The Artistic Director of Key Chorale

Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins

Versatile, with a clear beat and known for his innovative programming, Maestro Caulkins is at home with music from classics to pops, baroque to ballet. His work alongside Erich Kunzel and Dale Warland and his time under the tutelage of Helmuth Rilling at the Oregon Bach Festival have shaped him into a sought after conductor.

Joseph is the Artistic Director of Sarasota’s Key Chorale and for nine seasons was the Associate Conductor/Director of Choruses for the Southwest Florida Symphony. In 2010, he founded Vocal Artistry, a 22-voice chamber choir, as an outreach of the music ministry of First Baptist Church Fort Myers, where he is Director of Music Ministries. With his choruses Mr. Caulkins has released four CDs, led three European concert tours, conducted numerous premieres and commissioned works from Dale Warland, Eric Whitacre, and Ola Gjeilo among others.

Joseph has taken his audiences to unexpected places including: a dramatic performance of Richard Einhorn’s dynamic oratorio, Voices of Light, written to accompany Carl Dreyer’s 1928 silent film classic “The Passion of Joan of Arc”, a collaboration with the Sarasota Opera and the Sarasota Film Society; an innovative program titled Mozart Meets Radiohead with edgy string quintet Sybarite5 and Key Chorale; the US premiere of James Whitbourn’s Annelies, a setting of the Diary of Anne Frank, which the Herald-Tribune called a “Triumph”; and the highly acclaimed Cirque des Voix™, an innovative concert experience with Circus Sarasota. The Herald-Tribune said of Cirque des Voix™:

“This was not simply a concert taking place in a tent with some circus acts in front of the orchestra and chorus. Rather, we saw the Maestro transformed to Ringmaster and programmed music which perfectly meshed with the nature of each circus act.”

An experienced Alpinist, Mountain Joe has climbed over 100 peaks throughout the US, Canada, France, and Switzerland including Mount Rainier, Grand Teton, the 15,776 foot Mont Blanc, and the iconic Matterhorn. After 25 years of writing for his musical career Joseph now turns his attention to writing short stories about life, the mountains, and every now and then – music.

Joseph resides in Fort Myers with his wife Michelle. The intrepid pair recently acquired a small vacation home in France, near, yes, more mountains.

For more information, visit