Key Chorale, the Suncoast’s premier symphonic chorus, first concert of the season is Tango on September 23, 4 PM at Church of the Palms in Sarasota.under the baton of Artistic Director Joseph Caulkins, announces Season 39. This season you’ll experience a U.S. premiere by an Iranian composer based on an ancient Persian love story, be swept away by the Argentine Tango, be immersed in the genius of Johann Sebastian Bach, and awe-struck by the spine-tingling harmonies of Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen. Combine that with dynamic collaborations with The Sarasota Ballet, The Circus Arts Conservatory, Artist Series Concerts, Modern Marimba, and The Venice Symphony and Key Chorale knows you will agree, Season 39 is truly “One of a Kind.”
Season 39, concerts at a glance:
September 23 – Tango, celebrating the Argentine Tango
October 13-15 –Bachtoberfest – 3-day festival with Bach & Beer
November 18 – CEASAR: Power. Fate. Conquest. – An Artist Series Concerts collaboration
November 26 – Wintertide, with The Sarasota Ballet’s Studio Company
February 10 – Triumph of Love, U.S. Premiere of a Persian Love Story
February 20 – Tomorrow’s Voices Today, High School Choral Festival
February 23 & 24 – Disney’s Maestro, A Tribute to Alan Menken – A Venice Symphony collaboration
March 22 & 23 – Cirque des Voix® with The Circus Arts Conservatory
April 7 – Light & Gold: Luminous and lavish settings by Eric Whitacre & Morten Lauridsen
April 23 & 24 – The Crown Jewel Finale – A Venice Symphony collaboration
“When we say, “One of a Kind,” we are highlighting what makes Key Chorale unique, says Maestro Joseph Caulkins. Our creative ingenuity and collaborative spirit are the special sauce that goes into each and every program. These are programs you cannot experience anywhere else in the country. They are cultivated and crafted into imaginative collaborations that linger well after the final curtain call. They are performances that entertain and enlighten in powerful ways and fill your soul with joy.”
The season kicks off on September 23 with “Tango.” Billboard Top 10 Duo Ben & Winnie join Key Chorale to celebrate the passion and sizzle of the Argentine Tango. Bandoneonist Ben Bogart, pianist Winnie Cheung, and 4 traditional tango dancers take you to the streets of Buenos Aires.
On October 13-15, Key Chorale Chamber Singers and Church of the Redeemer presents its unique take on Oktoberfest, with a 3-day festival celebrating the music and genius of Johann Sebastian Bach. Enjoy four amazing concerts featuring the stunning virtuosity of soprano Mary Wilson, trumpeter Aaron Romm, vocalists, and chamber orchestra. Concluding with a Biergarten Experience of German food, beers from Calusa Brewing, and music from Bill Milner’s Oompah Band. Bach and Beer – a perfect combination!
Saturday, November 18 Key Chorale Chamber Singers and Booker High VPA Choir will collaborate with the Artist Series Concerts for a truly unique program. Violin phenom Alexander Markov will present classical favorites, followed by his original composition Caesar, for electric violin, organ, choir, percussion, rhythm section and orchestral musicians.
On November 26 “Wintertide” will blend Spanish and Mexican carols in Conrad Susa’s Carols and Lullabies with John Rutter’s chilly choral cycle When Icicles Hang. Key Chorale and The Sarasota Ballet Studio Company entwine dance and music for this uncommon program celebrating the blue nights of winter and the magic of the season.
Witness the U.S. Premiere of The Legend of Bijan and Manijeh by Iranian composer Farhad Poupel, for piano, choir, and orchestra, with concert pianist Jeffrey Biegel on February 10. This evocative work is based on an ancient Persian love story taken from the Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), an epic poem by Persian poet Ferdowsi written between 977 and 1010 CE. Other love stories, mythical and historical, are brought to life through the music of the great composers.
On February 20, celebrate the power of choral music through an inspired performance by more than 200 singers of all ages, from high school students to seniors for Tomorrow’s Voices Today, High School Choral Festival. This intergenerational choral festival has inspired countless high school students by encouraging music-making at the highest level. Hear some of the very best repertoire of the season from the Booker, Riverview, and Sarasota High School choirs performing separately and alongside Key Chorale.
Key Chorale joins Music Director Troy Quinn and The Venice Symphony for three performances in late February for a concert of modern classics from Alan Menken, the award-winning composer of the music from Disney’s Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Little Mermaid and of course, Beauty and the Beast. Bring your family to relive these classic scores that have shaped generations of music and movie lovers alike.
March 22 & 23 marks the 13th year of “Cirque des Voix®”, Circus of the Voices presented with the Circus Arts Conservatory. Experience a brand-new show combining dramatic, heart stopping circus acts with riveting music by the 110+ voices of Key Chorale and the mastery of the incomparable Cirque Orchestra. Cirque des Voix® is an unforgettable fusion of the circus and musical arts in a performance unlike any other.
“Light & Gold” on April 7 showcases Eric Whitacre and Morten Lauridsen who are two of the most popular and performed choral composers of our time. Join the Key Chorale Chamber Singers, Principal Keyboardist Glenn Priest, and the musicians of Modern Marimba as they present some of their most hauntingly beautiful works full of memorable, spine-tingling harmonies. Hear the Florida premiere of Whitacre’s All Seems Beautiful to Me and Lauridsen’s masterpiece inspired by light, Lux Aeterna.
The season concludes on April 26 & 27 with a Venice Symphony Collaboration. The Venice Symphony’s 50th anniversary season concludes with their biggest concert ever as they welcome Key Chorale and acclaimed vocalists Deanna Breiwick and Dashon Burton. You will feel like royalty as the orchestra serenades you with Hans Zimmer’s Main Title from The Crown, William Walton’s Crown Imperial, Ralph Vaughan Williams’ English Folk Song Suite, and the choral masterwork Dona nobis pacem by Vaughan Williams.
In support of education and community outreach, Key Chorale will hold their annual Perfect Pitch luncheon on November 6, at 11:30 AM at the Sarasota Yacht Club. Enjoy performances by Key Chorale’s Chamber Singers, 2023/24 Student Scholars and a special operatic tribute to Sarasota Opera’s Maestro DeRenzi. There will also be an opportunity to learn more about their award-winning community and educational outreach and to sponsor a Student Scholar for the season. On March 4th, the Key Chorale’s Student Scholars will showcase solos and group numbers at the Annual Student Scholar Soirée and Recital.
Beyond this full season of musical presentations, Key Chorale is involved in the community through their outreach groups “Off-Key Chorale”, for those living with Parkinson’s, and “Where Are My Keys? Chorale for those dealing with memory loss. “Off-Key Chorale” is a partnership with Neuro Challenge Foundation for Parkinson’s, and “Where Are My Keys? Chorale partners with Senior Friendship Center and JFCS of the Suncoast. With fall and spring sessions, Maestro 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.