Gloria Musicae, Sarasota's professional vocal ensemble, celebrates the excellence of choral music through innovative, stimulating performances and educational outreach.
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 around the area to form the first professional chorus in the southeast United States. Gloria Musicae is comprised of classically trained, auditioned singers performing music from a broad spectrum of the choral literature. Their repertoire spans four centuries and includes major works with orchestra, intimate madrigals, church motets, folk songs, close-harmony jazz, and Broadway show music. The ensemble also specializes in premiere performances of lesser-known choral works, particularly those works by living American composers. Gloria Musicae has performed premieres by Rene Clausen, Dick Hyman, Robert Levin, Gwyneth Walker, and Jim Grant.
In recent years, Gloria Musicae has performed around Florida, the United States and Canada, and throughout Europe. In the summer of 2012, Gloria Musicae and artistic director, Dr. Joseph Holt, were invited to the Amalfi Coast Music Festival, where they performed the European premiere of Rene Clausen's "The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere." In the 2011-2012 season, Gloria Musicae performed for the first time with the prestigious Sarasota Orchestra. The ensemble has been featured on WUSF and WEDU television, as well as at recent American Choral Directors Association conferences. Eminent choral directors such as Gregg Smith, Don V. Moses, John Motley, and Hugh Ross have conducted Gloria Musicae 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. For thirty-four seasons, the singers have continued the group's tradition of elegance and excellence in choral music, and their performances have earned them the praise of critics as "an ensemble that does unusual works with consummate skill" (Sarasota Herald Tribune).
Gloria Musicae is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization, and is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, the Woman's Exchange of Sarasota, and the Sarasota Tourist Development Council.