2017 Sarasota Choral Festival

Key Chorale’s Sarasota Choral Festival is a community event open to singers high school age and older. Last year 200 voices participated in the festival and Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins extends his personal invitation to all of Sarasota’s choral groups to join our celebration of choral music in this important community outreach.

It is a perfect opportunity for singers who are unable to commit to a full season of choral rehearsals and concerts, for choral groups that want the opportunity to sing with a larger vocal ensemble, and for those who do not wish to audition to join with other choral groups and the 100+ voices of Key Chorale. The festival format includes the opportunity for private voice coaching sessions and informational programs in between rehearsals on the concert day. All singers high school age and older are invited to participate.

Open to All Singers!

High school and older • Individuals • Choirs • Choral Groups

No Auditions Necessary

Registration Fee*: $25

Click to Register

Advance registration required. Registrations close at midnight on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Sarasota Choral Festival Schedule

Tuesday, October 3, Registration/Check in 6:00 – 7:00 PM; Rehearsal 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Friday, October 6, Check-in/Pizza Party/Vocal Coaching 5:30 – 7:00 PM; Rehearsal 7:00 – 9:30 PM
Saturday*, October 7, Vocal Coaching, Rehearsals & Performance 8:15 AM – 6:00 PM

* 8:15 – 9:00 AM Check in/Complimentary Donuts & Coffee
* 10:00 1:00 PM Rehearsal
* 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch
* 3:15-3:45 Change into concert attire
* 4:00 PM Performance

What is the Sarasota Choral Festival?
Last year 150 voices participated in festival. It is a perfect opportunity for singers who are unable to commit to a full season of choral rehearsals and concerts, for choral groups that want the opportunity to sing with a larger vocal ensemble, and for those who do not wish to audition to join with other choral groups and the 100+ voices of Key Chorale.

The culmination of the 2016 Sarasota Chorale Festival at 4:00 PM on October 29, 2016, will present Alexander’s Feast (or The Power of Musick), an oratorio with music by Georg Friedrich Händel set to a libretto by Newburgh Hamilton. Handel composed the music in January 1736, and the work received its premiere at the Covent Garden Theatre, London, on February 19, 1736. The work describes the scene of a celebratory banquet after Alexander the Great’s conquest of Persia. Alexander, with his mistress Thaïs at his side, is charmed by the musician Timotheus, who by the sheer power of music arouses a wide range of emotions from charmed to intoxicated, saddened and love-sick to rage and fury. Fortunately, St Cecilia, the patron saint of music, is on hand at the end to set it all straight.

Who can sing at the Festival?
There is only one requirement….you must love to sing! The festival is open to all singers, high school age and older. Choirs and choral groups are especially encouraged to join us too. All you need to do is register! The registration fee includes music and a pizza party on Friday, October 28. 

Why participate?
This is your chance to perform a rarely heard choral masterwork of Handel (Click to listen!) with Sarasota Orchestra musicians and professional soloists, Christina Bristol, Brad Diamond, and Todd William Donovan.

Can my friends and family attend the concert?
Absolutely! Single tickets will be available on August 1.

Sarasota Choral Festival













Following last year’s festival we asked Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins to share his thoughts about the experience.

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!