Choral Artists presents ‘What Sweeter Music’ at Church of the Redeemer


The Choral Artists of Sarasota’s 43rd season, “Carried away,” continues with “What Sweeter Music” on December 19 at 5 pm at the Church of the Redeemer, 222 S. Palm Avenue, Sarasota.

The Christmas Classics Concert features arrangements for brass, organ and choir, including by Canadian Brass. Mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours and organists Ann Stephenson-Moe and Sam Nelson join the singers of Choral Artists for this happy holiday concert.

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“Now more than ever there is a need to come together and celebrate – and sing along with the sounds of the season,” said Joseph Holt, artistic director of 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.

Ronald Romm is a founding member of Canadian Brass.

The concert features arrangements from one of the world’s finest brass quintets, the Canadian Brass, founded in 1970. Ronald Romm, one of the original members of this revered ensemble, will be the lead trumpet in this performance by Choral Artists. His son, Aaron Romm, currently acting principal of the Sarasota Orchestra, will play the second trumpet.

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

The guest soloist for the concert is mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours.

The brass quintet will be featured in several solo pieces, including “Wachet Auf” by JS Bach and the ethereal “O Magnum Mysterium” by Morten Lauridsen. The featured soloist for the concert is mezzo-soprano Amy Jo Connours, whose moving renditions of holiday classics and new holiday gems are sprinkled throughout the program. Holiday favorites include Handel’s “O Holy Night,” “Hallelujah Chorus,” and several Christmas carols for everyone, including “O Come, All Ye Faithful” and “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing.

Organists Sam Nelson, Music Director of Redeemer, and Ann Stephenson-Moe, Music Director Emeritus of Redeemer and founding member of Choral Artists, will both accompany parts of the program.

Barbara Diles scholarship

The Choral Artists of Sarasota include 32 of the region’s most notable professional singers. Eight young singers, aged 16 to 22, are also invited to join the group each year as part of the organization’s educational outreach. One of these talented singers will be awarded the Barbara Diles Apprenticeship Fellowship, a funding program to support private lessons or vocal training at a higher education institution.

“Securing the future of choral music means investing in the next generation of music lovers,” said Susan Burke, Executive Director of Choral Artists. “The integration of young singers into the professional ensemble encourages them to further develop their musical talents and their appreciation of singing in an ensemble. “

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Submitted by Su Byron


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