving to Florida and then to Paramedic school as a single mother with twin boys. It is her love of helping others and making a difference that fulfills her. She also gives back by teaching fire safety classes at Incarnation Catholic School and teaching students with special needs at Oak Park School.


Dominic Harris is a Sarasota Police School Resource Officer at Booker High School. He was born and raised in the projects of Newtown by a single parent. He is a graduate of Booker High School and now protects those same halls he used to roam as a student. He was a plumber for 15 years before a mentor of his, Police Chief Abbott asked him about attending the police academy. He became a police officer in 2011 and has been a Resource Officer at Booker High School for the last three years. He is also founder of the Brotherhood of Men Mentor Group, which provides a supportive environment, fostering life-skill enhancement and personal development in young at-risk males. Young boys, beginning at 8 years-old, have weekly interaction with community leaders and mentors who teach them to lead positive, productive and spiritual lifestyles.

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