About Choral Artists
Mission & Vision
To present professional singers in innovative choral performances for the enrichment of greater Sarasota.
To be recognized as the region’s premier professional vocal ensemble, and to present engaging performances that move, inspire, educate, and delight.
In 2017, Choral Artists of Sarasota was born! Formerly known as Gloria Musicae, the organization needed a name that focused on the wonderful singers – the artists who make the music – and also acknowledged our home – Sarasota. Choral Artists of Sarasota is one of only a handful of truly regional professional choruses whose members live and work in the area.
In the beginning…
Soprano Arden Fowler founded Gloria Musicae Singers in 1979. Ms. Fowler, new to Sarasota at the time, noticed a lack of opportunities for professional choral singers, and together with Ann Stephenson-Moe and George Bledsoe, began recruiting singers from the area to form the first professional chorus in the southeast United States.
Choral Artists of Sarasota is comprised of 32 classically trained, auditioned singers performing music from a broad spectrum of the choral literature. Complementing the ensemble are 8 apprentice singers – students ranging in age from 18 to 22; nurturing and encouraging their early training is a part of the educational mission of Choral Artists of Sarasota.
This highly versatile ensemble has a repertoire spanning four centuries: major works with orchestra, intimate madrigals, church motets, folk songs, and close-harmony jazz, to show tunes. The ensemble also specializes in premiere performances of lesser-known choral works, particularly those works by living American composers. They have performed premieres by René Clausen, The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere, Dick Hyman, Robert Levin, Gwyneth Walker, Sheridan Seyfried, Voices of the Holocaust, and James Grant, Such Was The War, Florida Premiere of Libby Larsen’s opera, Barnum’s Bird, Alan Gershwin’s Gettysburg Anthem.
Under the direction of Dr. Joseph Holt since 2008, the ensemble has undertaken new cultural initiatives and partnerships to become a voice for the community in Sarasota. Unique among these programs has been the commemoration of the Holocaust with a spectacular presentation at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in April 2014 of Voices of the Holocaust with a massed chorus comprised of area choruses and original choreography by Elizabeth Weil Bergmann. Choral Artists joins in partnership with the Artist Series Concerts of Sarasota to create programs that align with the artistic plans for both organizations. Carmina Burana with Sarasota Young Voices and original choreography by Sarasota Contemporary Dance’s Leymis Bolaños Wilmott, Too Hot to Handel with the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe and State College of Florida Chamber Chorus, Verdi’s Requiem with The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay and the Sarasota Orchestra, Haydn’s The Creation, with the Sarasota Orchestra and the Science and Environment Council of Southwest Florida.
In the summer of 2012, the ensemble was invited to the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival where they performed the European premiere of René Clausen’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere.” In the 2011-2012 season, the group performed for the first time with the prestigious Sarasota Orchestra. The ladies of Choral Artists performed Holst’s The Planets in 2018 and full ensemble will perform with the Sarasota Orchestra again in 2019 in music director, Anu Tali’s final concert. The ensemble has been featured on WUSF and WEDU television, as well as at American Choral Directors Association conferences. Eminent choral directors such as Gregg Smith, Don V. Moses, John Motley, and Hugh Ross have conducted the group in past years. Former artistic directors include George Bledsoe, Dr. Daniel Moe, Dr. Stephen Hodge, Dr. David L. Brunner, Alfred Gershfeld, and Dr. Elwood Smith.