Press Release – What Sweeter Music

Choral Artists of Sarasota Presents

What Sweeter Music
Sunday, December 19, at Church of the Redeemer

The holidays will resound with spectacular brass, organ, and choral arrangements of Christmas classics. The concert features arrangements by one of the world’s finest brass quintets, the Canadian Brass. One of the founding members of this venerated ensemble, Ronald Romm, will be lead trumpet for this Choral Artists performance. Also featuring Amy Jo Connours, mezzo-soprano and organists Sam Nelson and Ann Stephenson-Moe.

(November 23, 2021) Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 43rd season, “Carried Away,” continues with “What Sweeter Music,” Sunday, December 19, 5 p.m., at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota. The concert features spectacular brass, organ, and choral arrangements, notably by the Canadian Brass, of Christmas classics. Mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours, and organists Ann Stephenson-Moe and Sam Nelson join the 30 Choral Artists singers for this joyful holiday concert. Tickets are $35; $5 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 941-387-4900. For information about Covid health and safety protocol, visit health-safety-protocol.

Joseph Holt, artistic director for Choral Artists, says that the group’s holiday program has been a favorite for years. “Now, more than ever, there’s a need to gather together and celebrate—and sing along to—the sounds of the season. And the sounds of the season will ring majestically in this opulent program filled with holiday choral favorites accompanied by organ and brass.”

Holt explains that the concert features arrangements by one of the world’s finest brass quintets, the Canadian Brass, which was founded in 1970. Ronald Romm, one of the founding members of this venerated ensemble will be lead trumpet for this Choral Artists performance. His son, Aaron Romm, currently acting principal with the Sarasota Orchestra, will be playing second trumpet.

“The concert’s title is taken from one of the loveliest Christmas anthems, What Sweeter Music by John Rutter,” says Holt. “And it kicks off with one of the most joyous concert anthems ever written, Welcome All Wonders by Richard Dirksen, in a lavish display of color, harmony and dramatic flair.”

The brass quintet will be featured in several solo pieces, including Wachet Auf by J.S. Bach and Morten Lauridsen’s ethereal O Magnum Mysterium. The featured soloist for the concert is Amy Jo Connours, mezzo-soprano, whose soulful and expressive renditions of holiday classics and newfound holiday gems are sprinkled throughout the program. Holiday favorites include O Holy Night, Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, and several carols for all to sing, including O Come, All Ye Faithful and Hark! the Herald Angels Sing. Organists Sam Nelson, director of music at Redeemer, and Ann Stephenson-Moe, music director emeritus at Redeemer and founding member of Choral Artists, will both accompany portions of the program.

The Choral Artists of Sarasota comprises 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers. Eight young singers, ages 16 to 22, are also invited to join the group each year, as part of the organization’s educational outreach. One of these gifted singers will be awarded the Barbara Diles Apprentice Scholarship, a funding program to support either private lessons or vocal training at an institution of higher learning. “Ensuring the future of choral music means investing in the next generation of music lovers,” says Susan Burke, executive director of Choral Artists of Sarasota. “Incorporating young singers into the professional ensemble encourages them to further develop their musical talents and appreciation for singing in an ensemble.”
For more information, visit

About the Choral Artists of Sarasota
The Choral Artists of Sarasota, entering its 43rd season, features 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers and eight apprentice singers. The group celebrates the rich, artistic expressiveness of choral music through innovative repertoire, inspired performances and stimulating educational outreach. Under the artistic direction of Dr. Joseph Holt, Choral Artists of Sarasota performs a repertoire spanning four centuries, and includes symphonic choral works, intimate madrigals, folk songs, close-harmony jazz, and Broadway show music. The ensemble also specializes in premiere performances of lesser-known choral works—particularly music by living American composers. Choral Artists of Sarasota has performed premieres by René Clausen, Dick Hyman, Robert Levin, Gwyneth Walker and James Grant. As part of the organization’s educational outreach, eight young singers from area schools, colleges and universities, ages 16 to 22, are invited to join the group each year. For more information, visit