Spotlight on the Chorale

For several years, the Long Bay Symphony has engaged the CMC as its principal symphonic chorus. The Chorale performs annually on the Long Bay Symphony season series, and the LBS will typically accompany the Chorale on one of its subscription programs. The organizations have collaborated to perform Bach’s St. John Passion, Beethoven’s Mass in C and Symphony no. 9, the Requiems of Mozart, Brahms, and Verdi, Verdi’s Stabat Mater, Schoenberg’s Survivor from Warsaw, Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, Holst’s The Planets, Prokofiev’s Alexander Nevsky, Orff’s Carmina Burana, and the opera’s La Traviata of Verdi and Carmen of Bizet.

An impressive list of guest artists has enjoyed performing with the Carolina Master Chorale. Viennese baritone Benno Schollum; mezzo-soprano Kirstin Chavez, world-renowned for her portrayal of the title role in “Carmen”; coloratura soprano Emily Hindrichs, one of the world’s most sought-after young interpreters of the Queen of the Night in “The Magic Flute”; and tenor Mark Vitale, known for his performances throughout Europe of the title role in “Jesus Christ Superstar” and as Tony in “West Side Story” are just a few of the outstanding singers who have appeared with the CMC.

In 2011, America’s most-performed opera composer, Carlisle Floyd, visited Myrtle Beach twice for performance events with Carolina Master Chorale. In February, he was inducted into the South Carolina Hall of Fame after his nomination by the CMC, and in May, he returned for the first-ever complete performance of “A Time to Dance,” his only work for chorus and orchestra.

Internationally, the CMC has completed eight performance tours, giving concerts throughout Great Britain, Austria, Italy, Denmark, Germany, the Czech Republic, Spain, and Costa Rica. In June 2012, the Chorale performed tour concerts in Helsinki, Finland; Tallinn, Estonia; and St. Petersburg, Russia. In June 2018, the Chorale performed in Canada, and in June 2020, they will travel to perform in Ireland.

As a partner in the rich cultural diversity of South Carolina, the CMC has generated and accepted collaborations with most of the region’s finest performing arts organizations, such as the Long Bay Symphony, the South Carolina Philharmonic, Theatre of the Republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, the Myrtle Beach School of the Performing Arts, and numerous civic, community, and business entities, including the City of Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce, South Carolina Hall of Fame, NAACP, and many others.

Education has always been a primary focus of the Carolina Master Chorale. Each year, the Carolina Master Chorale performs for thousands of South Carolina schoolchildren. The CMC’s historical commitment to music education has included performances in Horry County schools and annual appearances before more than a thousand-seventh graders at the Induction Ceremony of the South Carolina Hall of Fame.

BOARD OF DIRECTORS – 2023–2024

A woman with her arms crossed in front of a circle.

Dear Friends,

Heroism and the Power of Love! What better way to headline our 2023‑2024 music season! Greetings and a very warm welcome to the Carolina Master Chorale’s 41st concert season. Forty-one years … Perhaps you were among our early patrons … Oh my, has the CMC developed and grown. We are eternally grateful for the crucial component of ongoing support and love from our community, our sponsors, and our patrons who, together with our singers and the incomparable music direction of Dr. Timothy Koch, the CMC is widely considered the premier symphonic chorus in the region. The CMC emerged from the darkness of COVID into the light of a highly successful 2022-2023 season. Last December brought our highest concert attendance in CMC history! We are powered by your generosity, love, and mutual appreciation of choral music as we strive to continually cultivate a combination of joyful and meaningful music.

The CMC endeavors to reach and encompass all communities. Last season, we were thrilled to establish a new kinship with the Boys and Girls Club of the Grand Strand, with whom several of our singing members continue to volunteer their talents in teaching vocal and piano music. You may have experienced the joy and enthusiasm of the BGC singers, aptly named The Empowerment Movement, during our February concert last year.

Representing the CMC Board of Directors, I was fortunate to attend the 2023 Waccamaw Nonprofit Summit. There, I was able to open new relationships for the CMC with other nonprofit leaders in our area, such as Giany Didier Guedjo, Executive Director at Carolina Human Reinvestment, where I have since become a volunteer. As you may know, Dr. Koch is a heartfelt champion for disenfranchised community members, and he has been instrumental in broadening the CMC's reach to these populations. The CMC is committed to fostering and nurturing the area we serve. We embrace new ways of creating music and connecting to our community. Through our music, we hope to educate, inform, and maybe even enlighten.

The CMC Board of Directors pledges to shepherd the CMC through researching funding resources, hosting fundraisers, and assisting our Executive Director with writing grant applications, among many other responsibilities. The BOD is ever thankful for the contributions you make to help sustain our mission. We cannot survive without you!

New Board members are always welcome. If you have an interest in becoming a community BOD member or a CMC volunteer, please feel free to contact me. I would love to hear from you.

As we perform and listen to this beautiful music, let us also reflect on its message: the power of love. While we grapple with ongoing and increasing violence against too many, the CMC is an organization that is dedicated to social justice and equality for all. Personally, I am especially moved to be entrusted with this position while we navigate these turbulent times.

