This choral group is comprised of people living with Parkinson’s, family members, caregivers, and volunteer singers from Key Chorale. Led by Artistic Director, Joseph Caulkins, the Off-Key Chorale provides an opportunity for individuals with Parkinson’s disease to improve and strengthen their voices through singing, and provides a fellowship activity for people whose social opportunities are often limited by this disease.
Each semester Mr. Caulkins creates a unique curriculum of vocal exercises, breathing exercises, and musical selections around a theme which concludes with an end of session performance for friends and family.
Off-Key Chorale is a partnership with the Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, Key Chorale of Sarasota and Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota.
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. To learn more please visit their website at ParkinsonsNeuroChallenge.org.
With support from the Isermann Family Foundation
The Observer Group’s Nick Friedman wrote a wonderful article about “Off-Key” Chorale, click to read “Off Key Chorale’s Healing Voices”
Come Together Choir – Online Choral Rehearsals
Key Chorale launched their Come Together Choir Online Choral Rehearsals in March 2020. Since then more than 600 singers from all over the country have registered and participated. The first two volumes have had more than 6,000 views to date. Key Chorale launched their 3rd installment of Come Together Choir – Online Choral Rehearsals in spring 2021. This outreach isn’t just for local singers, but can be experienced by anyone, anywhere in the country via Key Chorale’s YouTube channel.
These episodes are shot from the perspective of the choir, focused on Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins as he guides 10 singers and YOU through each fun rehearsal. Every episode builds on the previous one, giving you a sense of accomplishment and of being right there. Although this is not an interactive experience, the project is conceived to give the feel of being right there as a singer in the choir. So turn up the volume and sing your heart out with the Come Together Choir!
VOLUME 1: “SIDE BY SIDE” includes a wide range of music from Americana, to the Broadway stage, to gospel and even the Beatles. You’ll learn well-known songs like This Land is Your Land, Friendship, When I’m Sixty-Four, This Little Light of Mine, and more. Volume 1 premiered in the spring of 2020. All 6 recorded episodes are available to view NOW on Key Chorale’s YouTube channel – CLICK HERE
VOLUME 2 – “THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGIN'” celebrates music from the folk era of the 50s and 60s. You’ll learn 11 great songs including If I Had a Hammer, Blowin’ in the Wind, Down by the Riverside, We Shall Overcome, California Dreamin’ and more. Volume 2 premiered in the fall of 2020. All 8 recorded episodes are available to view NOW on Key Chorale’s YouTube channel – CLICK HERE
VOLUME 3 – “TOO DARN HOT! The Music of Cole Porter” includes music from the Great American Songbook. Participants will learn well-known songs like Anything Goes, Night and Day, Another Op-‘nin’, Another Show, You’re the Top, and more. Volume 3 premiered in the spring of 2021. All 8 recorded episodes are available to view NOW on Key Chorale’s YouTube channel – CLICK HERE
What to do to get started?
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER and fill out the short form. We will email you copies of either the lyrics or music for any of the 3 volumes. Print your copies, or view them from another device, and get ready to sing your hearts out while practicing social distancing from the convenience of your own phone, tablet or computer.
Mountaintop Experience in Southwest Florida
By Joseph Caulkins
I’ve been fortunate in my life to have had many mountaintop experiences from standing atop Grand Teton in Wyoming to the snowy summit of Europe’s 15,578-foot Mont Blanc. Surprisingly, my most recent mountaintop experience didn’t come surrounded by jagged rocky pinnacles, but instead in an unassuming exercise room at the end of a long hallway in the Sarasota Memorial Institute For Advanced Medicine.
Once a week as the sweaty stretch class exits, volunteers rush to set chairs, bring in a keyboard and music stands and within minutes the exercise room is transformed into a rehearsal hall. The 40 seats are quickly filled as singers from all over the county take their places knowing what most choirs do; there is something magical, something empowering, when one voice joins another. Suddenly the sum is greater than the individual parts, and we are better for the effort, the experience, and just the plain fun of it. Read the full essay