Timothy Koch, DMA
Music Director and Conductor
Timothy Koch serves his eighteenth season as Music Director and Conductor of the Carolina Master Chorale in 2017-2018. His tenure has been marked by notable growth in artistic achievement, extensive touring, acclaimed performances of the masterworks for chorus and orchestra, opera productions, commissioning of numerous major new works, and expanded educational programming.
Koch has led the CMC in tour performances of Italy in 2003, Denmark, Germany and the Czech Republic in 2005, at New York's Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in 2007, and in Spain in 2008, Costa Rica in 2010 and Finland, Estonia and Russia in 2012. In the summer of 2018, members of the Chorale will travel to Canada to participate in the Montreal Choral Festival under Henry Leck.
In South Carolina, Koch and the CMC have presented acclaimed performances of Bach's St. John Passion, the Mozart and Brahms Requiems, Mendelssohn's Elijah, and Beethoven's Mass in C. Koch has prepared the CMC for performances of Verdi's Requiem and Stabat Mater, the Poulenc Gloria, Walton’s Belshazzar’s Feast, Schoenberg's A Survivor from Warsaw, Vaughan Williams’ Serenade to Music and Orff’s Carmina Burana, among others. A performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms with the Long Bay Symphony inspired Myrtle Beach Herald reviewer, William Hamilton to write, "The appropriately named Carolina Master Chorale is a treasure..."
Koch and the CMC first embraced opera in 2006 with a full concert performance of Bizet's Carmen. The Chorale followed with semi-staged productions of Verdi's La Traviata in 2008, Carmen again in 2013, and Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance in 2017. Following the Verdi performances, William Hamilton again wrote for the Herald, "The remarkable Carolina Master Chorale made listeners completely unaware this is a volunteer group and not a full time professional music ensemble."
The CMC's has also enjoyed many fruitful artistic collaborations. During Koch’s tenure the Chorale has forged performing relationships with the Long Bay Symphony, South Carolina Philharmonic, and New Amsterdam (New York) Orchestras, composer Carlisle Floyd, conductors Eph Ehly, Charles Jones Evans, Nicholas Smith, Donald Neuen, Robert Page, Donald Nally, David Rayl, André Thomas, Viennese baritone, Benno Schollum, and American singers David Bankston, Ann Benson, Joe Chappel, Kirstin Chavez, Adrienne Danrich, Emily Hindrichs, Shelly Jameson, Jeffrey Jones, Mark Vitale, and Arianna Zukerman.
In recent seasons, the CMC has shared productions with Conway's Theatre of the Republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, and the Myrtle Beach School of Performing Arts. In the 2017-2018 season, the CMC will again join the Theatre of the Republic in a co-production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Though the Carolina Master Chorale maintains a very active annual performance calendar, the ensemble also enjoys regular appearances for area schools, civic clubs, and community functions. Last year the CMC added a new component to its educational outreach, inaugurating the Annual Carolina Master Chorale/Coastal Carolina University Vocal Competition. Winners receive scholarships and solo performances with the Chorale.
As founder/music director of the professional Carolina Chamber Chorale, Koch inspired widespread artistic achievement. Together, they can be heard on twelve commercial recordings on the Albany and Naxos/Milken Archive labels. Koch’s work with the ensemble has been lauded by Gramophone Magazine: "a wonderful compendium of finely-judged performances"; the Charleston Post and Courier: "You have not heard anything like this. Ever.", and American Composer Samuel Adler: "the finest professional choir in America."
Koch holds degrees from Illinois Wesleyan University and the University of Illinois and the Doctor of Musical Arts from the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He has taught at the Eastman School of Music, Syracuse University, The University of Southern Mississippi, where in 1998 he was chosen as the sole USM recipient of the Mississippi legislature's HEADWAE award, the University of South Carolina, the College of Charleston, and Illinois Wesleyan University, where he served as Visiting Director of Choral Activities in Spring 2009. He has served as a board member for the Mississippi chapter of the American Choral Directors Association, the future Myrtle Beach Performing Arts Center, and the Conductor’s Retreat at Medomak (Maine), and is a current member of the international jury for the WAC Choral Video Competition, based in Germany.
Timothy Koch is married to Grand Strand native and CMC soprano Jo Nell Koch, who is an active soloist along the Grand Strand. They are proud parents of the family’s most talented musician, David Rahjae`. A teenage singer, songwriter, drummer, dancer and more, David has played his original music at the legendary jazz club The Bitter End in New York’s Greenwich Village, written and recorded with rock drummer Mark Schulman and guitarist Julian Coryell in Venice, California, jammed with bassists Victor Wooten and Steve Bailey at Coastal Carolina University, and attended two summer sessions at Boston’s renowned Berklee College of Music, where he would like to be a full-time student beginning in the fall of 2018. The Koch family encourages CMC friends to join the legion of followers on the “David Rahjae` Official” pages at Soundcloud.com and YouTube.com.
Daniel P. Francis
Daniel Francis began his musical studies at the age of twelve. In 2000, Daniel made his orchestral debut with the Long Bay Youth Symphony performing the third movement of Beethoven's Second Piano Concerto. In addition to winning several other statewide piano competitions while high school, Daniel also collaborated with Metropolitan Opera singer, Tom Fox. Daniel's principle teachers in his early years were Joan Bosworth and Philip Powell.
Daniel received his undergraduate education from Bob Jones University where he studied under Peter Davis. In 2004, Daniel was the top prize winner of the South Carolina Music Teacher's Association Young Artist Piano Competition. At the regional level, Daniel placed in the top 3 and received an Honorable Mention for his performance, which included a full solo recital as well as Liszt's Piano Concerto No. 1. In 2006 Daniel graduated Cum Laude from BJU with a Bachelor of Music degree in Piano Performance.
Summer of 2006 saw Daniel at the Brevard Music Center. While a piano student in the Advanced Division, Daniel studied with Andrew Cooperstock, Arthur Rowe, and Julian Martin. While at Brevard, Daniel won third place in the Zimmerli Solo Piano Competition, and received a cash prize as well as a full scholarship to BMC for 2007.
Most recently, Daniel successfully completed a Master of Music degree in Piano Performance with honors from the University of South Carolina. While at USC, Daniel was awarded a Graduate Assistantship in Collaborative Piano, and was a student of world-renowned concert pianist, Marina Lomazov.
As a Collaborative Pianist, Daniel has performed with touring artists Adrienne Danrich, Lawrence Craig, Kirsten Chavez, Sarah Reese, Joe Chappelle, Emily Hindrichs, among many others.
Currently, Daniel is a Collaborative Pianist for Coastal Carolina University School of Music, where he also teaches piano. Daniel is also the pianist for the Carolina Master Chorale under the direction of Tim Koch. When not at the piano Daniel can usually be found on the tennis court either teaching or playing.