Carolina Master Chorale

A Message From Our Music Director

Dear Friends, Music and Arts Lovers, CMC Supporters and First-Time Initiates,

I have never been more proud in my full professional life than I am to embark on my 25th Anniversary Season with America’s most passionate regional arts organization, the Carolina Master Chorale.  I have dreamed of this season for some time, and as it has neared, I have been compelled by delivering to all of you a program of concerts that represents everything the Carolina Master Chorale has become in the last quarter century. We want to share with you some of the best of what you already know and love offered with a similar serving of what will thrill you, though you have never heard it before. This season’s title named itself: “Maestro’s Passion.”

We open our season in October  debut with a powerful pairing of two of the most important works by South Carolina’s Dan Forrest, now known the world over as one of today’s leading composers, especially in the realm of sacred choral music. Believers and skeptics will be equally overwhelmed by the beauty and brilliance of Forrest’s “Jubilate Deo” and his latest masterwork “Requiem for the Living.” Forrest has been described as having “an undoubted gift for writing beautiful music that is truly magical” (NY Concert Review), with works hailed as “magnificent, very cleverly constructed sound sculpture” (Classical Voice), and “superb writing, full of spine-tingling moments” (Salt Lake Tribune). In a CMC first, Charles Jones Evans, maestro of the Long Bay Symphony, shares the CMC podium as guest conductor of “Jubilate Deo.” The newly- affiliated Carolina Youth Chorale (Sara Morey, music director) will also be featured under the baton of Maestro Evans. Don’t miss the first of our four “can’t-miss” subscription programs.

More of you than ever in our history, nearly 700, attended our 2023 December Holiday Concert. Help us break our record as we present our annual Christmas program with a new twist, Broadway-style. The winners of the 8th annual Carolina Master Chorale/Coastal Carolina University Student Vocal Competition join the CMC for a Broadway holiday extravaganza! Dive into the festive spirit with music for Christmas (and Chanukah!) by Irving Berlin, Jule Styne, Sammy Cahn. Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz, Jason Robert Brown, and others, and from iconic shows, including “Mame!,” “White Christmas,” “She Loves Me,” “The Grinch Who Stole Christmas,” and many more. Ring in the festive spirit with “Christmas on Broadway!”

In a belated first for the CMC, I have engaged a graduate school friend who has grown to great heights in the music industry, Creek-Choctaw pianist-conductor Timothy Long, Music Director of Eastman Opera Theatre of the renowned Eastman School of Music, to headline an extra-special program called “Love Songs of the First Nation.” Maestro Long and North Carolina Cherokee composer-performer James E. Green join the CMC for an exploration of the music of indigenous composers and performers. The CMC celebrates the artistry and traditions of members of the Lakota, Creek, Choctaw, Muskoke, Stockbridge Munsee, Chickasaw, Cherokee, and Anishinaabe tribes. Mr. Long also plays his own works and accompanies the CMC in a new arrangement of “Rhapsody in Blue (with George and Ira Gershwin),” by CMC pianist, D. Scott Ferguson. It’s hard to imagine that any of our audience members have witnessed a concert like this before. All will be moved by an intimate view into the artistic legacy of our land’s first pioneers.

Invoking a moment of personal privilege, I heard myself say, “There can only be one piece that can fit the bill for the Finale of your Silver Jubilee Season.” That work is perhaps the most beloved oratorio in all of music history: “Ein Deutsches Requiem (A German Requiem)” of Johannes Brahms. Casual listeners and afficionados alike will be spellbound by the beauty and majesty of Brahms’ pinnacle choral work, another “Requiem for the Living” which, along with the October performance of Dan Forrest’s work, bookends my 25th year with hope and stunning musical beauty. Soprano Shannon Dooley, baritone Jeffrey Jones, and the Long Bay Symphony join the Chorale and me in a spectacular conclusion to a quarter century of ever greater choral performance on the Grand Strand.

