The Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 43rd season, “Carried Away,” continues with “What Sweeter Music” on Dec. 19 at 5 p.m. at Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota.
The concert of Christmas classics features brass, organ, and choral arrangements, notably by the Canadian Brass. Mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours, and organists Ann Stephenson-Moe and Sam Nelson join the Choral Artists singers for this joyful holiday concert.
Tickets are $35; $5 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit ChoralArtistsSarasota.org or call 941-387-4900. For information about COVID health and safety protocols, visit bit.ly/3ro4yo4.
“Now, more than ever, there’s a need to gather together and celebrate – and sing along to the sounds of the season,” said Joseph Holt, artistic director for Choral Artists. “And the sounds of the season will ring majestically in this opulent program filled with holiday choral favorites accompanied by organ and brass.”
The concert features arrangements by one of the world’s finest brass quintets, the Canadian Brass, founded in 1970. Ronald Romm, one of the original 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,” Holt said. “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 mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours, whose soulful 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.
Barbara Diles Scholarship
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,” said Susan Burke, executive director of Choral Artists. “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 ChoralArtistsSarasota.org.
Submitted by Su Byron