Music Ministry

Dr. Joseph Holt , Director of Music

Joseph Holt enjoys a wide-ranging musical career as conductor, pianist, chamber music performer, arts administrator, educator and arranger. This is his fourth season as Artistic Director for Gloria Musicae, Sarasota’s professional choral ensemble. Under his leadership, the organization has grown and garnered accolades for its innovative programming and superior vocal quality.

Gloria Musicae has presented premiere performances in Sarasota as well as internationally for a series concerts at the Amalfi Coast Music and Arts Festival, 2012. With the Sarasota Orchestra, Dr. Holt has prepared choruses for Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a salute to the Boston Pops and a commemorative program for the tenth anniversary of 9/11. Gloria Musicae will be the featured chorus for the Sarasota Orchestra’s Salute to Broadway in January, 2014.

In the community of Sarasota, he is Director of Music at Faith Lutheran Church, and has appeared as pianist and conductor for the Artist Series Concerts and the Sarasota Orchestra. With June LeBell, he is a co-host for the Musical Mondays series of the Sarasota Institute of Lifetime Learning and he also sits on the board of the Sarasota Music Archive. Dr. Holt served more than twenty years as principal pianist with The United States Army Chorus in Washington, DC, performing for US Presidents, dignitaries from around the world and military officials. He also held the position of Associate Music Director for The Choral Arts Society of Washington for fifteen years. During his tenure with Choral Arts, he conducted Singers For All Seasons, a community outreach ensemble, and successfully led the organization in the highly popular Family Christmas Concerts at the Kennedy Center.

Unusual highlights of his musical career include coordinating and conducting the Filene Center Orchestra for a gala performance featuring premier comedian Victor Borge at Wolf Trap (a production still seen on public television today), compiling and directing the music for Prodigy, a children's play about Mozart at the Kennedy Center, performing with soprano Jessye Norman at the base of Hoover Dam, and assisting in the development of the National Music Conservatory in Amman, Jordan. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music, Shenandoah Conservatory and the Catholic University of America.

John Ferreria, Church Organist

John was born in Newport, RI, and is a Dean’s List Graduate from Westminster Choir College in Princeton, NJ. While there, he sang with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra under the batons of Leonard Bernstein, Eugene Ormandy, Sir Malcolm Sergeant, and Leopold Stokowski. During his senior year, he went on a study/recital tour of Europe and played organ in countries such as Germany, Denmark, Holland, Switzerland, and France.

John also has received the Degree of Colleague (C.A.G.O.) from the National American Guild of Organists. He has served as a guest lecturer on many occasions for the Ministry of Music; has been the Music Director of many civic theatres. He was the founding Artistic/Music Director of the First Congregational Church Gilbert and Sullivan Troupe. Gilbert and Sullivan hold a special part of his heart.

John just recently retired from the position of Director of Music and Worship/Organist at Church of the Palms in Sarasota, FL after serving for 25 years. He developed a full program of five (5) vocal choirs and three (3) instrumental groups. He is presently the Chorus Master for the Anna Maria Island Concert Chorus and Orchestra.