As I enter my 25th season, I am acutely reminded of the legions of people that have sustained the choir and me over this time.  A seemingly infinite number of singers, pianists (D.Scott Ferguson is the finest you will ever hear), board members, administrators, assistant conductors, guest musicians, collaborating organizations, audiences, benefactors, and more have made this the most significant period in my artistic life. I am grateful to each and every one. Please buy your tickets, attend our concerts, and speak to me afterwards, so I can thank you in person with a smile of gratitude, a firm handshake, and if you can take it, a sweaty hug!

Wishing you all peace and beautiful music,



The mission of the Carolina Master Chorale is to promote the choral arts, present exceptional performances of choral music, enhance arts education, and enrich the cultural lives of our members, audiences, and the coastal Carolina community.

The Carolina Master Chorale, recognized as the premier symphonic chorus in the region, covering Northeast South Carolina and Southeast North Carolina, holds the distinction of being the longest-running community vocal organization in the Myrtle Beach area.

The CMC is proud to be celebrating its 42nd anniversary season in 2024/2025. The repertoire of the Carolina Master Chorale encompasses a wide variety of innovative and critically acclaimed programming, including performances of traditional and lesser-known choral and choral/orchestral masterworks, full operatic productions, adventurous contemporary music, numerous commissions, and premieres, as well as lighter fare ranging from Broadway to vocal jazz and gospel music.

A black and white image of a musical note
A green background with black notes on it.


The CMC is deeply committed to the musical education of tomorrow’s performers and audiences. Each year, the Carolina Master Chorale performs for thousands of South Carolina schoolchildren, providing the only opportunity most of these children will have to experience a live performance of professional-level choral artistry. CMC members consider these among some of the most enjoyable and rewarding concerts of every season.

The Carolina Master Chorale performs regularly for the students of area elementary and middle schools in the Fine Arts Day concerts. The CMC also performed before a thousand seventh graders at the Induction ceremony of the South Carolina Hall of Fame, and for several hundred students at the summer High School Music Camp at Coastal Carolina University. Our historical commitment to music education has included performances in schools throughout Horry County, sponsorship of the Carolina Youth Chorale, presentation of an annual children’s music workshop, and shared concerts with high school and collegiate choral ensembles.

As of July 1st, 2024, the CMC is proud to announce the addition of the Carolina Youth Chorale. These extremely talented young people will be featured at our concerts throughout the season as well as performing on their own in the community.

During the December 13, 14 & 15 concerts this season, the CMC will welcome the winners of our Eighth Annual Carolina Master Chorale / Coastal Carolina University Student Vocal Competition. Each year, students compete on the campus of CCU for the chance to perform with the CMC. Each winner also receives a $400 scholarship co-funded by the CMC and CCU.

Beginning last season, the CMC established an ongoing relationship with the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand. Members of the Chorale travel to the B&GCGS on a weekly basis to teach piano lessons to the children as well as work with the club’s singing group, the Empowerment Movement. These wonderful singers also performed with the CMC last February. The Chorale also provided the piano lesson books used by the children.

Finally, starting with our last season, the CMC has joined the Long Bay Symphony in sponsoring the Horry County Choral Music Teacher of the Year. We welcome the opportunity to recognize these outstanding educators in our public school system!

A large group of people sitting in front of a crowd.
A large group of people sitting on the floor.
A group of people standing in front of black wall.
A green background with black musical notes.

CMC Reviews/Media Reviews

Verdi: La Traviata

“This was a full-length version production, sung in its original Italian. The program called the production semi-staged, but there was nothing amateurish about it.

Koch’s sensitive conducting of the orchestra let listener feel the impact of such passages as the high, poignant strings which open the opera, returning late in the work after many shifts of mood.

The remarkable Carolina Master Chorale sent forth jolts of energy in such numbers as the famous ‘Drinking Song’ in Act 1, making listeners completely unaware this is a volunteer group with diverse backgrounds, and not a full time professional music ensemble.

Everyone and everything worked well in this production. Nothing dragged and there was a sense of hardly realizing it was over when it ended.

