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About the FKCC Keys Chorale

The Keys Chorale, under the direction of Dean Walters, was introduced into the curriculum of Florida Keys Community College by Professor Emily Boyd Lowe in January 1990, and now numbers 70-100 singers in full season. It is a true microcosm of the Keys population and represents multifaceted talents, backgrounds and interests.

Keys Chorale Sopranos

Key Chorale Tenors & Bases

In addition to being Monroe County’s only major vocal ensemble, the Keys Chorale has been a training ground for young musicians. Over the years, many high schools students have participated in the Chorale performances, sharpening their skills and going on to pursue music at colleges and universities, and some, having careers in music.

The Chorale performs at least one major work each term from the opera, oratorio or cantata literature plus lighter works from the popular music repertoire, including spirituals, love songs and songs of the season. Past programs have included Verdi’s Requiem, Charpentier’s Midnight Mass, Bach’s Magnificat, Orff’s Carmina Burana, Haydn’s Creation and Paukenmesse, performed with Capella Cracoviensis Orchestra from Poland, Faure’s Requiem, Mendelssohn’s Requiem, Schubert’s Mass in E-flat, Respighi’s Laud to the Nativity, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Magnificat by John Rutter, and both Brahm’s and Mozart’s Requiem.

Key Chorale Altos
Key Chorale, Dean Walter Conducting The Keys Chorale has also been at the forefront of collaborative productions, having performed joint concerts with organizations such as the Key West Pops and Island Opera Theatre, and the Key West Contemporary Dance Company.
Foreign trips have enriched the Chorale’s experiences. One trip included the Christ Church University in England. The Chorale has hosted prominent British musicians, workshops and recitals in return. The second trip included a performance at the Alton Lowe Garden Estate in May 2001, in the Abacos, the Bahamas. This was a particularly memorable trip as many Chorale members ancestors came to Key West from the Abacos. The Chorale was invited back in 2004 for the annual Island Roots Festival, celebrating the rich history between the Abacos and Key West. The Chorale has an open invitation to return for future performances at the Island Roots Festival, and plans to do so when the proper funding has been secured.
Emily Boyd Lowe and Dean Walters
Keys Chorale Founder Emily Boyd Lowe with current musical director Dean Walters

For 15 years, the popular Concert Under the Stars had been held at outdoor venues and featured various themes such as music from the Spanish American War, World War II, songs from the 40s, Broadway or movies, as well as opera choruses and a full-fledged opera, Dido and Aeneas by Henry Purcell. However, due to the enormous increases in costs associated with producing an outdoor concert, the Chorale has now combined its March and April concerts into one, and brought it inside to the Tennessee Williams Theatre.

This year's spring 2012 presentation will be "Five Centuries of Music from the 50s" (1550, 1650, 1750, 1850, and 1950!). History and fun, all rolled into one terrific evening.

Keys Chorale Paradise Big Band