Music holds the hand of love. It can make you cry, laugh, rejoice, dance, invigorate, or reflect. Music has the ability to evoke a full range of emotions, transport us through time, and even make us feel like a bona fide rock star. Who hasn’t been caught belting out their favorite jam in the car? Music is the soundtrack of our life. In the difficult moments when there are no words, music knows just what to say. So, as you are rolling along singing the likes of “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “What’s New Pussycat,” or “Born in the USA,” remember these words from the late, great American saxophonist and composer Charlie “Yardbird” Parker, “Don’t be afraid, just play the music!”

Judi Adams, President
CMC Board of Directors

  • Judi_Adams – President

    Judith Adams
    President

  • Katherine Jasmine – Vice President

    Katherine Jasmine
    Vice-President

  • Suzanne Sharp – Treasurer

    Suzanne Sharp
    Treasurer

  • Donna McElveen – Secretary

    Donna McElveen
    Secretary

  • Betsy Cowan

    Betsy Cowan

  • Cindy Verost

    Cindy Verost

  • Terri Springs

    Terri Springs

  • Penny Reed

  • Ann Thomas

    Ann Thomas

Ex-Officio Board Members

Dr. Timothy Koch
Music Director

Norma Culler
Board Member Emeritus

THE ARTISTIC AND ADMINISTRATION STAFF

TIMOTHY KOCH, DMA

Music Director and Conductor

A man in a suit and tie is smiling.

Timothy Koch enters his 23rd season as Music Director and Conductor of the Carolina Master Chorale in 2023-2024. His tenure has been marked by notable growth in artistic achievement, extensive touring, acclaimed performances of masterworks for chorus and orchestra, opera productions, commissioning of numerous major new works, and expanded educational programming.

Koch 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, Spain in 2008, Costa Rica in 2010, Finland, Estonia, and Russia in 2012, and Montreal and Québec City in Québec, Canada in the summer of 2018.

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. The CMC performed Robert Palmeri’s Misa Tango for the 2019 Southern Division Conference of the American Guild of Organists. 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 has also enjoyed many fruitful artistic collaborative projects. 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. Locally, the CMC has shared productions with Conway's Theatre of the Republic, Litchfield Dance Arts, and the Myrtle Beach School of Performing Arts.

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. This season, the CMC presents its Third 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 12 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 a 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, wherein 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 a South Carolina native and CMC soprano, Jo Nell Koch.

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D. SCOTT FERGUSON

Collaborative Pianist

A man with beard and mustache in a circle

D. Scott Ferguson served on the music staff for the Broadway productions Mary Poppins and Coram Boy. He has also been a member of the music staff for the Radio City Music Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular for 10 years.

While in New York City, he served as Musical Director with educational programs for Symphony Space, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

As a Broughton Fellow, he earned a Piano Performance degree from Murray State University (KY), attended the American Institute of Musical Studies (Graz, Austria), and then received a Master's degree in Piano Performance: Vocal Coaching and Accompanying from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign under the tutelage of John Wustman.

D. Scott enjoys teaching and performing at Coastal Carolina University.

REBECCA A. DONEVANT

Executive Director

A woman in black and white shirt with glasses.

A native of Myrtle Beach, Rebecca is beginning her 8th year with the Carolina Master Chorale. She previously served as Executive Director for the nonprofit Grand Strand Golf Director's Association for 30 years while also spending 40+ years in the hospitality industry. Her experience in management, marketing, and business brings a wide expanse of knowledge to the Carolina Master Chorale.

She has served on the Board of Directors for the Long Bay Symphony and on the City of Myrtle Beach's Cultural Arts Advisory Committee. Rebecca attended Myrtle Beach schools and is a graduate of the University of South Carolina.

Members Of The Carolina Master Chorale

Soprano

Laura Bradford
Teagan Brown
Rose Davis
Jan Helms
Jo Nell Koch
Donna McElveen
Janet O'Leary
Courtney Pendleton
Penelope Reed
Suzanne Sharp
Ann Thomas
Brooke Brumbaugh
Terry Heins
Cathy Higgins
Sara Morey
Barbara Mousaw
Peggy O’Neil
Sherrie O'Savio
Kathy Ott
Melissa Schnoor
Darleen Smith
Susan Soberano-Mendiola
Lora Zaccagnino

Alto

Judi Adams
Gabrielle Baut
Fran Gilbert
Jayne Jorden-Gavin
Laura Leedahl
Bernedetta Locatelli
Samantha Martinez
Terry Shumway
Felicia Chiappini
Betsy Cowan
Barbara Dickinson
Melody Evans
Rhonda Miller
Rachel Pedersen
Ariel Roebuck
Cindy Verost
Kimberly White

Tenor

Albert DiMauro
Robert Haley
Dennis Hawthorne
Joseph Segnit
John Guiderian
Gary Hodgins
Matthew Simpson
Coy Waters
Larry Wilson

Bass

Harry Austin
Albert Evans
Josh Hackley
John Cochran
Mark Cook
James Crawford
John Steele

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