© 2024 WLRN
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'We are the voice of South Florida': The Master Chorale's 20th Anniversary season continues

The Master Chorale of South Florida

Unlike many professional musicians who feel they need to zip straight from conservatory to a New York gig or European stint, 36-year-old Brett Karlin has stayed pretty much close to home.

Karlin was raised in Boca Raton, went to grade school and high school there, earned a Bachelor of Arts in Voice from Florida State University in Tallahassee and a Master of Music from University of South Florida in Tampa.

So perhaps it's only fitting that such a Florida guy would serve as Artistic Director and Conductor for The Master Chorale of South Florida for the last ten years.

"We like to say that we are the voice of South Florida," says Karlin. "The individuals in our chorus are not flown in from all over the country. They all make their home and make their living in Miami-Dade County, Broward County and Palm Beach County. We're your neighbors, we're your realtors, we're your doctors."

Most of the Master Chorale's 120 singers are volunteers who must nonetheless pass a rigorous audition process; singers must come prepared with a song and have their sight-singing tested, among other assessments.

But Karlin says he can usually get the sense of how passionate the applicants are just by chatting with them beforehand.

"There is something unique about a good singer — a good musician — that I think a conductor can tell immediately right off the bat," he says.

READ MORE: 'A dream come true': Meet Stéphane Denève, the New World Symphony's new artistic director

This year marks Master Chorale's 20th anniversary season and Karlin says it was important for the ensemble to forge meaningful partnerships with non-musical organizations doing important work.

"We'd like to give voice to that song," he says

This week, Master Chorale launches its new 'Concert for a Cause' series, which will spotlight non-profits making a positive impact in South Florida. The first two concerts will support the Alzheimer's Association.


The Master Chorale of South Florida
Light in the Shadows
A Concert in Support of the Alzheimer's Foundation
Brett Karlin, Conductor

Friday, May 19, 2023
8:00 pm
Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, 5555 N. Federal Highway
Fort Lauderdale

Sunday, May 21, 2023
4:00 pm
FAU University Theater, 777 Glades Road
Boca Raton

Christine DiMattei is WLRN's Morning Edition anchor and also reports on Arts & Culture.
More On This Topic