Timothy Koch, the Carolina Master Chorale, and the cast of fine professionals let us experience a work which is an artistic entree into a world which existed as vividly today as it did in the 19th century.”

– Myrtle Beach Herald

Verdi: Stabat Mater

“In tones that ranged from quiet and contemplative to mournfully passionate, the 80-member Chorale offered up a stirring rendition of Giuseppe Verdi’s Stabat Mater. A flawless performance, it demonstrated the group’s vocal skills and precision.”

– The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Ginastera: Lamentations of Jeremiah

In one of the special moments of the afternoon, this region’s other treasure, the Carolina Master Chorale, took the stage. Timothy Koch prepared the audience for the music to come with a brief description of the background of Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera and his powerful Lamentations of Jeremiah. Secure intonation let listeners concentrate on the vocal tone colors, the complex and difficult harmonies, and shifting dynamics.”

– The Sun News, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Brubeck: La Fiesta de la Posada

“It’s not often that one associates a powerful, well-trained choir with jazz, but the program presented by the CMC certainly erased any doubts about whether this works. The CMC handled all of this effortlessly, and the soloists – Emily Hindrichs, David Bankston, Joe Chappel, and Drew Trautman – were exceptional. Certain parts must be pointed out – the jazz waltz feeling No. 8, “Run Run Run”, the Three Wise Men in No. 9, ‘Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh’ with the unconventional chords, the riveting No. 10, ‘My Soul Magnifies the Lord’ with its interweaving of declamatory instrumental gestures and beautiful solo, and finally No. 14, ‘God’s Love Made Visible,’ with its unusual beat and massive, breathtaking conclusion, using all vocal and instrumental forces – because they demonstrate clearly the skill and power of the CMC itself.”

– Myrtle Beach Herald

Bernstein: Chichester Psalms

“The appropriately named Carolina Master Chorale is a treasure… Koch’s beautifully prepared Carolina Master Chorale blended with the Long Bay Symphony as if they do this all the time…”

– Myrtle Beach Herald

Guest Artist Reviews

“The highest praise from me.”

– Carlisle Floyd, World-Renowned American Opera Composer

“How can I thank the Carolina Master Chorale enough for its superlative performances of my Seven Deadly Sins and An American Hallel performed this past weekend? To put it in a nutshell, CMC’s skill and execution was right up there with America’s top choral ensembles. Undoubtedly, this is due not only to the genuinely dedicated and nice community of CMC singers but also to their gifted and inspired musical leaders Maestro Tim Koch and composer-in-residence/accompanist Andrew Fowler. When leaders with vision show their charges the mountaintop and accept no less, great heights are attained. For all this, I am grateful for a thrilling weekend of music-making. I will always be a devoted friend of the Carolina Master Chorale.”

– Michael Isaacson, Ph.D., Composer

“I thank you for reaching out to me to be a part of a great experience. Cheers and rousing applause.”

– Mitch Laurence, Narrator, Actor, ESPN Commentator

Audience Reviews

“My friends and I are still talking about how blown away we were today by that concert we saw. The chorale sounded amazing. Very Impressive!!!!”

– Michael Orland, Music Director, American Idol

“What a wonderful, innovative program by you and the CMC yesterday! The choir sounded great, and the new works were very enjoyable and engaging. It is so encouraging not only to see the CMC continuing to build momentum, but to see the success of interesting, fresh programming concepts presented in this community. Your efforts in this regard help to open up the market for new ideas with the Symphony and all other arts groups. Please share with the chorus (and with Andy Fowler) my enthusiastic congratulations for a huge undertaking well done!”

– Charles Jone Evans, Music Director, Long Bay Symphony

“Thank you again for the wonderful performance. You guys are really special.”

– Ewa Mataya Laurance, World Champion Billiard Player

“I have to tell you that the best and highest class music making I’ve experienced since I have been here has come from the Carolina Master Chorale- it is really a first-class organization. I wish you all continued success!”

– John Santuccio, Executive Director, Horry County Arts & Cultural Enhancement