Choral Artists to Present Haydn's LORD NELSON'S MASS and Florida Premiere of ABRAHAM LINCOLN WALKS AT MIDNIGHT

The concert will be held on March 10.

By: Feb. 11, 2024
Choral Artists to Present Haydn's LORD NELSON'S MASS and Florida Premiere of ABRAHAM LINCOLN WALKS AT MIDNIGHT

Choral Artists of Sarasota's 45th season will continue with “Abraham Lincoln Walks at Midnight,” based on a poem by Vachel Lindsay and composed by Florence Price, the first African American woman to have her music performed by a major symphony orchestra. The program also features Joseph Haydn's “Lord Nelson Mass” (also known as “Mass in a Time of Anxiety”), which is recognized as one of his greatest compositions. Featured soloists for both works are singers in Choral Artists: Lily Wohl, soprano; Krista Laskowski, mezzo-soprano; Stephanie Jabre, alto; Zachery Stockman, tenor; and Jesse Martin, bass. The concert is Sunday, March 10, at 7 p.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. Tickets are $40, general admission; and $5 for students. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit the link below or call 941-387-4900.

“We paired these two works as a reflection of our own time,” says Joseph Holt, artistic director and conductor.  “Both were composed during times of anxiety and unease. Haydn's ‘Mass' was composed towards the end of the 18th century when Napoleon was ransacking the continent. The work is composed in the turbulent key of d minor and it is arguably Haydn's greatest composition. The Florence Price work is the musical setting of a poem written at the outset of World War I by Vachel Lindsay. Abraham Lincoln emerges from his grave and wanders the streets of Springfield, Illinois – very concerned about the state of affairs in the world of 1914.”

Holt further explains that “both works offer dramatic passages of anxiety and upheaval yet contain moments of consolation and ultimate peace. We live in a time of anxiousness and concern about the future and yet yearn for a sense of peace and calm – very much the tenor of these compositions from a different era.”

Composer Florence Price, the first African American female composer to gain national status in the 20th century, was also the first Black woman to have her work premiered by a U.S. orchestra—the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. When Price died in 1953, the bulk of her music was excluded from study and performance due to a lack of widespread publication, and a bias towards white, European traditionalism. In 2009, a substantial amount of her compositions was discovered in a trunk at Price's abandoned composing retreat in St. Anne, Illinois, which has given rise to a renewed interest in and appreciation of her work. Her legacy continues to unfold.


The Choral Artists of Sarasota's 2023-2024 season schedule:

Considering Matthew Shepard: Featuring Craig Hella Johnson's “Considering Matthew Shepard,” a modern-day “Passion” (modeled after the great “Passions” of J.S. Bach) that tells the story of Matthew Shepard, a gay American student at the University of Wyoming who was beaten, tortured, and left to die near Laramie on the night of October 6, 1998. In partnership with Embracing Our Differences, Project Pride, ALSO Youth, and the First Congregational Church UCC, this beautiful musical story transcends tragedy. Sunday, April 14, 7 p.m., at Church of the Palms, 3224 Bee Ridge Road, Sarasota. Tickets: Tickets: $40; students $5.

Memorial Day Concert: United We Stand: The Choral Artists teams with the Lakewood Ranch Wind Ensemble to perform a moving tribute to those in the armed forces who have made the ultimate sacrifice. This concert is also the kick-off for the group's tour to France to participate in the 80th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy. Sunday, May 26, 4 p.m., at Sarasota Opera House, 61 N. Pineapple Avenue, Sarasota. Tickets: $30-60; students $5.

D-Day Commemoration Journey: June 3-11. Choral Artists of Sarasota has been invited by Historic Programs, which partners with the Department of Defense, Office of Commemorations, to be the principal choral ensemble for the 80th D-Day anniversary commemorations in France in June. In addition to participating in commemoration ceremonies at the cemeteries in Normandy and Brittany, the group will perform a concert in the town square at Sainte-Mère-Église in Normandy and also at L'église de la Madeleine in Paris. Choral Artists is inviting the public to join them on this journey. For more information, contact

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 Ann Stephenson Moe Apprentice Scholarship, a funding program to support private lessons, vocal training at an institution of higher learning, or other expenses related to advancing their musical education. “Ensuring the future of choral music means investing in the next generation of musicians,” says Susan Burke, executive director of Choral Artists of Sarasota. “That means engaging young people on their own terms.”

About the Choral Artists of Sarasota

The Choral Artists of Sarasota, entering its 45th 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 the button below.