MUSICA SACRA of SARASOTA, is an organization consisting of two choral ensembles of qualified and dedicated musicians. Our professional, remunerated ensemble Voices is home to some of the region's premier choral and vocal artists. Chorus is comprised of the highly skilled, dedicated, and talented volunteers combined with the professional core to create an ensemble of outstanding musicianship.
Members are selected by audition and committed to rigorous musicianship in pursuit of our goal: Performance and promotion of sacred choral music to the widest possible audience in and around the Sarasota/Bradenton area.
We present yearly series of concerts as well as informational events such as seminars, lectures and other presentations designed to inform audiences and share with them the ensemble’s commitment to joyful exploration of all kinds of sacred choral music from many sources, historic eras and nationalities. We rehearse at the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Sarasota and perform at various venues in the Sarasota-Manatee county region. Our debut concert featured Giacomo Carissimi's masterpiece Jephthah along with the Florida premier of Albert Ludecke's Dilexi, Quoniam and two of W. A. Mozart's church sonatas.
Musica Sacra of Sarasota is an innovator. In the spring of 2013, we closed our season with a presentation of Ernest Bloch's monumental Avodath Hakodesh and Leonard Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. Originally planned as an event marking the 80th anniversary of the composition of Bloch's work, the bombing at the Boston Marathon, which preceded our concert by a mere two weeks, brought to light the fact that that peace which serves as the central theme in both of these significant musical works, had yet to be understood. We thus dedicated the event to the understanding of peace.
Avodath Hakodesh had not been heard in the Sarasota region for nearly three decades. Twenty-eight years to be exact. It was ambitious programming to say the least. We were rewarded when the Herald-Tribune titled its review of our performance: "Ambitious 'Sacred Service' performance rewards everyone present." Ambitious programming is the hallmark of what Musica Sacra Cantorum is about.
In the summer of 2014, Musica Sacra of Sarasota served as Choir in Residence at Lichfield Cathedral, Staffordshire, England. To complete the requirements of the residency, in which the ensemble sang daily Choral Evensong and Sunday Eucharist, the ensemble had to prepare more than 32 works, all except one to be presented only once.
In April 2015, we presented two premiers. The first was the United States Premier of Chris Williams' Tsunami Requiem a piece written to commemorate the 235,000 lives lost in the Boxing Day Tsunami of 2004. It was our honor to colloborate with two outstanding performing ensemble: The Canterbury Girls' Chorus of The Church of the Redeemer and The First Brass of Sarasota.
We continue our innovative and collaborative programming as we move forward to the completion of our first decade.